I ask myself this question all the time, even though I've been lucky enough to attract many readers to my books. Still, we writers know the huge time and effort involved, and few of us will make the NY Time Best Seller List.
I suspect you book readers will admit to having curiosity about this question too, even if you don't harbor a secret desire to write your own book some day (although I bet many of you do).
The answers for some of us may lie in the following excerpts from "The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success," by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords (www.smashwords.com).
Here's what Mark says:
"Much of the discussion about what constitutes a 'successful author' invariably goes to a
discussion about book sales and earnings. The danger of this myopic measure of success is that most writers won’t sell a lot of books. This holds true for indie authors as well as traditionally published authors.
"Does this mean most writers are failures? Definitely not.
"Don’t allow your definition of success to be defined by others.
"Why do writers write? Why do you write? It’s a fascinating question because the
answers reveal a more open-ended spectrum by which you might measure your success.
Most writers write first and foremost because they feel compelled to write. Writing is a
deeply emotional process of self-discovery. Writing is one of the purest, most profound
forms of creative self-expression.
"We writers are often driven by a passionate desire to share our stories, knowledge and
ideas with the world. It takes great bravery for a writer to expose their writing to public
"Most – but not all – writers want to reach readers with their words. I imagine that’s why
you’ve invested your precious time to read this book.
"For many writers, simply getting their book out there – either self-published or
traditionally published – is the ultimate reward. Most people dream of writing a book, but
few ever complete one.
"For other writers, reader feedback is the ultimate reward. I remember how touched my
wife and I were when we received our first fan mail and reviews from readers of our
novel, Boob Tube. There’s something very cool about a complete stranger enjoying your
labor of love.
"Remember why you’re a writer. If you write simply to make money, odds are you’ll
probably make more if you get a part-time job at McDonalds. Few of us will hit the
lottery of bestsellerdom (though some of you will – for the rest of us it’s fun to imagine
that brass ring and reach for it). For those who do become best sellers, success requires
years of hard work toiling in obscurity.
"Write because you love to write. Never stop growing as a writer. Push yourself to always improve your craft. When each success comes, relish it because you earned it!"
If you enjoyed the above excerpts, you can download your own free copy of Mark Coker's entire document at:
Happy reading, writing, or both,
Robert Tell, Author,