Author Topic: What makes a 100k author?  (Read 43557 times)  

Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #175 on: June 13, 2017, 02:30:11 PM »
I'm kind of glad that I was such an idiot when I started. I meandered into everything and learned as I went. Sometimes I did something good. More often than not I did something boneheaded. I didn't know about Kboards until I was already making 7K a month. I didn't know about any Facebook groups until long after that. Heck, I didn't even advertise for the first time until I was almost three years in to this endeavor. I made a ton of errors (some I'm stuck with forever) but learned and improved from there.
I do think it's more difficult to get a foothold these days. I also think it's more difficult to keep what you've worked so hard to accomplish. It's a different world, a different publishing landscape. This is one of those workplaces where you have to adapt or die. Those willing to adapt, like Annie, succeed. Those who refuse don't. One thing I do notice is that those who constantly blame outside forces and focus on things they can't control, they're the ones who can't seem to move forward.
That doesn't mean people aren't making huge breakthroughs. Look at Sarah Denzil with Silent Child. She knocked it out of the park this year and hit number one in the entire store -- and stayed there for some time. She published in January and is still number 28 in the store, and that's after moving her price to $2.99. Anni Taylor did amazing things with The Game You Played last year. It's not impossible to hit it big. It's not impossible to find amazing success. It is work, though. Pointing fingers at other authors and saying "you had it easy" isn't going to help.
Put in the work, be willing to adapt, study the market. Will you absolutely hit if you do all of those things? No. You have a much better shot, though.

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #176 on: June 13, 2017, 02:34:08 PM »
I remember my biggest moment of "why not me?" which became the seed for me to finally stop doing the things that had failed me over and over. It was a post by Courtney Milan, I believe (I tried to find it, but I didn't bookmark it and I might be miss-remembering who posted it but it was a long-timer here).  In it, she detailed stages of self-publishing success. Stage 0 was where I was at... trying to get any sales at all, scrabbling in the 200k+ rankings, no mailing list to speak of etc. Stage 1 was consistently getting a sale or two a day, mailing list is building, but nobody knows who you are yet. It went on from there. I remember it because she talked about how the hardest thing is to get from stage 0 to stage 1 and stage 1 to stage 2, and that going up from there was much easier because you would finally have a foundation.

That was the beginning of waking up, for me. A few other things happened at the same time (I learned some hard truths about people I had trusted the advice of etc) that propelled me to stop wondering "why are they so special? why  not me? Don't I work hard enough?" and start thinking about how I could do things differently. Start looking at what those who had the success I wanted were doing. Getting from nowhere to somewhere seemed impossible still,  but I had a map, a blueprint built off tons of helpful blog posts and posts right here on Kboards that showed me a path I hadn't taken.

This whole post is great. Thank you for posting.

Offline Craig Andrews

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #177 on: June 13, 2017, 02:52:07 PM »

That was the beginning of waking up, for me. A few other things happened at the same time (I learned some hard truths about people I had trusted the advice of etc) that propelled me to stop wondering "why are they so special? why  not me? Don't I work hard enough?" and start thinking about how I could do things differently. Start looking at what those who had the success I wanted were doing. Getting from nowhere to somewhere seemed impossible still,  but I had a map, a blueprint built off tons of helpful blog posts and posts right here on Kboards that showed me a path I hadn't taken.

Anyway, I'm typing out a novel here... but obviously I took a different path, copied a lot of the things I saw actual successful people doing, and got out of stage 0 (I jumped right over stage 1, too, I think, ha).

