For today’s TBT, I highlighted a blog I wrote back in August that talked about staying the course and keeping to my intention. I threw out a bunch of ideas an expectations and now I’m just laughing about how little (and much) I knew. It’s so comforting to see that I have, in fact, made significant progress since last August.

So I thought I’d go through, one by one, and showcase where I am and where I’d thought I’d be:

By not going with Amazon’s Select program, I am unable to offer my book for free (without a whole bunch of hullabaloo) and I can’t enroll it in Kindle Unlimited. Beyond that, because my book is not included in this program, I am penalized in their ranking system.

For someone who lives and dies by metrics, being in the three digits (instead of the six) would be monumental.

Not only did I get in the three digits, I got in the one digits. Since making Double Life permafree, it’s been in the top 100 nearly every single day since December 31st. And when I promoted it via Book Barbarian, it shot to #1.

I’ve sold less than twenty books using Smashwords (which includes iBooks
and Barnes and Noble), and now almost twice that on Amazon. Does it
make sense to pull out of Smashwords completely and go to Amazon?

I ended up going this route for Alliances and while the free book day was a nice way to get both books in the series noticed (see quote #1 above), the exclusivity and Kindle Unlimited doesn’t seem to be helping me at all. I decided not to go with KDPS for Empath, so we’ll see how my opinion changes.

I’ve made twice as much money selling books out of the back of my car. I’m attending Baltimore Comic-Con next weekend, and bringing 50+ books. Same goes for Annapolis and then ShatterdomeCon. I will have unfettered access to hundreds of nerds my target demographic, and be able to unload a bunch of books (I hope).

This amused me on several levels. First, yes, I have made (also lost) a shit-ton of money at conventions. I’ve sold a shit-ton of books (coming up on 700 paperbacks). But what amused me more is that the two conventions I mentioned – Annapolis and Shatterdome – were almost abject failures. But other conventions – Baltimore, Tidewater, Pensacon, Indianapolis – I did very well.

My intention is not to be a “bestseller.” If I see my name atop Amazon’s top Science Fiction novels, fantastic – but it’s what I want out of jealousy, not because it’s what I need.

I can’t technically call myself a bestseller because my book only showed up on the top free novels, but hitting #27 on all Science Fiction wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

When I really sit down and think about it, these are the things I want to achieve:

1. I want to explore my soul, my neuroses, my anxieties, and my fears so that I may accept myself exactly the way I am.

Hello, have you heard of this book I wrote called Empath?

2. I want to use my creative energy to please myself first, then others.

In the past month, I have gotten away from this. I was forcing myself to write when I wasn’t feeling it. But when I let go of control and just let the muse do what she will, she performs. For some reason, I keep forgetting how my own head works.

3. I want to earn enough money to secure food, shelter, internet for me and my dogs so I don’t have to do anything else but be creative.

This is the big one, and probably why I got so far away from #2. Right now, my focus is to get SGR-P in the black, and it’s going to take us a little while to get there. In the meantime, since I won’t have a mortgage at the end of the month (YAAAAAAY), I’ll be able to sock away more cash in the event that this happens.

By next June, I may have three (!) books published, with a fourth in October, and perhaps a fifth (!) in December.

This still blows my fucking mind that I wrote three books in a year – Double Life, Alliances, and Empath. Considering I hadn’t finished anything in probably 10 years, finishing not one, but three is incredible. I have to give myself and my creativity a break here – we’ve done a lot in a short amount of time and it’s okay to feel wrung out.

 I’m on my way to achieving my goals.

It’s all perfect.

Just breathe.

Be patient.

Return to your intention.

And go write a book.

I need to paint this on a canvas and hang it above my computer so I can stare at it every day.  Erry. Day.