Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nice Review for Chase of a Lifetime; Authors Quitting Their Day Jobs

Someone pointed me to a nice (unsolicited) review for "Chase of a Lifetime," here. I don't do google alerts and I'm always very thankful when people let me know things like this. I'm also very thankful to the reader/blogger, "Oh MY Gigi!," who wrote the review. The reason I don't do google alerts is because I find them intrusive at times. I did them up until April of 2009. I don't miss them.

I do know that some would not agree with me on this. Working as a career writer, they would tell me I have to do google alerts. In some respects I'm sure they would be correct. But the most wonderful thing about working as a full time writer is that you get to make these decisions yourself and you decide what is best for you.

It wasn't always that way for me. I worked part time as a writer, stealing time whenever I could get it, for fifteen years. I ran two businesses that required my attention seven days a week for fifteen years. The good thing about both businesses I owned was that I had a certain amount of down time to write part time. This wasn't an accident. I started the businesses and geared them around writing part time. I'd worked in publishing as an editor and I knew that if I was ever going to write fiction, I couldn't remain working as a full time editor. It was too demanding to edit someone else's work and then go write my own. So I altered my life in such a way that I had not only the time, but also the psychological freedom to write.

The reason I'm posting about this right now is that I came across a blog post on "A Newbie's Guide to Publishing," by Joe Konrath. It's a guest post written by author, Jude Hardin, titled, "Pushing the Button." The gist of the post gets into people quitting their days jobs to work full time as writers. It's interesting, especially because everyone has different circumstances and has to make these decisions for themselves. Jude mentions this:

Last year I signed a multi-book contract with Amazon’s Thomas and Mercer imprint for my Nicholas Colt thriller series. My wonderful agent Jane Dystel negotiated the deal, and I’m very happy with it.

I never had an agent or a large publisher backing me, and I have over 90 published works out there. And that's not unusual. I'm just like hundreds of other authors I know. And I've taken more than my fair share of chances over the years. But one thing I know for certain, nothing is set in stone in publishing. Nothing; not even if you have an agent or a large publisher backing you. There is no guarantee that a book is going to sell any copies, let alone enough copies to afford an author a comfortable living. You could have fifty books out there, and that still might not be enough to garner the sales it takes to afford things like health insurance and mortgage payments. So making the decision to quit your day job is something you really have to think about for a long time. And be prepared for what's to come if you do quit your day job and things don't work out as you'd planned.

Take the time to read the post I linked to. It gets into more details that I'm not going to repeat here. One of the most important, I think, is the ability to write fast and produce at least four novels a year.

I knew an antique dealer when I owned my gallery. He used to fill his store until it was packed with merchandise. He always said, "You can't sell from an empty cart."

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