Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Konrath's Resolutions for Writers 2012

Every December I do a post about resolutions for writers, and every year I add more of them.

2006
Newbie Writer Resolutions
  • I will start/finish the damn book
  • I will always have at least three stories on submission, while working on a fourth
  • I will attend at least one writer's conference, and introduce myself to agents, editors, and other writers
  • I will subscribe to the magazines I submit to
  • I will join a critique group. If one doesn't exist, I will start one at the local bookstore or library
  • I will finish every story I start
  • I will listen to criticism
  • I will create/update my website
  • I will master the query process and search for an agent
  • I'll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something
  • I will refuse to get discouraged, because I know JA Konrath wrote 9 novels, received almost 500 rejections, and penned over 1 million words before he sold a thing--and I'm a lot more talented than that guy
Professional Writer Resolutions
  • I will keep my website updated
  • I will keep up with my blog and social networks
  • I will schedule bookstore signings, and while at the bookstore I'll meet and greet the customers rather than sit dejected in the corner
  • I will send out a newsletter, emphasizing what I have to offer rather than what I have for sale, and I won't send out more than four a year
  • I will learn to speak in public, even if I think I already know how
  • I will make selling my books my responsibility, not my publisher's
  • I will stay in touch with my fans
  • I will contact local libraries, and tell them I'm available for speaking engagements
  • I will attend as many writing conferences as I can afford
  • I will spend a large portion of my advance on self-promotion
  • I will help out other writers
  • I will not get jealous, will never compare myself to my peers, and will cleanse my soul of envy
  • I will be accessible, amiable, and enthusiastic
  • I will do one thing every day to self-promote
  • I will always remember where I came from

2007

  • Keep an Open Mind. It's easier to defend your position than seriously consider new ways of thinking. But there is no innovation, no evolution, no "next big thing" unless someone thinks differently. Be that someone.

  • Look Inward. We tend to write for ourselves. But for some reason we don't market for ourselves. Figure out what sort of marketing works on you; that's the type of marketing you should be trying. You should always know why you're doing what you're doing, and what results are acceptable to you.

  • Find Your Own Way. Advice is cheap, and the Internet abounds with people telling you how to do things. Question everything. The only advice you should take is the advice that makes sense to you. And if it doesn't work, don't be afraid to ditch it.

  • Set Attainable Goals. Saying you'll find an agent, or sell 30,000 books, isn't attainable, because it involves things out of your control. Saying you'll query 50 agents next month, or do signings at 20 bookstores, is within your power and fully attainable.

  • Enjoy the Ride. John Lennon said that life is what happens while you're busy planning other things. Writing isn't about the destination; it's about the journey. If you aren't enjoying the process, why are you doing it?

  • Help Each Other. One hand should always be reaching up for your next goal. The other should be reaching down to help others get where you're at. We're all in the same boat. Start passing out oars.

2008


I Will Use Anger As Fuel


We all know that this is a hard business. Luck plays a huge part. Rejection is part of the job. Things happen beyond our control, and we can get screwed.

It's impossible not to dwell on it when we're wronged. But rather than vent or stew or rage against the world and everyone in it, we should use that anger and the energy it provides for productive things.

The next time you get bad news, resolve to use that pain to drive your work. Show fate that when it pushes you, you push right back. By writing. By querying. By marketing.


I Will Abandon My Comfort Zone

The only difference between routine and rut is spelling.

As a writer, you are part artist and part businessman.

Great artists take chances.

Successful businessmen take chances.

This means doing things you're afraid of, and things you hate, and things you've never tried before.

If, in 2008, you don't fail at something, you weren't trying hard enough.



I Will Feed My Addiction 

Life is busy. There are always things you can and should be doing, and your writing career often comes second.

So make it come first.

Right now, you're reading A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Not A Newbie's Guide to Leading a Content and Balanced Life.

You want to get published and stay published? That means making writing a priority. That means making sacrifices. A sacrifice involves choosing one thing over another.

If you can't devote the time, energy, and money it takes to pursue this career, go do something else.



I Will Never Be Satisfied 

Think the last resolution was extreme? This one really separates the die-hards from the hobbyists.

While an overwhelming sense of peace and enlightenment sounds pretty nice, I wouldn't want to hire a bunch of Zen masters to build an addition on my house.

Satisfaction and contentment are great for your personal life. In your professional life, once you start accepting the way things are, you stop trying.

No one is going to hand you anything in this business. You have to be smart, be good, work hard, and get lucky.

Every time you get published, you got lucky. Don't take it for granted.

When something bad happens, it should make you work harder. But when something good happens, you can't believe you earned it. Because it isn't true. You aren't entitled to this career. No one is.

Yes, you should celebrate successes. Sure, you should enjoy good things when they happen. Smile and laugh and feel warm and fuzzy whenever you finish a story or make a sale or reach a goal.

But remember that happiness isn't productive. Mankind's greatest accomplishments are all tales of struggle, hardship, sacrifice, work, and effort. You won't do any of those things if you're satisfied with the status quo.

Who do you want on your team? The kid who plays for fun? Or the kid who plays to win?

If you want this to be your year, you know which kid you have to be.



2009


This year I'm only going to add one resolution to this growing list, but if you're writing for a living, or trying to write for a living, it's an important one.



I Won't Blame Anyone For Anything

It's tempting to look at the many problems that arise in this business and start pointing fingers. This is a slippery slope, and no good can come from it.

Do agents, editors, and publishers make mistakes? Of course.

You make mistakes too.

Hindsight is 20/20, so we can all look at things that didn't go our way and fantasize about how things should have gone.

But blaming others, or yourself, is dwelling on the past. What's done is done, and being bitter isn't going to help your career.

So try to learn from misfortune, forgive yourself and others, and make 2009 a blameless year.



2010

I Will Be Wary

The medium in which stories are absorbed is changing in a big way, and it will continue to change. 2009 will go down in publishing history as Year Zero for the upcoming ebook revolution. Writers should explore this new territory, but we need to understand that Print is still King, and any goals and dreams a writer might have regarding publication should be focused on getting into print.

That's not to say that ebooks shouldn't be explored and experimented with. They should be, and in a serious way. Erights are a very long tail--one that can potentially continue long after our lifetimes.

Don't forsake print for ebooks without understanding what you're giving up, and don't give away your ebook rights to get a print deal.



I Will Be A Pioneer

Remember the old saying about how to recognize a pioneer? They're the one with the arrows in their backs and fronts.

I've tried to be forward-thinking in my career, rather than being content with my role as a cog in a broken machine. Your best chance for longevity is to question everything, test boundaries, experiment with new ideas, and be willing to change your mind and learn from your mistakes.

Your job is to survive, by any means necessary. So pull out the arrows and forge ahead. Discover the difference between determination and stupidity by being an example for one or the other or both.

