Author Topic: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money  (Read 11677 times)  

Offline KevinH

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2016, 03:46:44 PM »
Congrats on your success! This was an inspirational post!

Offline eastwest97

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #76 on: September 06, 2016, 03:31:02 AM »
Like everyone else has written; thank you for taking the time to inspire us all!  Congratulations and wishing you much more success!

Offline Mare

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #77 on: September 06, 2016, 04:31:57 AM »
Thank you , Rosalind, for sharing with us here on KBoards. Anytime a person gets to do what they love day after day and get paid for doing itthey are wildly successfully. Congratulations! You give me courage to continue writing the stories I like to write.

I listened to you in an interview and liked what you said as well as what you write.  ;)

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #78 on: September 08, 2016, 06:38:04 PM »
Just a boost to get this great thread in front of new readers

Offline Lizzie G

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #79 on: September 08, 2016, 06:49:26 PM »
I haven't posted in quite awhile but I'm still a constant lurker :) I have always loved your posts and the humble way you carry yourself despite your success. And yes- you are big time! I love so many things about this post, but the picture was my favorite. The notebooks...the books...those are the things I love most in this world. Congratulations!

Elizabeth Garrison

Offline Sever Bronny

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #80 on: September 08, 2016, 09:59:11 PM »
Congratulations, Rosalind. Well done indeed :)

Offline AgnesWebb

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #81 on: September 08, 2016, 10:34:51 PM »
Rosalind, THANK YOU for your endless generosity with sharing your journey!!! Inspirational. And congrats on your hard-earned mil!

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #82 on: September 08, 2016, 10:48:21 PM »


I should say that I haven't understood until recently what it was about my books that was unique to me, or maybe I should say "branded to me," or whatever, since nothing I do is actually "unique." What combination of things made my books a "Rosalind James" book. I just wrote them. Over the years, though, I've gathered enough from reviews, emails, editors, other authors, etc. to sort of figure that out.


Lovely story Ros. I think the above can be boiled down to voice. YOu have found your author voice--that thing that's unique to YOU.

I also write what I love and not to trend, but I've been lucky. The books I read and write are in hot genres. So although I don't write space opera or my urban fantasy to a trend, it happens to be IN one! haha. I have been going since 2001 and have written only half as much as you. You're a dynamo! How others write 10 a year I will never understand.

Keep it up. I love success.

PS: Being rich isn't a goal for me either. I love my life and what I do. That's what's important. We all have a certain amount of time on Earth, and at the end I want to look back and say "I did that. I didn't shy away." I saw a photo the other day on Facebook. One of those meme things. It said, "Time is limited. Buy the damn boat!"

Offline MicaK

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #83 on: September 08, 2016, 10:59:03 PM »
Congratulations to you, Rosalind. I so appreciate your clear thoughts on writing and your generosity in sharing all of this with all of us here. I wish you much continued success!

Offline TheNovel Factory

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #84 on: September 09, 2016, 04:10:56 AM »

Really inspiring - thanks for sharing.


I'm still struggling to accept that doing it my way probably means never cracking the really big time. I'll say I want to, but I'll start that new series anyway. Because I don't need a million dollars a year. I NEED the creative fulfillment of meeting that challenge, of pushing that new boundary, of writing in first person or writing a mystery that really works. Whatever it is.


As far as I'm concerned earning almost $1.5 million in four years is cracking a pretty big time : )


The Novel Factory - Write faster, write better. http://www.novel-software.com

Offline BellaJames

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #85 on: September 13, 2016, 01:59:45 AM »
Congratulations Rosalind. I personally love these inspirational stories.

I recently read your 'what worked for me' post on your blog. Do you think a new author could launch with half of your success if they followed your method today? Or have things changed too much in self-publishing and on Amazon?



Offline Bbates024

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #86 on: September 13, 2016, 08:16:27 AM »
Love it, I'd say a 500k year and a million dollars in the bank speaks for itself that what you are doing works for you. I wouldn't change a thing.

Congrats on the success, and I always see you on the forums willing to help others. That is pretty darn nice.