I guess the TLDR of this is: Many of us who are making 100k or more from our fiction writing were not doing so just a few years ago. Many of us struggled and wondered "why them? Why not me?"  Wallowing in that frustration doesn't help. If you want what someone else has, look at how they got it. I promise, the keys are there.  I don't want to go into the "talent" argument, but you won't know if you have what it takes until you try and if what you are doing isn't getting the results you want, stop doing that and try something different, even if it is scary. The great thing about being at the bottom of the mountain is that you have nowhere to fall, right? :)

This, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the best posts I've ever read on Kboards. I've read through this thread multiple times, and it's littered with excuse after excuse (man, that word has a negative connotation, doesn't it?), petty comments, backhanded compliments, and subtle insults that are driving me up a wall. Instead of getting down on myself and making excuses for why I don't spend more hours a week on my writing (married, two young kids, demanding job, etc.), I read the article and looked at it as a positive. I took heart in knowing that I accomplished what I've accomplished working only 5-10 hours a week. This article, like Courtney's post did for you, laid out a simple framework for how I can achieve future success. Everyone will take something different from the data, but for me, it was as easy as realizing that sometimes it's as simple as working more hours.

Offline MSimms

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #178 on: June 13, 2017, 05:59:54 PM »
I've been reading a lot of Nicholas Erik's ultimate marketing guide, combined with this thread and it got me to crunching numbers.

His recommendation for a full-timer is 4+, 60,000+ word releases per year.  I've seen it thrown around in the threads that the more releases above 4, the more likely you are to achieve sustainable full-time income, and perhaps eventually approach 100k.

The assumptions I used below reflect Nicholas recommendation and what I imagine a hypothetically imagined reasonable person might look like. I know my own speed is faster, so I use different numbers in my calculations. - I know some will be slower, or want to write longer books, so that would change things too. Regardless: Based on a reasonable speed, and using Nicolas' advice as a benchmark, a weekend writer could approach the "draft word" output required to generate full-time income with consistent effort.

What is very striking to me is that "full-timers" should be able to output staggering numbers of words in a year with consistent daily output. - I come from a world where billable time is tracked by the 0.1 of an hour, and I think that effects the way I look at time and tracking.



I also put together a hypothetical contrast putting the provocatively named "5,000 words per hour" into the model. I hope Mr. Fox takes this in the spirit it's intended (I'm a fan!) if he happens to see it:



As much as it seems ridiculous. - In order for him to complete Destroyer in the 21 day novel challenge it would have had to come in under that 2.4 weeks to complete draft.

I'd also go out on a limb and say that 5000 words per hour is not sustainable, but could it be when you only have to write like that for an hour each day? Or maybe 2500 / hr for 2 hours each day?

My images and paragraphs wandered a bit above, so:

TL:DR Overall my intention was to show that, when I broke down the words necessary to be a 100k author. Looking at some of the underlying variables that are going to affect those words. I found that many different styles of commitment to daily writing, speed, and length can produce the raw output necessary to become a successful author. - It filled me with excitement.

So far I'm 5,000 words in to my outlined project, and I'm learning more every day here.

Offline Nic

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #179 on: June 13, 2017, 06:01:50 PM »
And some bit of fun fluff sells like hotcakes. So I guess I've learned to not feel like writing fun fluff is "stooping"; it is in fact exactly what people want. I will certainly be banking the money pen name is earning so I can spend more writing the things I love when/if she burns out, though...

Of course it does. Anything geared to the taste of the masses, be it Big Macs or pulp fiction, will sell in masses, as long as it meets the most basic criteria. I wonder what will happen to many the moment that machine-written books get out of the uncanny valley. I'm rather sure of Amazon already working on something like this. They have all the data.

Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #180 on: June 13, 2017, 06:06:15 PM »
...But two months ago I was reading a romance book that I really enjoyed. Couldn't find much else quite like it to read...

I found this to be the most interesting part of this quote.  There wasn't much like it (undiscovered niche?) and writing one similar resulted in huge amount of sales.  Maybe an untapped market?  Don't suppose you want to share the name of said author? :)

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Offline Jenny Schwartz

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #181 on: June 13, 2017, 06:44:56 PM »
Annie B - I remember Courtney's post. Thanks for the reminder - and your own great post just now.

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Offline Crystal_

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #182 on: June 13, 2017, 07:05:42 PM »
That's not really talent, though, is it? I've seen some folks who can act their ass off and do great at auditions, but utterly stink up the joint once they're on stage. I think that's more a confidence thing.