Though this may seem at odds with the previous resolution about being wary, it's actually quite simpatico.

Q: What do you call a wary pioneer? A: Still alive.



I Will Read Books

I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this in previous years. If you're a writer, you must be a reader. I don't care if you read on your Kindle, or on stone tablets. Reading, and giving the gift of reading to others, is essential. Period.



I Will Stop Worrying 

Worrying, along with envy, blame, guilt, and regret, is a useless emotion. It's also bad storytelling. Protagonists should be proactive, not reactive. They should forge ahead, not dwell on things beyond their control. Fretting, whining, complaining, and bemoaning the state of the industry isn't the way to get ahead.


You are the hero in the story of your life. Act like it.



2011

I Will Self-Publish

Just twelve short months ago, I made $1650 on Kindle in December, and was amazed I could pay my mortgage with ebook sales.

This December, I'll earn over $22,000.

The majority of this is on Kindle. But I'm also doing well self-pubbing in print through Amazon's Createspace program, and will earn $2700 this month on nine POD books. I'm also finally trying out B&N's PubIt program, which looks to be good for over $1k a month, and I'm doing okay on Smashwords, with Sony, Apple, and Kobo combining for another $1k.

This is nothing short of revolutionary.

The gatekeepers--agents who submit to editors who acquire books to publish and distribute to booksellers--are no longer needed to make a living as a fiction writer. For the first time in history, writers can reach readers without having to jump through hoops, get anointed, compromise integrity, or fit the cookie-cutter definition for What New York Wants.

I'm not saying you should give up on traditional publishing. But I am saying that there is ZERO downside to self-pubbing. At worst, you'll make a few bucks. At best, you'll make a fortune, and have agents and editors fighting over you.

But remember: even if you are being fought over, you still have a choice.

DO NOT take any deal that's less than what you believe you could earn in six years. If you're selling 1000 ebooks a month, that means $144,000 is the minimum advance you should be offered before you consider signing.

It blows my mind to think that way, let alone blog about it. I got a $34,000 advance for my first novel, and even less for my last few.

Currently, I have seven self-pubbed novels, each earning more than $24k a year. In six years, at the current rate, I'll earn more than one million bucks on those.

But I don't expect them to maintain their current sales.

I expect sales to go up.

Ebooks haven't saturated the market yet. But they will. And you need to be ready for it. Which leads me to...



I Won't Self-Publish Crap


Just because it's easier than ever before to reach an audience doesn't mean you should.

I can safely say that I'm either directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of writers trying out self-publishing. The majority of these writers aren't making the same amount of money that I am, and are scratching their heads, wondering what they're doing wrong.

Luck still plays a part in success. But so does professionalism.

Being a professional means you make sure you have a professional cover (http://www.extendedimagery.com), and you have been professionally formatted for ebooks (www.52novels.com) and for print books (http://yourepublished.blogspot.com.)

Being a professional means you're prolific, with many titles for sale, and that you diversify, exploiting all possible places to sell your work (Kindle, Createspace, Smashwords, iBooks, iTunes, Sony, Nook, Kobo, Borders, Android, and no doubt more to come.)

But most of all, being a professional means you won't inflict your shitty writing on the public.

Self-pubbing is not the kiddie pool, where you learn how to swim. You need to be an excellent swimmer before you jump in.

If your sales aren't where you'd like them to be, especially if you've done everything else I've mentioned, then it's time to take a cold, hard, critical look at the writing. Which segues into...


I'll Pay Attention to the Market

To say I'm excited about the ebook future is putting it mildly. But that doesn't mean I have carte blanche to write whatever the hell I want to, and then expect it to sell.

Yes, writers now have more freedom. Yes, we can now cater to niche tastes, and write novellas, and focus on more personal projects.

But if you want to make a living, you still have to understand your audience, and how to give them what they want.

Self-pubbing is not an excuse to be a self-indulgent egomaniac. On the contrary, it's a chance for you to learn what sells.

For the very first time, the writer can conduct their own real-world experiments. By trying different things, learning from mistakes, and constantly tweaking and improving, we have more power than ever before to find our readers.

A lot of folks know how much money I'm making. But how many know:

I've changed or tweaked cover art 45 times.
I've reformatted my books five times each.
I've changed product descriptions over 80 times.
I've changed prices on each book two or three times.

Unlike the traditional publishing world, where published books are static, self-publishing is dynamic. If something isn't selling as well as you'd like, you can change it. The work doesn't end when you upload your ebook to Kindle. The work is never-ending, and vigilance is mandatory.

Self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity to learn and to grow. This means you MUST try new things.

2011 is going to be a turbulent year for publishers and bookstores and editors and agents. Change is coming, and many of the stalwarts of the industry aren't going to be around for much longer.

But savvy writers will be safe from harm. In fact, they'll thrive like never before.

For the first time in the history of publishing, we have control. Embrace that control, and make 2011 your year.


2012


Hard to believe this will be my sixth year offering New Year's Resolutions to writers. Even harder to believe is how much the publishing industry has changed during that time.

When I first began this blog, it was about helping authors find an agent and a legacy publishing deal. And once they did, it was about working with your publisher to sell as many books as possible by understanding how to self-promote and market.

Now, writers are much better served learning how to upload their work to Kindle and write a product description than learning how to write a query letter or do a successful book signing.

So is there still anything left for me to say?

Yes. There's plenty.



I Will Experiment

Don't let fear prevent you from taking chances and trying new things. I'm talking to all of you who refuse to raise or lower your ebook prices. I'm talking to all of you who pass judgement without any experience to back up your position. I'm talking to all of you who insist that your way is the right way without ever having tried any other way--or in some cases, knowing nothing about the path you want to take (I'm looking right at you folks still chasing legacy deals.)

The goals you set should constantly be adapting and changing as more data comes in. But don't be a lump, expecting data to come to you by surfing the net, or reading this blog, or praying Santa Claus helps you out.

You need to be the one actively trying different things, taking different directions, and learning through trial and error.

In the past, there were a lot of gatekeepers who could hold you back.

Today the only one holding you back is you.



I Will Help Other Writers


If you learn something, share it. If you have some success, show others how to follow your lead. If you fail miserably, warn your peers.

Writing and publishing were once solitary, private matters, and everyone played their cards close to their chests. No one knew how much anyone else was earning, or how many books they sold, and this suited the publishers just fine. The dark ages are all about being kept in the dark.

Well, let there be light.

The more we share, and help one another, the more our collective base of knowledge can grow.

Self-publishing is an open source project. Add to the database.



I Will Control My Fear


There will always be doubt and uncertainty, because luck plays such a big role in success. I know there are writers who are doing everything right, who still haven't found readers.

But don't let fear own you.

It is easy to get frustrated.

