books

Successes Were Had

Last week I looked at the mistakes I’ve made in publishing, and this week I wanted to celebrate five things I’ve done right in the five years I’ve been publishing.

  1. Read the fine print
    Always read your contracts very carefully, kids. Protect your rights. This goes for book contracts, and also for classes, pattern sales, or articles sold to magazines or other publications. The last thing you want is someone splashing your work around making bank on it while you’re at home eating ramen and using the cat as a bed warmer.
  2. Connect
    Community can be hard, especially for introverts like me. But I made a point of connecting to other writers through blogs, and then through Twitter and now Discord. Make friends with people who are a step ahead of head of you so you can learn from them, and also people who haven’t reached your level yet. We get further when we help each other, and as the saying goes, if you really want to learn about a subject, teach it.
    These connections are the reason I have my favorite editors, cover artist, and critique partners. They’re way I present every year at Steampunk Symposium, and how I’ve met amazing friends.
  3. Research changes
    I get most of my news about publishing from Twitter, and I make a point of researching things like rights changes on Amazon, or new platforms for selling books, or classes that people are talking about. I’m not tech savvy, but at least being aware of where the market is heading, even if you choose not to follow in that moment, is hugely beneficial.
  4. Avoid drama
    Again, back to Twitter–there is always drama. Someone wrote something offensive. Someone lost a contract. I stay out of the drama. I’ve always been more of an observer, anyway, but keeping an eye on things as they happen is important–just don’t stick your foot in it, especially if no one is asking for your opinion in the first place.
  5. Experiment
    I’ve tried a lot of things in the last five years. Hand selling at a few different venues (win), offering classes (that’s a fail, mainly because I started doing it right before Covid), working with a few different publishing and selling platforms (Gumroad is easy to use, Etsy is a PITA. Ingram isn’t worth the fees). I’m trying to work on expanding my Patreon, and I have other changes in the works. Don’t be afraid to try different things, and to stick with the ones that work for you. You don’t have to do everything and you’ll never be all things to all people, but you can find what works for you.

What have you learned in the last five years? Is there something on this list you want to know more about?


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1 thought on “Successes Were Had”

  1. You make some good points.
    I learned that early retirement is much nicer than work, but for the past 2 years I’m busier than when I worked!

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