Romance By Catherine: Gauging your success as an author

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gauging your success as an author

Okay my writer friends... How do you gauge your success as an author?

Two years ago, before my first book was contracted or released, I'd have to say I gauged my success on selling my story to a publisher... Before that all I wanted to do was finish a book and have someone I know read it and like it. LOL

But now I find myself surfing the net, following other published writers, and changing my views on what I now need to use to gauge my success.

As a small press published author, I spend an awful lot of time online, yakking, and tagging, and making comments on blogs and forums. I love talking with other writers and readers and plan to always put aside time to do these things. Yet sometimes, when I'm looking at a blank screen, I realize that I really do need to put more hours behind a WIP in order to make it a submittable manuscript and hopefully the next best seller.

I'm looking forward to the day where I don't have to worry about how I'm going to make next banner, and go crazy about where I'm going to spend promotional dollars to reach new readers. I'm hoping one day to have the money to hire someone to design my website and blog and take the worry out of it for me.

When I sign on the dotted line for an agent, they will know what the publisher is looking for, and I won't have to stress about what to send... a query? a synopsis? a partial? WHAT? Ya, know what I mean?

I suppose if one were to create a Success O' Meter for the romance author, it would have someone like Nora Roberts or Christina Dodd one one end and the unpublished author on the other. I'd be inching the gage toward the middle of said fictitious meter, but still have a long way to go to reach the status of the previously mentioned authors.

For now, I'm quite happy to have the fans I do... The contracts I've signed... and the releases that are out or coming. More than that... I'm happy to have a sea of ideas still swimming in my head that I've yet to put on paper or hard drive.

How do you gauge your success as an author?


Lynne Roberts said...

That's a good question. And I know it sounds cheesy, but I honestly think success is a journey, not a destination... I thought I'd feel successful when I signed my first contract or at least the second or third... I mean by the third contract you're not a fluke...right? But I haven't reached my goal yet... there is still acquiring an agent and New York... but even then I don’t' think I'll have reached my goal.

That will be always be finishing the next book, and making the next book better than the last.

LOL After looking at this comment, maybe I'll reach my goal when I don't use so many ellipses in my comments. ; )

Angel Martinez said...

Cheesy or not, Lynn makes a good point. As writers, we evolve as we go, and the continued evolution is vital to the artistic process.

I'm realistic. I know there are hundreds of us out there, from unpubbed to wildly successful. New York holds little interest for me. I don't like the corporate aspect and I shy away from any pub who would tell me I have to turn my writing into pop culture mush.

But that's just me, lol. I do want to see more of my books in print form. I want to be able to relax a bit and not struggle for every single sale. I want to have the space and time to concentrate on the WRITING part of writing. What a thought, eh?

Catherine Bybee said...

Lynne... I love ellipses! They help me gauge how a person is speaking as they are typing away their thoughts. In a time of text messages and e-mail, we often loose any true 'voice' of a message... ellipses help with that! Anyhow, back on subject, I think you've nailed it! It is a journey. At one time I thought it was a destination but the older I get and the more books I have out there, I realize that isn't the case.

I too want to see more of your books in print. Sadly, for that to happen on a bigger scale, NY is a must. I suppose that may not be a concern in the not so distant future with the big influx of e-readers and online reading that is going on, but still. Holding a book in your hand will not go out of fashion in our life time. As an author, it validates us, somehow.