It is easy to get envious of those doing better.

It is easy to dismiss the success or failures of others.

It is easy to worry about the future.

It is easy to ignore good advice. It's also easy to take bad advice.

It is easy to make snap judgments and quick dismissals.

It is easy to make predictions without evidence.

It is easy to give up.

BUT NOBODY EVER SAID SUCCESS IS EASY.

Yes, it is the greatest time ever to be a writer. But no one owes you a living, and no one promised that even if you write a great book and promote the hell out of it you'll get stinking rich.

Not to get all Yoda here, but fear leads to doubt, and doubt will take you down the wrong path.

Controlling fear is easier than you might think. Just accept that failure is part of the process.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. All major success stories are filled with setbacks and mistakes and bad luck. But all successful people persevere.

We've all heard that luck favors those who are prepared. So be prepared, and stay prepared, for as long as it takes for success to find you.

Remember that. You don't find success. Success finds you.

This is especially important when you realize this truism:


What Goes Up Must Come Down

I've had a lot of writers email me that their sales are down. Mine are, too. Because ebooks are so new, no one knows what this means, and it is easy to let fear cause doubt.

Here's a mantra for you to help you get over it.

1. Ebooks are forever, and shelf space is infinite. Once you're published, you'll always be selling.

2. Ebooks are not a trend. They are the new, preferred way to read, and mankind will always have the need and desire to read.

3. Ebooks are global. Doing poorly in the USA? That's okay. There are plenty of other countries where you can make money.

4. Sales fluctuate. Always. And there is often no logical or discernible reason why. Riding high in April, shot down in May, that's life.

5. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You're a writer. You're in this until the day you die. As long as you continue to write good books, you'll find readers.

2012 is going to be a very interesting year. We'll see unknown writers get rich. We'll see big name writers leave their publishers. We'll see more and more people buy ereaders throughout the world. We'll see some companies go out of business. We'll see other companies start growing market share.

We're part of something big, and it's going to get even bigger. And while everything that goes up must come down, we've got a very long time before that happens with ebooks.

And when it does? That's okay. Formats and gadgets come and go.

But the world will always need storytellers.

Have a great 2012.

123 comments:

Steve Moore said...

I especially like the phrase "the world will always need storytellers."
So far I'm not doing well with my sci-fi thrillers, but I've never suffered writer's block either. I love telling stories. Whether it's my Irish blood or the voices in my head I call my muses, I have to tell my stories. Self-pubbing allows that. Maybe it's all schlock, but they're my stories! All the best to everyone in 2012!

GalaktioNova said...

I was stunned to discover that in many respects, I'm still a newbie... (blushes)

jnfr said...

>> Have a great 2012.

You too, Joe. And thanks for sharing all that you do.

tyhutchinson said...

Great stuff Joe. Happy holidays to you and your family and everyone else on this blog. Here's to kicking ass in 2012.

Christy said...

Hey Joe, congrats on your continued success. I only do about half as much as you in terms of sales, but that's still fantastic for me. I had a banner year, too--in part because of your useful advice.

Do you remember our little wager? It looks like your POD sales have surpassed that 10%-of-sales mark. Most of my sales are still POD, but I know that's going to change. In less than 2 years, my e-book sales have creeped up from 10% of gross to 25% of gross. It's as you predicted.

If I make it to New York for the conference, I'll make sure to bring along some great tequila.

Mark Coker said...

Excellent advice Joe. I particularly appreciate the importance of authors helping authors and sharing knowledge. Our fellow authors are our partners, not our competitors. The innovation I see among indies is mind blowing, and it's powered by experimentation, risk taking and information sharing. Happy holidays.

Tim Myers said...

Last year at this time I never would have believed that I would walk away from a Big 6 publishing contract offering a very healthy advance and decide to self publish my new cozy mystery series myself, but that's exactly what I did last week.
I've got over 600,000 books in print traditionally under a great many names, so why walk away now with this particular series? Honestly, I love this series too much to tie the rights up forever and not be able to use the name Tim Myers again for my books. I'm happy to say that so far, Slow Cooked Murder is really taking off, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Thanks for spreading some of the light my way!
Happy Holidays!

Tina Boscha, author of River in the Sea said...

I have met so many other authors in the same marathon as myself, and it's been wonderful to match strides. I love the sharing of knowledge in this community - it's how I ended up formatting my interiors, how I ended up selecting certain services, avoiding others, etc. In short, the support has been invaluable.

I released in late August and feel like I'm now starting to gain some traction. Sales are slow, but moving, and the reviews have been positive. It feels incredible that I'm doing this when I used to think being published was completely out of my control.

Great post, great last line. Let's all continue to be excellent storytellers. Happy Holidays!

Kathleen Valentine said...

"But the world will always need storytellers."

Words to remember!

In one year I have gone from being able to buy a pizza with my royalties to being able to support myself on my royalties. I'm still holding my breath and not giving up my day job but it is thrilling. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.

Walter Knight said...

Mp prediction: Samll eReader devices will prevail over Kindle, making Smashwords rich. Why do I think that? Because everyone has a cell phone, and small E-Readers are the norm in places like China. Unless you can use your Kindle like a phone, the trend will be toward devices that can do everything.

That said, Kindle still has a bright present and future.

chris said...

Thanks, mate. Needed this today. Big time.

Mark Edward Hall said...

As usual, great stuff, Joe. I appreciate all the useful advice and have taken most of it to heart. I've always been indie minded but fell down a few years ago and let a traditional publisher have three of my books. A mistake I'll never make again. I am now forever indie. Sales have been steadily growing for me. I'm looking for a banner year in 2012 with the publication in January of my new thriller, Apocalypse Island, and later on in the year, my supernatural thriller, Soul Thief. I wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a successful 2012.

Jude Hardin said...

2011 has been an incredible year for me. Debut in hardcover, first self-published ebook, new agent, Dead Man deal with Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin, Thomas and Mercer deal for several more Nicholas Colt titles...

Most of all, I feel I've grown as a writer. And that should be at the top of everyone's list of goals, IMO.

Thanks for all your help, Joe, and for continuing to share your wisdom.

Happy New Year to all!

Cherri Galbiati said...

Joe, You never gave up on beating down the gatekeepers' doors and that determination caught like wildfire. The Indie way of writing is the future of story telling :>) We're proving it everyday. Thank you for not only stepping up to the plate, but following through.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy 2012!
Cherri

Paula Millhouse said...

Merry Christmas, Joe.

I hold in my hands my first Proofs from CreateSpace of my two novels - Careful What You Wish For... and All Your Wishes...
It's an unbelievable feeling to get my hands on them. CreateSpace made all that possible.
Thank you for a great list of Writer's resolutions. I appreciate your standing tall and helping the rest of us. I found myself giggling when I read the USA today article on e-books from last week. Your voice came across loud and clear.