More than talent, I think a writer wanting a career out of writing needs to be persistent, patient, and be willing to constantly learn. Self-confidence doesn't hurt, either. No one owes us a living from writing. We have to each go and get it.

Showmanship is a skill. Go to some local shows and check out tiny, new bands then go see a band who's been around for awhile. Alt rock is not known for its showmanship, but there's still a difference.

I think it's a good metaphor. To be an indie author you need skill with your pen (instrument) and you need to be able to package and marketing your book right (showmanship).

Hopeless. Colleen Hoover.

As for me? I sold 2,000 books at $3.99 each my first month with no marketing, just setting the first book free for 3 days. My stuff kept getting picked up by various bloggers and things after that. Yeah, BookBub picked me up. When you do well and your stuff looks good, people pick you up.

You talked about doing "no marketing." I did no marketing. I set the book free, and BookBub picked it up. That can happen when you have a hooky cover and title and blurb and good reviews.


I have to disagree with you, Rosalind. A hooky book is not enough, because no one can get hooked if no one can see your books​. You need visibility somehow. I know bc I've launched books with no visibility and had them DOA then seen a huge turnaround once I started pushing traffic they way. It be organic visibility via Amazon, but that is easier to come by in certain gets and for certain people. It's harder to come by more and more. Does that mean people who stayed publishing four years ago are lucky? Are people in less crowded genres luckier? Are people who's genres get swarmed after a KU change (say ask the erotica writers moving into sexy romance and categorizing as NA after KU 2.0) unlucky? I don't know. It doesn't really matter. But there's certainly an element of luck in visibility.

Offline Rosalind J

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #183 on: June 13, 2017, 07:20:50 PM »
Showmanship is a skill. Go to some local shows and check out tiny, new bands then go see a band who's been around for awhile. Alt rock is not known for its showmanship, but there's still a difference.

I think it's a good metaphor. To be an indie author you need skill with your pen (instrument) and you need to be able to package and marketing your book right (showmanship).

I have to disagree with you, Rosalind. A hooky book is not enough, because no one can get hooked if no one can see your books​. You need visibility somehow. I know bc I've launched books with no visibility and had them DOA then seen a huge turnaround once I started pushing traffic they way. It be organic visibility via Amazon, but that is easier to come by in certain gets and for certain people. It's harder to come by more and more. Does that mean people who stayed publishing four years ago are lucky? Are people in less crowded genres luckier? Are people who's genres get swarmed after a KU change (say ask the erotica writers moving into sexy romance and categorizing as NA after KU 2.0) unlucky? I don't know. It doesn't really matter. But there's certainly an element of luck in visibility.
But you see, I didn't so much write a hooky book. I wrote a hooky concept. I knew it was hooky. That's why I wrote it. And you could call my niche uncrowded. You could call it ZERO other people writing it. A few people are now, but it's a hard thing to know well enough to write it.

That's the thing I take credit for. I wasn't "lucky" that I chose to write that. I wrote that because I knew it was a killer concept for a romance novel, strong enough to overcome my first-book mistakes. And then I wrote a couple more of those books, because it turned out to be as cool a concept as I'd thought. I knew that even before I published. I knew it when I quit the day job two weeks into starting to write my first fiction. I'm NEVER sure of anything. But I knew this.

I realize that's hindsight, but it's the only time in my whole life when I've been confident like that, and I'm turning 58. And I was right. I sold my first book a half hour or so after I uploaded it to Amazon, and to say I had "no platform" is to put it mildly. I had one Facebook "fan." My best friend. So that--I do take credit for that. That wasn't luck.   

I don't think I'll ever be a gigantic seller, quite honestly. I'm a good writer with a strong voice, and I tell stories some readers enjoy. But I write a little quirky, I write too long, I have no future book ideas, and I don't write that fast. I don't write any 5,000 words an hour. On a great day, like today, when I'm almost at the end of a book, I write 5,000 words a day. I write about four or five long novels a year and pray that the next novel will show up, and that's not the blueprint for indie success in romance.