It's exciting for me to see other authors having success as I try and climb the mountain. I know it's out there and every day, every word, I feel like I get a little bit closer. :-)

Offline MarcyLooWho

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #87 on: September 13, 2016, 08:37:33 AM »
Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your success - but most importantly that you found something you LOVE. My story is by far much smaller-scale, but I also found my love for writing unexpectedly and without any training, and at a later age. May you love the next 20 books, and the following 20 after that!  :)

M. Lauryl Lewis | Run. The dead have risen.

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #88 on: September 13, 2016, 09:56:50 AM »
Congratulations Rosalind. I personally love these inspirational stories.

I recently read your 'what worked for me' post on your blog. Do you think a new author could launch with half of your success if they followed your method today? Or have things changed too much in self-publishing and on Amazon?



I don't know. I was surprised it worked for ME. I think Russell Blake's blog post is better overall advice.

http://russellblake.com/how-to-sell-loads-of-books/

I don't do things the same as Russell, but his general points are common-sense, direct, and pretty darned accurate from where I sit.

I think the best post I myself have done is the "How to be hooky" one, partly because a lot of other people chimed in and offered valuable insight. It's so important to be hooky, to keep people turning the page. Your beginning gets them reading. Your middle has to KEEP them reading, and your ending has to get them to want the next book. All that is a skill, and you can get better at it. I know because I've been working hard at it for the past year, and I can tell I'm better at it now.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,228998.0.html

Russell wrote something like this, too--how to write a page turner.
http://russellblake.com/writing-a-page-turner/

I think those posts are probably more useful than the "marketing" parts of mine--besides the cover, title, blurb parts, which I DO think would still work. Covers, blurbs, genre, and titles aren't going anywhere as the most important elements of success (edited to add: besides the book. The book's the main thing, the dealbreaker.) Here's my blurb post for anybody who wants it:

http://www.rosalindjames.com/how-to-write-a-romance-blurb/

Hope those help.



« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 10:45:38 AM by Rosalind J »

Online Becca Mills

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #89 on: September 13, 2016, 10:19:37 AM »
Don't change a thing, Rosalind. I have a feeling you're a major role model for many of us!  :-*




Offline Abigail Stark

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2016, 05:44:47 AM »
Absolutely inspiring, and completely deserved. I love your books!
"Give the reader what they want, just not the way they expect it." --William Goldman

Offline Anne R. Tan

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #91 on: September 14, 2016, 07:04:14 AM »
Thank you for writing this Rosalind. Your success is much deserved.

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Offline SA_Soule

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #92 on: September 14, 2016, 11:41:00 AM »
After reading this post, I am reminded not to give up on my dreams. Thank you, Rosalind! You're an inspiration to the writing community.

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #93 on: September 14, 2016, 12:42:27 PM »
Sooo amazing. I want to be you if I ever grow up ;) only in a different genre - ha.

Congrats. I love your success <3

TMG

Offline Lora_Richardson

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #94 on: September 14, 2016, 01:38:39 PM »
Thank you for sharing your story!  I love seeing all your books laid out like that.  What an inspiration!

Lora Richardson

Offline matthewsylvester

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #95 on: September 14, 2016, 02:10:48 PM »

On September 1, 2012, I held my breath and pushed the KDP "Publish" button for the first time, and sent off my first three books into the world.

I had never read a craft book or taken a writing class. My first book was my first fiction. I started writing it, and it just--boom. Felt like I'd found what I was born to do, 50 years AFTER I was born. I thought the books were pretty good, but, man, I really had no idea.

Boy, was I nervous. I just prayed I wouldn't crash and burn, and hoped in my wildest dreams that I'd make back my $1,400 investment by Christmas.

It took 10 days.

So it's been four years. In that time, I've written 20 books (about 2 million words in all--average length about 100K). I've sold (or had borrowed) about 700,000 books in ebook, audio, German ebook, and print (very few there!). I've made $1.43 million dollars [edited; I added wrong], and in 2016, for the first time, I should crack the $500K/year mark. This past year, I wrote 600,000 edited words--another personal record.