Merry Christmas
www.paulamillhouse.com

Veronica - Eloheim said...

I had a whole bunch of other stuff I was going to write, but I'm ditching that for this....

THANKS

Thanks for showing the way.

I've published 12 books this year.

I didn't know I could do that. Sure it was hard. Sure I had to learn many, many new things. Sure I had to take some chances. I did all that stuff. I got lucky and sold foreign rights to the Russians so I even made back my expenses.

Now, I'm on a roll with many more books planned for 2012 and people around the world writing me to say how much my books have helped them.

I know that you've heard it from thousands of authors. Now it's my turn.

You inspired me and I'm deeply grateful. Thanks for helping me help others.

Thanks,
Veronica
The Journey of Consciousness, A Warrior's Tale

Juliette Sobanet said...

Wonderful post. Every writer needs to read this. I especially loved the mantras. Thanks for sharing:)

I.J.Parker said...

Thank you for the whole last section. I needed that. May you have a great year in 2012.
And me too. :)

Adam Lombard said...

"The more we share, and help one another, the more our collective base of knowledge can grow."

This is a great place to share some holiday than-yous to the indie community.

Thank you, Joe. Your blog inspired us to take the big leap.

Thank you, Mark Coker. Smashwords is, simply put, an awesome service for indies.

Thank you, Paul Salvette. Your Smashwords step-by-step was really helpful.

Thank you, Guido Henkel. Your HTML guide really made formatting for the Kindle so much less intimidating.

The indie community is really great, and really exciting.

Now: my little attempt at helping the community. I wrote apost yesterday about how to do easy, scalable small caps for the Kindle. Hope it helps someone out.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Hiroko said...

Lots of great advice here. Happy Holidays, everyone, and let us stick to what we love in the coming year.

(I haven't published quite yet myself, so yeah. The advice will help.)

Todd Trumpet said...

You know some of Joe's predictions are coming true when people who have nothing to do with the publishing business are saying the same things.

Here's a prediction about the future of paper vs. ebooks from somebody who writes a popular financial blog (see #4: The Book):

9 Things To Say Goodbye To (Mish's Global Analysis)

Sound familiar?

Todd
www.ToddTrumpet.com

Charles Harvey said...

These ought to be called "Revolutions." Joe leads the charge.

Sabrina Chase said...

Thanks for the observations and speculations on the writing biz--I've enjoyed reading them all. (OK, maybe not the frog/monkey incident but Boys Will Be Boys) Just started self-publishing in November with two books and more on the way. I really love how the indie community comes together to share information and encouragement. Thank you all.

P.S. Joe, don't be so terse ;-)

Nancy Beck said...

Don't let fear prevent you from taking chances and trying new things. I'm talking to all of you who refuse to raise or lower your ebook prices. I'm talking to all of you who pass judgement without any experience to back up your position. I'm talking to all of you who insist that your way is the right way without ever having tried any other way--or in some cases, knowing nothing about the path you want to take (I'm looking right at you folks still chasing legacy deals.)

Yup, yup, yup! Totally agree with this. Fear, for me, is the hardest to overcome, but I've done it, by uploading my first ebook back in July (a novella, which is now a series, finishing up with the 3rd and last one this weekend), and I also put up a short story.

By the end of this year, I'm going to upload some romantic comedy novelettes, under a pen name. Why? I love romantic comedy, the wackier, the better. :-) It's completely outside what I normally write in, but I'm curious to see if any of these sell. And did I mention that it's fun? :-)

As for pricing - I haven't done anything with that, as yet. However, once the last in my novella series is uploaded, I'm going to drop the price of the first in the series to 99 cents (until the end of the year), and might possibly consider $1.99 for the other novellas, again, until the end of the year.

I love self publishing, fear of the unknown and all! :-)

Nancy Beck said...

I particularly appreciate the importance of authors helping authors and sharing knowledge. Our fellow authors are our partners, not our competitors.

Agree with Joe and Mark Coker. I've always tried to help out other writers, whether it's steering them away from a scam, or putting in my 2 cents' worth on something else. That 2 cents might be wrong, but it's always in the spirit of helping someone.

After all, who wants to be bitten in the ass by bad karma?

Alan Tucker said...

Thank you, Joe.

Shared this on FB and Twitter. Jerry Garcia and the boys had it right:

"What a long, strange trip it's been!"

Marta Szemik said...

Joe, I feel blessed to have found your blog earlier this year. It's one of the most informative, honest and intelligent sources an author can find. It took me a while to read all the posts, but I have. I discovered others here who have helped me to publish my debut novel a few weeks ago. And it's because of this blog that I keep an open mind about my sales (though low, they're progressing), schedule my days to treat my writing like a business (while having fun), and look forward to writing and publishing more in 2012.

I'm looking forward to the posts in the new year.

May you and your family ave a safe holiday and a Happy 2012!

Cyn Bagley said...

Wow - Joe - What a change a few years make. I remember your 2007 New Year resolutions. And, I was just trying to get one book written completely. I am in awe.

Almost five years later, I am still a newbie and am struggling with my twelfth ebook. Marketing is still my nemesis.

But thank you for all your help and ideas. One of these days I will sell more than 50 books in a year. Maybe 2012.

Yours, Cyn

Ty Johnston said...

Solid advice, Joe. I've had so many ups and downs in 2011, I figure 2012 has to be just as wild if not more so. The key is to stick with it. So far, for me, the highs are balancing out the lows, and I can live with that.

John H. Carroll said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. :)

I decided not to make a resolution this year. My best writing has come when I just relax and enjoy the words flowing from my mind. :)

Although I did make a permanent decision to help other writers. I think this will be more fun if we all work together and explore the future. :)

Ellen O'Connell said...

Thank you, Joe, for the inspiration.

Thank you, Adam, for the small caps formatting. I've used italics and solid caps for those first words in chapters and scenes but small caps are what I always wanted and accepted that Kindle couldn't do. I'm going to format one of my books with your solution tomorrow - I consider this a Christmas present surprise.

Robert Burton Robinson said...

Hey, Joe, it's been a wild and crazy ride with you since 2006. I owe much of my success to your advice on this blog.

Overall, it's been a fantastic year for me, even though sales have dropped off considerably over the past few months. But I expect things to pick up once I finally publish the second book of my Ginger Lightley Short-Novel Mystery Series in a few days.

It's been way too long since I published my last book, and I think it's one of the reasons for my reduced sales numbers. But I expect 2012 to be a great year.

Merry Christmas, Joe! And have another record-breaking sales year!

Robert Burton Robinson

Adam Lombard said...

Ellen,
Happy to be of service!
Good luck with the formatting tomorrow.
If you run into problems, feel free to drop me a line. You can reach me through our blog, but twitter is probably fastest.

