There is nothing better than getting email from a reader saying “I just picked up your book and I can’t put it down!” Except perhaps the same email arriving while eating a big bowl of peanut butter yogurt with Reece’s cups. I woke up to one of those emails this morning and it totally made me grin like an idiot all the way through the boring staff meeting. Well, okay, I admit it, that my grin was exacerbated by fantasies of giving my boss two week’s notice because I had accepted a large, 6 figure advance for Red. Really that apoplectic look was so gratifying…
I’ve been spending a lot of time in fantasy land the last few weeks, even before the development of acquiring Magnificent Laurie McLean as my agent last week. I was sitting in my annual review with my boss and having her look rather pityingly at me and suggesting that I really ought to be working on some more professional development stuff and pick up a few memberships in some professional organizations. When I told her several years ago that I had no intention of being a career scientist, she asked what I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to write for a living. She looked at me like I’d announced I wanted to be a professional belly dancer. So the fact that I’ve done quite a bit on professional development in THAT quadrant over the last few years really wasn’t gonna impress her or be relevant to the conversation. She has, no doubt, completely forgotten about my ever saying I didn’t want to be a professional scientist (read: her flunkie and minion) forever. Hence my jaunt into fantasy land.
But here’s the thing. As I’ve moved forward on my chosen career path, made these successes with self-publishing, those fantasies have moved out of total pipe dream territory and into the realm of the possible. In some cases, even the PROBABLE. It may not happen as fast as I’d like (i.e. by the end of this year), but I fully believe that I will be quitting my evil day job in the next 3 years. With Laurie’s help, maybe sooner. I cannot tell you how intoxicating a thought that is. This is something I’ve been waiting for my WHOLE LIFE. And it is WITHIN MY GRASP because I dared to be a mushroom-eater and strike out with self-publishing.
So if you’re considering it, or even if you haven’t up to now, I suggest you take a little time to educate yourself about the process, the industry from people who are already making a living doing this. Zoe Winters. Amanda Hocking. Joe Konrath. Karen McQuestion. L.J. Sellers. You’ll find much more relevant and accurate information from THEM than from all the naysayers in traditional publishing who are only interested in bashing what they feel threatened by. They’re not flukes. They’re not outliers. They are professionals. And in the end, that’s what we should all aspire to be.