Over on one of the writer’s groups I frequent, there’s been a bit of a kerfuffle. (It’s what I get for opening my mouth.)
One lady was offering tips on emarketing–optimizing SEO on Amazon, using Twitter and Facebook, all that stuff. Another lady was lamenting how none of those things has helped her sell any of her books. In fact, she lamented it for so long that I got annoyed and asked, “So why bother writing at all?”
Well, it got the whole group pondering themselves, wondering why they write if it’s been statistically proven that new authors don’t make money off their books. Self-pub, small press or large press–very, very few authors make money writing books. It’s why there’s all the jokes about the starving writer typing away in a barren apartment.
Here’s another way of looking at it:
Don’t sell the bike shop, Orville.
So why write if you’re not going to make money off it right off the bat? Easy. Do it because you love it.
I’ll say it again.
WRITE BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT.
If you don’t love it, find something else that you love. Life is short and there’s no point in spending hours doing something you don’t enjoy.
Someone else mentioned wanting to write a bestseller and they’re so frustrated they’re not famous yet.
Let me tell you a little story about that.
Once upon a time there was a girl who started writing fanfics about Sonic the Hedgehog. They were weird, and daring, and reinterpreted the universe’s elements in surprising ways. People either loved them or hated them, and said so.
The girl opened up her website to fan submissions of art and fanfics. Over the eight years the site operated, it became a community hub. She was moderately famous. Her fanfics were the equivalent of bestsellers.
And it sucked. So many people made demands of her time and attention about website things. People got mad when she didn’t answer fanmail. People wrote terrible things about her on other sites because she tried to keep her website G-rated. Finally she threw in the towel and faded into obscurity, where it was much more peaceful.
Having a bestseller and being famous is way, way overrated. I did it because I loved it. When the torment became greater than the enjoyment, I closed it down. What does it profit a girl to gain the world and lose her soul? Nothing, that’s what.