@AdamLombard

bettye griffin said...

So inspiring. I've been indie publishing for 2-1/2 years, with my greatest success coming this year. I'm really feeling positive as I work to finish my latest project (my countdown clock gives me three weeks, four days, 17 hours, and five minutes to turn it in to my editor).

Yes, the world will always need storytellers. My tagline for my publishing imprint, Bunderful Books (www.bunderfulbooks.com) is "Because Good Writing is Always in Fashion."

Thank you for all you do to encourage the rest of us writers. All the best to you in 2012, and may all your blog readers meet with success as well.

CherylShireman said...

My favorite posts of yours EVER!
Let there be light!
And - thank you.

Danielle Blanchard Benson said...

Storytellers are a must, Joe! I just thought of a brand new series last night but I have to flesh it out first. I wish I could type, my editor would work faster and my cover artist would move her ass as quickly as my brain works but then again, life is long and everything happens when it is supposed to. Here is to 2012 being the year of the truly talented indie writers' out there. ;-)

Patrice said...

Excellent post. Thank you. Merry Christmas and wishes for a spectacular 2012!

Mari Stroud said...

Have a great 2012.

Right back atcha, dude.

A Critic said...

"If you want this to be your year, you know which kid you have to be."

The kid that buys the winning team.

"The more we share, and help one another, the more our collective base of knowledge can grow."

There is no collective base of knowledge. I may read your website, but I don't know all that you know, and other than this comment, you don't know what I know.

Joe Konrath said...

The kid that buys the winning team.

There have been many winners in the ebook game, and none of them bought the team. They didn't succeed because of wealth.

There is no collective base of knowledge.

Sure there is. It's called the Internet. Perhaps you've heard of it.

When people post what they've learned about ebooks and self-publishing on the Internet, it can be read by others looking for information.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Dude, there is so much wisdom in all that you wrote. But near the end was the grandaddy quote of them all: "The world will always need storytellers."

Amen, Joe. Amen.

KDJames said...

Joe, I've been lurking over here for a very long time, sucking up knowledge and rarely commenting. Just wanted to take the opportunity to say, "Thank you."

Sometimes I disagree with you, but I always appreciate that you're willing to say bold things even if it makes you a target and to change your mind when you get new information and to just be honest about what you think. And to support other writers.

I choked back a massive tidal wave of fear and self-doubt and published a short work of (mostly) humorous essays this past weekend. I never would have had the nerve to do that without the knowledge and contacts gained from this blog.

In three days, I've sold 19 copies. I know, instant bestseller. But the best part, the thing that made it all worth the steep and tortuous learning curve, is that one of my nieces (with whom I'd lost touch) heard about my book on my daughter's FB page and read it and then came over to my blog to tell me how much she loved it.

For me, that ability to have an impact on a reader, even if it's just one reader, is the best feeling in the world. Anything that gets in the way of that, that stands between writers and readers, is a thing to be avoided.

So, thanks.

Ellen Britt said...

Joe, I simply adore this post. I especially appreciate seeing how your resolutions reflect the changes in the publishing industry. Because of you, I feel as if I have a front row seat at the revolution.

Thank you sir, for your inspiration, your encouragement and your never-say-die attitude. I wish you continued success and a stellar year ahead.

I have just begun publishing my Southern humorous short stories via the Kindle platform and credit you for the push I needed to begin getting them out there.

Adam Pepper said...

"Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. All major success stories are filled with setbacks and mistakes and bad luck. But all successful people persevere."

Great words. I know I've had a setback or two and made a ton of mistakes, but the key is to persevere.

Thanks Joe. Best to you and yours in 2012 and to Jude, Blake, Barry and everyone else who contributes to this blog community. I truly appreciate your contributions.

Louis Shalako said...

Thanks for the pep talk. Like most good advice, it's easier said than done. As far as experimenting, I think I'm doing okay with books and stories in science-fiction, historical parody, fantasy, and now a murder mystery. As far as the big sales numbers go...yeah, it's tough out here sometimes. Looking at stuff written a couple of years ago, I can see that progress is being made. The thing is take the pain and to endure.

M.P. McDonald said...

It was very interesting to see how your resolutions changed over the years.

I love the advice to experiment. I've tried out a few things this year--some worked and some didn't, and some are still undecided, but I don't regret taking the risks.

Here's to a great 2012 for all authors, no matter which route they choose to publish.

Libby Hellmann said...

Well said, Joe! Happy New Year to you, too!

Joe Konrath said...

I haven't talked about the KDP Select program because I'm still waiting for data to come in.

How do people who have opted in like it?

Patrice said...

Inspiring and informative. Joe, you're really something. Your encouragement helped me to do what I love.

I love that I am published, after wanting to be for my whole life. I love that my ex-mother-in-law adored my political thriller. I love that I can now also get my books out in print.

I can write what I want, short or long, "genre" or not. I can set my own price, design my own cover, decide, where, to, put my own, damn commas.

I can use a pseudonym or my own name, own my characters forever, and go from the sublime to the ridiculous in subject matter at will. I can write as many books (and publish them) each year as I want!

You have been a leader in the revolution, Joe. Thank you for that.

Viva la revolucion!

Heidi C. Vlach said...

And may there be many more! A few hundred people decided to check out my allegedly unmarketable fantasy novel this year, so I'm definitely looking forward to what 2012 brings.

David Wisehart said...

I'm liking KDP Select so far, but I'm still waiting for data as well.

I made my first novel, Devil's Lair, free today for a two-day test, and in the first 18 hours I've had about 4,000 free downloads, and broke into the top 50 free on Kindle.

How will this affect sales after it goes back to paid? Don't know, but I look forward to finding out after tomorrow.

David

Walter Knight said...

To participate in KDP, Amazon requires that I drop all of my non-Amazon venues.

True, the other venues are only about 5 percent of my sales, but their potential is so much more. So, no I will not do it.

bettye griffin said...

I'm trying KDP for three months on my one title that is only being offered on Amazon and nowhere else. I've only had a handful of loans made on it. As for my other titles, I won't be removing them from other sites to enroll in KDP; which would be silly, at least for my circumstances.

On the other hand, unless I hear something that's a real turnoff, I think I'll try it for three months for new releases. Most of my sales come from Amazon anyway, and as a Sony eReader owner I often find I have to wait a month or more for new releases to become available for my eReader (while books seem to be immediately available for Kindle and Nook), so I don't see much difference.

Archangel said...

Thanks Joe. A great guide all in one place. Thanks for keeping saying it's important for authors to help other authors, share what they know, not just with one's buddies. I think those helped, in my 25 years in print, sometimes also help us, later. That is, if author's dont burn bridges on their way up... they can block off all kinds of opportunities by acting competitive and know-it-all instead of just putting out a hand in friendly gesture. You've turned many minds aaround toward the sunrise instead of the sunset. Thank you. And blessed holidays to you and all here at what i think of as an edgy Cheers bar. lol

dr.cpe

frank palardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
enetspider said...

