I’ve been doing a segment on this blog for the past nine months or so called Transparency in Indie Publishing. In these posts I discuss sales counts and royalty earnings, I analyze the data and I make decisions on what my next move will be. I also make a few predictions.
My reason for doing this was simple: to help other writers. I figured if they could see what I was doing based on the data I had available it might help them make their own decisions. I think anecdotal information can be useful, provided it’s not take as gospel and is tempered with other data.
Unfortunately talking about sales can come off as either bragging or whining. I’m purposely doing neither, but interpretation is up to the reader. I can only hope that some found the information useful or inspiring.
That said, I’ve decided to shelve this segment of the blog for the foreseeable future. I’m heading into nearly a year of self-publishing and I’ve provided more data that I think most indies ever would. These posts will remain for posterity. I think it provides a good picture of what can happen when one indie writer gets lucky. It shows potential, in real-life numbers, which I still contend is valuable.
But I don’t want to focus on sales counts or money so much anymore. My wife and I have been relying on this income to help pay the bills for the past five or six months which has caused me to focus on the numbers more than I normally would. In three months we’ll no longer need this income to pay our monthly bills, after which all royalties will funnel directly into savings.
I’m a full-time programmer. That’s my day job and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. You know what? I’m just fine with that. I really enjoy the day job and I make good money. By focusing so much on the book sales these past six months or so, I’ve been ignoring the main focus of why I write in the first place.
The reason I like having an enjoyable day job is because it frees me from having to rely solely on royalties to survive. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (and I’d love to be able to do it), but having the day job is a safety net. I can enjoy my life every day and then come home and work on whatever the hell I want. Whatever project strikes my fancy I’ll work on it, whether it’ll sell or not. That’s a very nice place to be and I think this blog should focus more on that reality.
I’ll still talk about sales sometimes, but I’m not going to focus on it. In my situation I don’t have to. I think it’s now more timely and valuable to talk about how writing makes me happy in the hopes that it might inspire others to focus more on their happiness. I’m not saying I have the secret to happiness for everyone, but my anecdotal information might be valuable.
Maybe I’ll call my new series Happiness in Indie Publishing. I doubt it’ll follow any kind of regular schedule, just here and there when the urge strikes.
After all, when your life is at its end and you think back on it, are you going to remember how much money you had or how happy you were?