Monday, September 16, 2013

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Writing is fun. You get to spend time with imaginary friends, playing dress-up in your head. Writing is therapeutic, it is a fantastic way to figure out what's going on in your heart. Writing is the business of art, and the formulation of thought. I've been writing since I was a teen, and enjoying the effects of that writing on listening ears. My best audience ever is a classroom full of bright eyed and bushy tailed squidlets, so responsive to anything I have to say. I love it.

With the major changes happening with the publishing industry in New Zealand (NZ) at the moment, my new writing career might not ever get off the ground here. Sure I have made more in my first year and a half selling ebooks overseas than many new authors have in NZ, but that is changing so fast now that I have no idea what is going to happen this coming summer season.

I have been seeing the steady decline in sales over the last few months and am glad that writing and self-publishing is not our main source of income. I have come to a crossroads, a decision to look at what is important to me as a writer, a reader and an entertainer of thoughts. Do I keep writing and selling my ebooks for profit that this little self-publishing business has produced, or do I stop striving for sales and relax a little more into the life of a carefree writer? Big decision really.

The life of a self-publisher is a balancing act. I know few who can successfully pull it off and make loads while still having a life and growing a family. Actually I don't know anyone in New Zealand who have done it successfully yet. Writing in this nation means keeping your day job. I am blessed to have an excuse to be at home all day long so I can write and promote my writing. Preschoolers make way for an amazing world of opportunity. But I'm not so sure if I want to be a career writer, always striving for a promotion on someone else's blog, advertising platform or website.

Don't get me wrong, I am still going to sell ebooks on Amazon and Smashwords, and can't wait for my illustrator to finish my next KIWI THREE Series, but I've realised that what is important to me now is enjoying the writing and try to relax a bit more with the sales side of things. So what if that book promotion site has rejected my fourth book for promotions next month? So what if my sales are on par for the worst month ever? So what if I don't get traffic to my website/blog/twitter/Facebook page, it isn't the end of the business, nor then end of my writing.

Don't sweat the small stuff! I have to keep telling myself this every day. And I have to change my focus too. Spending hours (literally) online daily is just not where I want to spend my time and energy. Planning the layout of my next three ebooks with my illustrator – definitely! Sitting at my computer writing for older kids a series of fantastic fantasy stories – definitely! Reading to my own two squidlets each and every day – definitely!

I'm a writer, a self-publisher, a blogger, an ebook promoter, and a bloody fantastic children's ebook author who happens to be hitting the 'indie author's sales decline' just as much as the next. But you know what? I'm still a writer and I'm still excited about self-publishing.

Because I love what I do.


  1. Joy, this is an excellent post. There are different measures for success, and we have to remember why we're in this thing - it's cause we love what we do.

    I read an article recently talking about measuring our efforts, not numbers, to help us feel better. Rather than saying "I've only got x amount of followers," say "I've done a, b & c to help build my audience."

    Awesome stuff. Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing the next books!

  2. Thanks Zee. I've kinda had enough of the striving, and just want to relax and have some fun now. Thank God I have an illustrator now!!! :D