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mjshorts said...

I've just found your blog through Steven Lewis tweeting this great post. As a 'newbie' writer I found the whole piece very uplifting.
Like you I think we've only seen the very beginning of the power of eBooks and 2012 is going to be a fascinating year.
Like others I loved your last sentence:
"But the world will always need storytellers."
All the very best for 2012.

Dan DeWitt said...

A Critic said:

There is no collective base of knowledge. I may read your website, but I don't know all that you know, and other than this comment, you don't know what I know.

It's this kind of team attitude that's really going to take us indie writers places.

All of the writer's blogs, forums, workshops, writing groups, books/magazines on the craft, and anecdotes from other writers are obviously all pointless. We're all completely on an island.

On another note, Joe, it took me a little while to warm up to your direct approach, but there's no doubting the value of the info you continue to offer.

All the best in 2012 ... until the end of the world, that is. Stupid Mayan calendar!

billie said...

I put my middle grade Magical Pony School series book one into KDP Select - nothing happened in 2 weeks time - then scheduled the book to go on free promo for 5 days starting last night at midnight. It was at 440,000 or so in rankings. At midnight it went to free status and this morning is #6000-something and #3 in fiction/children/horses.

I plugged this info in with a blog hop I'm doing this week so I've confounded the data a bit, but for now, it was a good time to get that books numbers up - book two is coming out early in 2012.

Thanks for resolutions. And for what you've done to bring the publishing business into the light.

josephinewade said...

Joe,
Thanks for the continued encouragement and advice.
Happy holidays!

J.D. Cannon said...

Thanks for this post Joe. I'm just this morning in the process of writing a blog post about what I've learned as a writer in 2011. Resolutions for 2012 will come after Xmas.

BTW, you've motivated me this past year to publish my own book...which I just did a week ago. So...thanks for the motivation and all the good info you've freely shared.

Have a great holiday season!!

Stephen T. Harper said...

Joining in with everybody to say, Thank You, Joe!

One of the biggest things I've taken away from reading this blog is how to be more generous with other writers, how much there is that we can all learn and teach. You said it, Joe, but you didn't even have to because it's woven into the fabric of the community you host here. So thanks also to everybody here. I think we've all learned a lot from each other.

Have a great 2012, everybody!

MAFW said...

First time here; thanks for the lists of things for writers to do.

Christopher Hudson said...

Wow ... slightly more ambitious than my 2012 resolution: Survive it.

Caroline Gerardo said...

Thank you Joe for being a leader.

I appreciate your passion

ccc said...

Dan DeWitt said, "On another note, Joe, it took me a little while to warm up to your direct approach, but there's no doubting the value of the info you continue to offer."

Joe is the Christopher Hitchens of the Indie world.

Taylor Tryst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taylor Tryst said...

I've been a lurker for quite some time, but I wanted to come forward and thank Joe for all the credible information, advice and encouragement he's dished out to fellow authors...who are probably more in number than he will ever realize.

Going 'indie' has been a rather terrifying experience, and can feel quite isolating at times. I've lost several 'friends' in fellow authors who seem to have cut me off since I've gone out on my own, but I suppose that's par for the course when one steps over the line or in this case, outside the box or rails against conventional wisdom and takes a risk in which those 'friends' don't want to be associated.

I do know that I wouldn't have dared to do so if I hadn't have stumbled upon this blog.

The dialog here is invaluable, as well as entertaining as hell.

Anyway, happy holidays everyone.

And thank you, Mr. Konrath.

Taylor Tryst
www.taylortryst.com

I.J.Parker said...

About KDP Select: I'm also watching. I put a historical trilogy on a couple of weeks ago. The first book will go free for 5 days before Year's End. The books had been selling reasonably well (they are set in 12th c. Japan, so a niche market!) but sales were flat. Since then, they've picked up a tiny bit, but it's too soon to tell. I had the trilogy on an exclusive, so lost nothing by doing this. The Kindle Exclusive gets you some promotion for one month. That appears to double sales for a few weeks.

Adriana Ryan said...

I'm a total newbie, working on my first to-be-self-pubbed book. Love these "revolutions," as another commenter called them. And I loved reading their evolution over the years, too.

Thank you.

jakeescholl said...

Thanks Joe! Very very good post as usual....I will finish the damn novel, lol.

Claude Nougat said...

Very uplifting Joe, as always!

And yes, that fact that our e-books are up there on their e-shelves forever is really a game changer. Bottom line that's the difference with printed books...Being up there for ever, never going out of print...

But it means that the total number of books available grows and grows and grows and discoverability becomes harder and harder and harder! How can you stand out in the growing crowd?

That's is the question!

Karen McQuestion said...

Let there be light, indeed.

I rarely leave a comment, but I never miss a post, Joe. And I always find them to be entertaining and informative. Here's to your continued success!

LK Watts said...

Love, love, love this post!

Especially this bit :

'Yes, you should celebrate successes. Sure, you should enjoy good things when they happen. Smile and laugh and feel warm and fuzzy whenever you finish a story or make a sale or reach a goal.

But remember that happiness isn't productive. Mankind's greatest accomplishments are all tales of struggle, hardship, sacrifice, work, and effort. You won't do any of those things if you're satisfied with the status quo.'

Merry Christmas, Joe!

gniz said...

Joe, I want to give a sincere Holiday toast to you--a true iconoclast, someone who absolutely laid the path for so many of us indie writers.

Because of your guidance, I was able to quit my dreaded corporate gig and become a full-time writer. I've been living my dream for the last 7 months and things are going great.

My wife and I are both writers and we've only been able to live like this because someone we knew turned us on to this blog and we learned the ropes.

I wonder how many writers have benefited from you in exactly this way.

They should remake It's A Wonderful Life with you in the main role. In a world where you never existed, I'd still be sitting in my cubicle with bleary eyes, wondering when I could get outside for some fresh air and looking forward to another hour plus commute at the end of the day, only to start all over again the next.

So thank you not just for your insightful thoughts about the current and future publishing prospects--thanks for helping me and many others to emancipate ourselves from those dungeons and prisons we were in.

If I knew you, I'd definitely buy you drinks year round.

Best

Aaron

Jill James said...

Thank you for ending with such a lovely quote. "The world will always need storytellers." A truism that will never change.

Gary Cossaboom said...

Absolutely inspiring! Thank you, Joe, for sharing all you do. When it comes to helping others everyone should follow your lead, regardless of their profession.

Rebecca Stroud said...

