Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Wendig’

It’s no great secret that the world of publishing is changing. What is a secret is how much. Is it changing a lot? Has most of the change already happened? What does the future look like?

Hugh Howey released a report on author earnings today, and while I haven’t had time to absorb all the data it looks like a useful and surprising glimpse into the often opaque world of author earnings.

Most self-published authors are, on average, earning more money on fewer books… If I had to guess what the future holds, I would say that the world of literature has its brightest days still ahead.

I’m sure there will be a lot of talk about this online (it’s already started here and here and here, among many other examples), but it’s great that the report was done at all, and that it is posted alongside the data used to produce it. True, Howey is himself the kind of outlier that can skew results and these numbers are from Amazon only, but the report still paints a very interesting picture of how indie publishing is changing.

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“Persistence.” That’s what my father told me when I asked what it took to succeed in graduate school. Smart helps, yes, but there’s no beating the commitment and perhaps sheer bloody stubbornness that comes with persistence. That advice served me well in academia and elsewhere, particularly when it came to writing.

There are a lot of challenges around writing: the difficulty of learning a skill so complex that the greatest achievement is to make it look simple, the often solitary pursuit of improvement, and “overnight success” that is usually anything but. Kameron Hurley, author of God’s War, has an essay about this topic today on Chuck Wendig’s site. She sums it up well:

Persistence, I realized, was not the end goal. It was the actual game.

Now, I argue for a balanced approach to writing or whatever your project may be, and I’m too attached to my family and my health to sacrifice them in the hopes that will make me a better writer. For me, the opposite is true; strength in one area translates into strength in others. If, as my ever-wise father says, you are willing to persist. That note rings loud and true.

For more on Kameron’s experiences and her long journey to (and eventual redefinition of) “success,” read the full essay here.

Then whatever it is you are working on, finish it.

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