I get fan mail, sometimes.
That’s really what keeps me going, you know. My sales are steadily increasing (I am getting a royalty payment in November, which is going to be the first time that I have gotten payments two months in a row) but I am a long way from quitting my day job.
I have been thinking of chucking it all recently. I have a lot of pain in my joints these days, and I find it painful to sit at my computer for long stretches, which makes it tough to write much. Most of my attempts at promotion have ended up costing me more than they generated in sales.
And writing is hard work, mentally. I have a fairly breezy, nonchalant narrative style, which I like to think makes my work easy to read, but it takes time and effort to manufacture the illusion of carelessness. There is a lot of background work in my world, most of which readers will never know about.
The point is that writing novels takes a lot of blood, sweat, toil, and tears, and offers relatively little return.
I just got a lovely little note on my Facebook author page from a reader who said she enjoyed my first two books and asked if I was working on another one. The fact that someone would take the effort to do that means a lot to me.
I love my readers. I don’t have a huge number of them, but they are enthusiastic and supportive. My work isn’t for everyone, but those who like it really like it.
That’s enough. I keep working because there are readers who want me to keep going, who want to know what happens next to James & Catskinner.
Thank you. To everyone who has taken the time to drop me a line or make a comment and tell me that you have enjoyed my books, thank you so much.
I am working on The Worms Of Heaven. Not as fast as I’d like, but I am making steady progress. I want to make it good, to keep doing whatever it is that people like. I’m taking the feedback from my readers under careful consideration as I write. For example, people really seem to like Exquisite, so I’m making sure that he’s in the book. I’m also introducing both new characters and new kinds of characters. I’m not much of plotter, but I think I have a storyline that should prove entertaining and maybe a little bit surprising.
The point to all this is that readers matter to self-published authors. If you enjoy the work of a particular author, take a moment to let her or him know that. It makes all the difference in the world.
I’m going to close with a Jackson Browne quote:
“People, you’ve got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait
Or you pull us through”