You've sold enough copies that you can write full time, but is that really what you want? Author Sarah Dalton Explains All

This weekend is my little man's birthday party which means....GUEST BLOG POST and this one is a treat.

Sarah Dalton is the author of the Amazon bestselling Blemished series and she agreed to shell out some tips along with the details of what exactly happens when you reach bestselling status and get to quit your day job.  Is it as sweet as it sounds?  Read on to find out. 


Release, release, release!!

So when I first started dipping my toe into the frightening waters (filled with sharks) that are writer critique forums, one of the first pieces of advice I heard was to write your book, then shelve it for three months before you even read it.

Three months.
 
When I think back to when I first started writing it feels like a luxury to be able to sit on work for that long. Now that I’m self-publishing my books, I don’t have that opportunity. What I do have, is a pressure and a drive to release books as soon as I can.

The best marketing advice you can give a self-published author is to write a long series of books with the same characters and release one book at least every three months. We’ve seen time and time again how this has worked well for ebook sales. Readers are hungry for books. It could be because of the wealth of sharing on the internet, but it feels like people are reading more books than ever before. With self-publishing and ebooks, it feels like people are publishing books faster than ever before. And they probably are, because there’s no longer any need to wait for a publisher to find time in their schedule to organise your release.

Now, I’m going to skip over the issue about quality. There are many writers out there who absolutely cannot get their head around the concept that someone can write a good book in a month. They are adamant about it. Well, I say, as long as the readers are happy with the books they are getting, then live and let live. Enjoyment is subjective. Quality is a measure that constantly changes. I’m not here to judge. I’m here to tell you how it feels from a slow writer’s perspective.

Actually, I’m not that slow. I managed to release two full length novels, three novellas and write 60k during NaNoWriMo last year. I did all that with a part-time job. In October, I packed in my part-time job to work full-time as a self-published author. It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. As soon as I began to out earn my job, my resignation letter was written, and I dreamed of writing entire books in little more than a month.
 
But somehow it hasn’t happened that way. In some respects, I write less than I did before. The reason is, now I have to think of 
 
Now, I’m going to skip over the issue about quality. There are many writers out there who absolutely cannot get their head around the concept that someone can write a good book in a month. They are adamant about it. Well, I say, as long as the readers are happy with the books they are getting, then live and let live. Enjoyment is subjective. Quality is a measure that constantly changes. I’m not here to judge. I’m here to tell you how it feels from a slow writer’s perspective.

Actually, I’m not that slow. I managed to release two full length novels, three novellas and write 60k during NaNoWriMo last year. I did all that with a part-time job. In October, I packed in my part-time job to work full-time as a self-published author. It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. As soon as I began to out earn my job, my resignation letter was written, and I dreamed of writing entire books in little more than a month. 

But somehow it hasn’t happened that way. In some respects, I write less than I did before. The reason is, now I have to think of my writing as a business, and I need to expand my business. So for the last few months I’ve been working with other authors on projects, building social media and mailing list connections, turning my Facebook page into a place for fans to interact with me. It takes up a LOT of time.

There goes my dreams of writing at least four novels this year.
 
I’m a bad planner. I would love to be the kind of person who can set out a publishing schedule for myself—to sit down and decide which months I will write which books—but I can’t. I start one book and then BAM! a great idea for something else. I’m also one of those people who can’t concentrate unless they have done something about that idea, which means breaking from one project to work on another. Then I try to pretend like I’d organised it that way the whole time. Oh, yeah, I always meant to start a brand new series before I finished the last one, that’s just how I roll…

The advice about quick releases is correct. There is a good chance you will sell more books that way. But you need to find what works best for you. I’ve broken lots of pieces of advice. I genre hop within YA. I write books to the length I want them to be, rather than trying to stretch them into something more sellable. I use covers that stand out rather than imitate. I write what I feel like writing. I think I’ve been lucky so far. I’ve had other people take a chance on me. You might do too, but you won’t get there with a book you don’t care about.

Sometimes you need to shake off that pressure. Sometimes, you need to reignite your love for writing. Write what you love today, not what you should be writing. The deadline can wait until tomorrow.

 

 
Sarah Dalton is the author of the Amazon bestselling Blemished series, the Amazon bestselling novella My Daylight Monsters and the brand new YA fantasy series White Hart. She lives in Sheffield with her partner and splits her time between writing, playing around creating book covers, and watching teen TV. She should probably be in the gym right now…

 

Find out more from Sarah on her blog: http://sarahdaltonbooks.com/
Join her mailing list to hear about new releases first: http://eepurl.com/GAHrr