So--yeah. That's not bad. And yet...and yet. I still compare myself to other, better-selling authors all the time. I still hear that it's much more profitable to write 50K or 70K books, which I could get out there every month or six weeks, instead of every two and a half or three months. I still hear advice about studying the market and dissecting books and writing to trend, and wonder, "Should I do that?"

And still...what I actually DO, always, is write exactly what I want to write. I still need a few weeks between books to think up the new one. I still write in three or four subgenres in romance instead of sticking to one thing, with not always optimal results sales-wise. I still jump around in series instead of dancing with the one what brung me. I still write 2K to 8K a day instead of 10K, because I edit extremely heavily as I go, and I go back over and over my work to polish it. I'm a little faster than I used to be--writing a 100K book still takes about six weeks, as it did from the start, but editing has gone from a month to a week. But I don't use any techniques to get faster. I'm still in Select and not wide. I've still never put a nekkid manchest on one of my covers.

Basically, "artist me" wins every time. (Though I feel pretty uncomfortable with that "artist" label--call it "craftsman me.") What I want above all else is to learn and grow and try new things and take risks, as uncomfortable and scary as it is. Fortunately, I have some readers who will read me across subgenres and series, and my sales stay fairly steady over time; my early books still sell. So--it's a different way to "do" a career, but it's not bad.

I'm still struggling to accept that doing it my way probably means never cracking the really big time. I'll say I want to, but I'll start that new series anyway. Because I don't need a million dollars a year. I NEED the creative fulfillment of meeting that challenge, of pushing that new boundary, of writing in first person or writing a mystery that really works. Whatever it is.

I think my way "works," inasmuch as it does, because I do understand at a fundamental level what readers in my genre are reading for. It's not really "about" billionaires, stepbrothers, bear shifters, rock stars, or motorcycle guys. (Which is lucky for me.) It's about escape, and fun, and above all else, emotion. It's about believing in these people, feeling with these people. It's about being taken for a ride, even if that's not a bumpy rollercoaster one (I tend to write at the lower-drama end of the scale).

There are lots of readers out there. Figure out what your genre's readers really want, underneath the surface trappings, and satisfy that need. You might never hit seven figures a year, but maybe you'll get to spend a few months in New Zealand every year. And that's pretty nice.

Wow, if I achieve even 10% of that I'll be very, very happy indeed! Congratulations and I hope you continue to do what you love!

Offline BellaJames

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #96 on: September 14, 2016, 10:53:14 PM »

Rosalind, Thank you for those links. I read Russell's post and listened to one of his recent interviews. Very knowledgable and giving man.

I like the method of releasing more than 1 book at the same time because I look at my reading habits and I pay attention to what my 'friends' on Goodreads are doing and we read fast. When I find an author I like/love/want to read every single thing they've ever written, I wish they had several books that I could just buy and read all together, especially if I'm going travelling and want lots of waiting room and on the plane reading material. I don't watch much TV too and I prefer to read.

Offline CrissyM

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #97 on: September 15, 2016, 12:04:55 AM »
20 books in 4 years. That sounds awe inspiring to me.

Speculative fiction with heart.
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Offline angela65

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #98 on: September 15, 2016, 04:56:55 AM »
As always, thanks again Rosalind, for the motivation and inspiration. And congratulations!

Offline Jedi Reach

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Re: 4 years, 20 books, $1.43 million, 700,000 sold: Writing for love & money
« Reply #99 on: September 15, 2016, 05:10:35 AM »
Great for you, but this isn't that helpful. Yeah, we get it, you write for your specific sub-genre audience. That's cool, but what else do you do? How are you managing your email lists? What tactics do you use to bring in your audience? Are you successful straight through Amazon only? Do you avoid promotion companies? Are you saying you just published specific genre based books and got lucky? Seriously, what are you doing? Make this post actually helpful. Right now it's just like 'yeah, I did it and I didn't even need to sell out.'

Cool. I guess?

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