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How many books are you writing?

Posted by Charles Gray on July 6, 2014

The sad fact of the matter is that very few self-published authors are ever going to hit THE book.

And you know that I mean when I talk about THE book. It’s the book that will have Hollywood breaking down your door for the movie rights, that will sell enough to make J.K. Rowling jealous and will allow you to live the life of luxury that you deserve.

Sadly, few self-published authors will ever have to worry about what to do after THE book. In fact, on the whole self-published books do sell fewer copies than major releases, although the authors managed to lay claim to the lion’s share of the profits.

But this means that self-published authors must always be working on something else. Maybe you won’t have THE book, but if a few thousand people are buying your books and you put out one every six months— well that can amount to a fairly tidy sum.

But that means always being in the process of writing something else. Is one of your books finished? Good. Put it to the side and work on your rough draft. Done with a rough draft? Do the final polish work on your almost finished manuscript. But never, ever put yourself in the position of just having “one” book ready to go.

Not only will that reduce your income, it will also harm your drive for greater publicity, as a huge part of the self-published author’s publicity comes from word of mouth and nothing kills word of mouth like not seeing any new work from the author.

So make certain you have at least a few books or stories in progress at any given time. It doesn’t mean you should be completely scattershot in your writing, but when you put book A to bed and send it out into the wild you should have B, C, and D in the process of being made ready. That way, when someone reads your book and likes it, you can be certain that they’ll be able to buy another book from you before too long. That way, your fans are never deprived of material to read–and you’re never deprived of fans.

 

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