I looked at my sales report for the month of April, and discovered that I had actually sold 5 print editions of my two new novels combined.
One could become very depressed about that, spiraling down into a pit of deep despair until Prince Humperdink sets the “machine” to 50 out of rage.
Yet I am not depressed at all. Am I crazy? Probably. Am I sad? No.
I suppose it all boils down to what vision of success one has. I do not see “best-selling status” as a goal. My goal is for people to read my books and enjoy them. I write for my reader. I do not care about the money involved, because as stated on a previous blog I have only invested $20 into the publishing of my book. I’ve almost made that back already, as my royalties for those books amounts to a little over $18. Anything from here on out is profit, and I’ve only been selling the books since mid-April.
I’ll get spikes of sales here and there. Someone will discover this blog (as people do nearly every day) and they will take a chance on a book because a Kindle edition is only $2.99 and I’ll sell another copy. Hopefully that person or those persons will tell their friends or write a good review and someone else will take their word for it.
The point is, I’ll keep at it. I enjoy writing, editing, cover design, typesetting (are you mad?) and Twittering about it…blogging about it. I have yet another novel I’m doing research for at the moment. I’m also about to take on yet another editing job where for a small fee ($1 a page) I will help a fellow writer with grammar, voice, continuity and streamlining.
I am not quitting my day job any time soon. I have to pay the bills with the measly check the Oklahoma State Department sees fit to issue from their tightly clenched fist (we are still 49th in the nation in teacher pay). As the guy selling falafel in The Dark Knight says “I have kids to feed.”
But I can dream, can’t I. Perhaps I will reach that place in life where, as Robert Frost wrote in Two Tramps in Mud Time: “Let your vocation be your avocation.” In other words, perhaps I will realize my dream of making a living off of this thing I enjoy. Until then I’ll edit term papers, teach students the value of good writing and good literature, and help my pupils make their vocation their avocation.