I enrolled Do Unto Others in the KDP Select Program over a week ago and the results are yet to be seen.

I used one free promo day last week and two others starting last night. I will say that I got the same amount of paid sales during the free promo than I had all month going it alone.

As one who has all their eggs in one basket - Amazon's - the decision to try this was a no-brainer. I have absolutely nothing to lose yet possibly many readers to gain. And I hope it's the latter...

Jon Olson said...

Very inspiring, Joe. And here I am commenting, instead of writing.

Jon O.
The Petoskey Stone
The Ride Home

Webbiegrrl Writer said...

What a fantastic series of resolutions. I really enjoyed reading your "evolution," Joe! Thanks for including the previous years in each update to this annual event.

As to the 2012 resolutions, I especially love #3 ROTFLMAO. I emigrated to Israel just before 9/11 (was there for "the event") and stayed in the Middle East for 4 years--where there are few, if any, English-language books in print. They did, however, have video phones and were texting, sexting and video-messaging while the US was just barely tapping into the idea of a cell phone that didn't have an automobile attached to it (LOL).

We Americans are so far behind the rest of the world; we just don't know it. The Japanese read more novels on smartphones in 2000 than the US even HAD (cell) phones! I'm from Boston and as a properly arrogant Yankeegrrl, I still felt humbled when I learned that one (in 2003 when I returned to the US and was in Cambridge where MIT and Kendall Square geeks were still not quite wired up as much as the Israeli friends I'd just left behind)

I know there are English-speaking people all over the world--heck, just the US Military alone is a market base (duh). It's great advice to remember that Amazon.com and the US book-buyers are not the end all and be all. English-language books in Israel were like GOLD because they were so rare. Anyone who could create more of them was golden.

I can't wait to publish my first book in 2012! It's such an exciting time to be jumping into this business!

author Scott Nicholson said...

I've made a lot of mistakes over 15 uears but it was those mistakes that got me here. If I had done everything "right," my career would have been over. Good luck to everyone! Celebrate.

Robert Bidinotto said...

I'm having a fantastic November-December 2011 with my debut thriller, HUNTER, due largely to what I've learned here -- but also due to the fact that I was inspired here to try this self-publishing thing.

Thanks, Joe, for my new career at the tender age of 62. And I wish you and your many fans here all the best in 2012, during which time I hope we'll all be writing and publishing more books.

Marie Force said...

Another wonderful post full of great words of wisdom. A year ago, I had self-published two books and the numbers were nothing to write home about. Today I have 10 books indie published (along with 8 traditional) and I've sold 150,000 indie books this year.

Tomorrow I write THE END on a 16-year day job. In January, I become a full-time writer, all because I took a chance on something new. I'll always be grateful to you, Joe, for sharing your wisdom and encouraging others to take the road less traveled. Happy holidays to you and your family and here's to a wonderful 2012 for hard-working authors everywhere.

Lisa Mondello said...

Excellent article. There are so many changes in the publishing industry since I started out over 15 years ago. It's an exciting time to be a writer for sure!

Lisa Mondello

David Gaughran said...

Hey Joe,

It was fascinating to read the evolution of the resolutions.

I love the idea that self-publishing is an "open source project." I'm continually amazed at how open self-publishers are in sharing what works for them (and what doesn't). In one narrow sense, we are all competitors, yet we all take the time to teach each other and learn from each other - which makes us all stronger. No-one has to re-invent the wheel. We all build on the existing body of knowledge. And I think that is a beautiful thing.

Enjoy the holidays, Joe, and have a great 2012.

Dave

Cheryl Bradshaw said...

Inspiring, thanks JA.

Christopher John Chater said...

Very inspiring. Thank you.

Kathleenshoop--thelastletter said...

Thank you, Joe! I love the resolution retrospective...boy how things have changed!

Merrill Heath said...

@Marie, you are living the dream of me and many others who read and post comments on this blog - to say goodbye to the day job and become a full time writer. That is awesome! Very happy for you.

Thanks for the interesting posts, Joe, and to everyone else for the entertaining comments.

Merry Christmas to all.

Merrill Heath

Selena Kitt said...

Merry Christmas and blessings to you, Joe, and to all the Newbie followers.

I'm working hard on the fear thing. That's my resolution for this year.

Marie Force said...

@Merrill, thank you! I'm so excited and looking forward to what's possible without the added burden of a full-time job. It definitely gives new meaning to the words "living the dream!"

Mona Ingram said...

Thanks Joe for making us all think. I joined the revolution this year and it's freed up my writing; I'm finally finding that elusive 'voice'. Best wishes for a great 2012.

Katherine Owen said...

It's a roller coaster ride; isn't it? I could feel the highs and lows from the way you wrote your resolutions and I've experienced the whipsaw effect with many of them, myself.

Here's the thing: your blog, your messages,"you" Joe, changed my writing life's direction early in January of this year. That's when I stopped waiting for someone else to determine my work's future. Best decision I've ever made. Thank you for that. You are amazing!

Thanks for telling it like it is (always) and for encouraging all the Konrath Newbies here.

I hope you'll come back from the hiatus soon because I miss you. You can talk about anything and I'll listen.

Merry Christmas,
Happy Holidays,
Happy New Year,
Best,

Katherine Owen

Yuwanda Black said...

Thanks Joe for just the first-hand words of wisdom you share week in and week out on this blog.

I'm self-publsiher of primarily non-fiction. And even though my sales could be considered crappy (less than 100 ebooks per month with earnings of only $200-$400 per month), they are IN ADDITION TO my website sales, which have increased 25-30% since I uploaded my first ebook to Amazon on 12/8/2010.

Like you and so many of the commentors here, I'm more excited than ever to be a self-publisher, and all it takes to reinforce that idea (not that I ever need this) is to wander over to this blog.

Congratulations on all of your success, thanks for continuing to encourage self publishers everywhere and continued success in the new year.

Happy holidays to all of my fellow self publishers out there. :-)

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks to all for the kind words. :)

Patrice said...

Just to throw in some info about Kindle Select - I made my political thriller RUNNING free today only and have had more than 7000 downloads. I got to #18 on the Top 100 Kindle Free list.

My hope is that some folks will actually read it, and it will help my overall visibility. I need to get more books out, of course!

Casper Bogart said...

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Thanks to you, Joe, I've taken that step.

Oh, brave new world!

A.D. Seay said...

Thanks! I really needed that! I published my first ebook about 3 days ago and I've been on pens and needles ever since. I find myself checking my Smashwords page every 3 hours to see if I've had anymore downloads, or any reviews. You can drive yourself crazy if you aren't careful. I guess I just have to remember that I am the very definition of a noob and it might take some more time and good writing before I establish a core audience. Love the blog, keep it up!

W.Brin Murphy said...

