When I wrote my last blog post, I did so with an eye towards a follow up. Like It’s a Long Way to the Top, this post is not intended to be a complaint. Everything in life is a trade off, and for all that is lost by being an independent writer, there are a lot of potential gains that have the potential to more-than offset them.
I have always heard the expression that it takes money to make money. It’s something that I’ve always taken for granted. After all, if you don’t have money to invest in a company or to buy that rental property, how else are you going to profit? In many ways, I’m finding that writing is very much the same.
I was recently talking to a friend about my writing. He was asking about how it was going and about how much money I was making. I spent the next two minutes rattling off all of the things on which I had to spend my hard-earned money. The list was long and (likely) incomplete, and I felt obligated to give him the same caveat I gave you: I’m really not complaining, but writing is a very real investment.
I’ve been working diligently on the upcoming sequel to Procythian Reign, The Proceena Crusade. There are a lot of rewrites to do and it’s been very time-consuming. I was hoping to get my first draft off to the editor by Labor Day, so I could get The Proceena Crusade out by Halloween. But, I soon realized that time wasn’t my only hurdle.
I started to add up all of the things that I was going to have to do: There’s my cover art. I’m super happy with the work Alvin Epps http://alvinepps.com/ has done for me, and I highly recommend him to anyone looking to have a great cover for his/her book. But, talent isn’t cheap and I want my cover to jump out and be a microcosm of the story, itself, so I have to pay for it.
I have to format my book and get a professional editor. I cannot tell you how many mistakes I found in Procythian Reign’s final draft! Most of them were small, but a few were glaring and downright embarrassing. I had had Procythian Reign edited by a friend who was very supportive, but his focus was on content, not grammar. The cost of a good editor seems to be north of a thousand dollars—ouch!
Then there’s the advertising! I was able to invest the first of many dollars in the promotion of Procythian Reign. It’s been a modest amount, so far, but I can see a number of investments over the next couple of months that might take more than I’ve spent on Procythian Reign, to date! But I’m not worried. And, I’m not complaining.
I’m not just investing in Procythian Reign. I’m investing in my career as a writer. I believe in my product and I’m producing more and more of it all the time. The Proceena Crusade is in post production. I have five chapters of the first draft of another, unrelated story written and an idea for yet a third fresh story. There will also be a third and final installment to the Proceena Trilogy. So, yes, I’m losing money right now, but I’m just beginning this fledgling career.
I’ve often heard that most businesses lose money their first two years. I have the support of some really special people. Every day gives me more exposure and more followers on Twitter. Every story gives me another avenue to attract a whole new host of potential readers. Every contact I make brings me closer to business success. I have faith. This endeavor will succeed! And, when it does, I know it won’t be just because of me.
It will also be because of the many wonderful people who have helped me along the way. There's, of course, my wonderful wife and awesome kids, a cadre of friends and family, my small but growing fan base and I can't tell you how many wonderful independent authors and bloggers on Twitter!
Thanks to all of you who take the time to help or encourage me or take the time to read this blog. It's because of you that this mission won't fail!