This week I released my eighth self-published title on Amazon.com and it's got me thinking. See, back in 2012 self-publishing was pretty spectacularly profitable for me. I made a whole year's teacher salary in one month and followed it up with a few more months of amazing royalty checks.
But in 2017 the market has changed. There are millions of self-published books out there. The secret is out. Thanks to Amazon and various other sites, anyone can write a book and publish it. That's amazing and I am so grateful that this is happening. But what does that mean for me now?
First, let me just say that I do not write to sell books and make money. I write because I like to tell stories. I have characters and stories running through my mind all the time and I enjoy writing them down. It's a huge thrill to watch the story unfold and see characters come to life as I write their stories down. That's why I do it.
Now that self-publishing is so readily accessible and frequently used, I'm sure there are people out there who are wondering if it matters. My answer to that is yes. Self-publishing matters just like garage bands, amateur DJs, and local artists all matter. We're human and some of us need a creative outlet to help us feel connected to the world around us. No, most of us do not actually think we're going to make it famous doing what we love, but we do it anyway! What if we only did what we loved if there was a guarantee attached to it? How many things in life would we miss out on? How many relationships would we have passed over? How many experiences would we have missed if all we did was go for what was guaranteed to be successful?
Besides who gets to say what success is? Maybe for me, today, success is just being able to write again. Perhaps tomorrow success will be defined differently. As long as I'm the one writing the definition then success will always mean more to me than whatever set goal someone else has in mind for me.
Self-publishing my books is probably not going to lead to a career in writing. I'm probably not going to get one of my books made into a movie on the Hallmark Movie Channel (but seriously, can someone make this happen?). But no matter what, I'm going to keep writing because I like it. I like being able to create characters that I can connect to and maybe you can too. Writing my silly, frivolous love stories makes me happy. If it doesn't make me money, so what? Money doesn't make you happy. Doing what you love makes you happy. Today, I'm feeling happy. 😁