Hey Joe,
Thanks for the info you pass along. It's very helpful to writers at many levels.

Question for you; What do you think of Amazon's "sharing" deal? The new plan they have is that a member can borrow a book once a month, I think. Think that will ultimately hurt sales? I think it helps drive customers to Amazon. Unlike borrowing a paper book, though, I don't see people then buying an e-book they've already read. What say you?
Thanks,
Brian

Susan said...

Hi Joe, just wanted to say thanks for this list and the inspiration. Here's to 2012!

Darlene Underdahl said...

Thanks for this. Dean Wesley Smith has a post that dovetails nicely with this one.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Kelly McClymer said...

Just want to say thanks. Every holiday season has me looking back at what I failed to accomplish. Almost everything this year is because there are so many hours in a day...and I like to sleep.

I've learned a lot, from people like you who shared your information so generously, and from webinars and colleagues who are trying new things.

I'm really tired as I sit here at the computer with my coffee, while A Christmas Story is on the TV, my son is playing his DS and my m-i-i is reading the newspaper.

But reading your post makes me want to eat my Wheaties and drink my eggnog to get ready for 2012!

Teri K. said...

Wonderful post.

You said:
"I haven't talked about the KDP Select program because I'm still waiting for data to come in . . ."

I am sure you'll consider all angles but I hope you keep in mind the effect this might have on Amazon's competitors, and that it's better for writers for all retailers to remain viable. My sense is that the KDP Select program may actually violate anti-trust laws.

You have a lot of influence out there. Your opinion, when you have one, will carry a lot of weight.

T. Roger Thomas said...

This looks like a really solid list

adan said...

i haven't read the comments yet (but have them saved) but, having read joe's resolutions from 2006 to 2012, i am left with such a sense of integrity and authenticity, i just had to leave a comment - this is it ;-)

thanks so much ;-)

John Barlow said...

Here in the UK we've got Kindles and Kobos stacked high in supermarkets. I wonder where the UK market will be in 12 months' time? Had lunch with very experienced editor the other day, and he didn't have a bloody clue...

Great posts all year, Joe. Best wishes to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I used the KDP free option for the first time last week with some good success, at one point the top 100 free list looked like this:

81. War and Peace
82. my book
83. The Holy Bible

You can't make this stuff up, best of luck to all in 2012.

Patrice said...

Joe, you said to write a good book, well-edited, and with a professional cover, and when luck came along the book would sell. Well... after I allowed my novel to go free on 12/23 as part of Kindle Select, it was downloaded 8500 times in 24 hours.

Since then it has sold 500 copies in about 2-1/2 days.

Hallelujah and Merry Christmas.

Robert Burton Robinson said...

Joe, it's great a great feature of Kindle Select to be able to offer books for free for up to five days per 90-period. However, excerpt books by best-selling authors are hogging many of the top slots in the FREE lists.

Check out the FREE Suspense list. It contains many James Patterson excerpt books (first 28 chapters, whatever).

I wish that Amazon would consider having a separate free list for excerpt books.

Lavinia Thompson said...

Thanks for this Joe. I'm just starting out self-publishing, the hard way- no fan base, no previous publishing history. Just jumping in and enjoying the ride! I'm working on a book marketing plan for my fantasy novel, Spellbound by Fire and I plan on hitting the marketing in 2012 real hard! I'm constantly talking to other self-published writers to find out what worked for them and what didn't, of course making my own mistakes along the way. But this is the most exciting time of my life, I must say. I also got a Kindle for Christmas so I'm looking forward to reading a lot more too!! Thanks and have an awesome 2012 everyone!! Don't ever give up!

Nikki said...

Joe, you continue to inspire me. I'm going to finish my mystery/suspense novel this year & do you proud. Happy New Year to you too.

lacycameywrites.com said...

Thanks Joe! Cheers :). I'm believing for GREAT things in 2012. Can't wait! And cheers to everyone who reads this blog.

http://www.lacycameywrites.com/

GRACE PETERSON said...

What a fabulous post! I'm fairly new to your blog so to go back and see how your priorities and directions have changed since 2006 is very interesting. I think my favorite is "I will Never Be Satisfied." Particularly: "You have to be smart, be good, work hard and get lucky." Success requires hard work and commitment and lots of failures along the way. It's all part of the process. But there is that intangible luck thing that I'm hoping for too. Thank you for all you do to support writers.

Kim Mullican said...

I always read, but rarely comment - right now you have 113 comments alone on this post. But I always appreciate your blog, your words of wisdom/experience. When I read aloud to my family that you would earn $22k in December alone, you could have heard a pin drop - and I have FOUR TEENAGERS.

I know I'm not going to get rich overnight, but I'm willing to try!

Happy & safe New Year to you!

Shah Wharton said...

What a fab post! Never disappointed to read this blog. You have fired me up to get my damn book finished. I'll be a brand-newbie then. :D X

W. Home said...

Getting the right career for you is a hard task to do. You have to know where you are interested at and what career path should you be taking to really succeed. There are a lot of consideration to do actually. A good career guide will help you making your decisions in choosing the right profession.

Nick Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Russell said...

My first mystery novel, Big Lake, has sold 32,189 copies in December alone on Amazon Kindle. Even at 99 cents a copy, with me earning 35% on each sale, I am completely blown away by the numbers!

The sequel will be ready to publish in the next week or two. It's an exciting time to be an indie!

S.M. Boyce said...

Thanks for the encouragement. When the world gets crazy and scary, it's helpful to have something to look at that reminds you to chill the f*ck out.

:D

-S.M. Boyce
Author of The Grimoire: Lichgates
"Once you open the Grimoire, there is no going back. The adventure will be worth every hardship…if you survive.

Get your copy!
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

anthonynewman said...

love the resolutions, good luck to all of us in 2012

Rai Aren said...

Hi Joe and everyone & Happy 2012!

I loved your resolutions - very inspiring, thank-you!

The advice and sharing of experiences here have really made a positive difference in my life. It's opened up opportunities and new successes and given me a lot of hope for a bright future.

After reading your "FREE" post, I signed up for KDP Select on Saturday and put Secret of the Sands up for free yesterday. There were over 5600 downloads, and after the free period ended, the sales ranking went from over 8800 to just over 1600. The book reached #67 in the kindle free store. I just did some tweeting (@raiaren) about it, along with a couple of posts. I am very happy with these results!

I will be using my other free promo days and will report back on how things go. I very much value the sharing here, it's been tremendously eye-opening, so I am happy to add my experiences as well. I do believe we are all stronger by helping one another.

I look very forward to hearing more about everyone's experiences with KDP Select and to the various shares of the $500K pie!

Wishing you all big, big success & dreams coming true...

Rai

Stephen Groak said...

I love your statement, "You are the hero in the story of your life. Act like it."

I'm hooked!