But I do fine. There are all sorts of "successful" levels at this, as others have pointed out, from whatever-a-year-works-to-make-life-better all the way up to . . . whatever the top is. What I love about this job is that I get to use all of my brain and all of my heart to do it. It's the only thing I can say that about. And yes, it's enabled me to have a better life, and to make a better life for others. But it's also allowed me to share what used to be my silly romantic daydreams, the ones I'd never have imagined could possibly be "books," with people who really enjoy the escape. That's what I like second best, after the satisfaction of writing. That's plenty.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 08:35:42 PM by Rosalind J »

Offline LondonCalling

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #184 on: June 13, 2017, 09:16:14 PM »
Now I'm conflicted as to continue with my low-budget self or break out my credit card on editors and covers.

 :-\

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #185 on: June 13, 2017, 09:24:28 PM »
Showmanship is a skill. Go to some local shows and check out tiny, new bands then go see a band who's been around for awhile. Alt rock is not known for its showmanship, but there's still a difference.

I think it's a good metaphor. To be an indie author you need skill with your pen (instrument) and you need to be able to package and marketing your book right (showmanship).

I have to disagree with you, Rosalind. A hooky book is not enough, because no one can get hooked if no one can see your books​. You need visibility somehow. I know bc I've launched books with no visibility and had them DOA then seen a huge turnaround once I started pushing traffic they way. It be organic visibility via Amazon, but that is easier to come by in certain gets and for certain people. It's harder to come by more and more. Does that mean people who stayed publishing four years ago are lucky? Are people in less crowded genres luckier? Are people who's genres get swarmed after a KU change (say ask the erotica writers moving into sexy romance and categorizing as NA after KU 2.0) unlucky? I don't know. It doesn't really matter. But there's certainly an element of luck in visibility.

FWIW, I agree with you there. Initial visibility, to me, comes either by luck or by marketing skills. You can have the best book in the world, the hookiest, can't-put-it-down book ever, but if you don't have visibility, you're not selling. At least, in the crowded genres, that's true. Once you get eyeballs on the book, then it's all on the book - the voice, the concept, the whatever. If the book sucks, visibility isn't going to help. If the book is great, then you have a foothold. But to get those initial eyeballs on the book...I just don't see how you're going to do it unless you market or you have a dose of pixie dust somehow.

Sometimes I think that the whole concept of luck gets misconstrued - like if you dare say that luck plays a part, you're saying that success is all luck, which it's not. Success is hard work and talent and a strong voice and all of that. But to get the INITIAL eyeballs on your work - yeah, I do think that luck plays a part.

I've said it before, and I still believe it's true - to get traction in today's market, you either have to get on the promo treadmill or the writing treadmill or get the pixie dust. I've managed to get visibility by switching to a less-crowded genre, combined with making all my books a pre-order that gets traction before the release, combined with producing a book a month. Unfortunately, I'm going on vacation in July, so July will be my first month in awhile that I don't have a new release. I fully expect everything to come crashing to a screeching halt in July because of it. I guess them's the breaks.... :)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 09:30:16 PM by anniejocoby »

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Online Jim Johnson

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #186 on: June 13, 2017, 09:48:45 PM »
I'd also go out on a limb and say that 5000 words per hour is not sustainable, but could it be when you only have to write like that for an hour each day? Or maybe 2500 / hr for 2 hours each day?

I doubt there are many writers typing 5000 words an hour consistently. I'm sure there are some that can write 80+ words per minute, but not a lot. I think the writers seeing that sort of regular hourly output are using dication software, and my hat's off to them. I've tried dictating and I can't quite grok it to make it work.

Math is fun. Dean Wesley Smith's math posts are always worth looking at from a productivity standpoint. 4x 60k novels a year is a paltry 250k words a year, less than 700 words a day. I write 1300-1500 words in an average 30 minute sprint. So to hit that goal, I'd have to work less than half an hour a day, every day. Or take weekends off and work a little longer (but still less than an hour).

Shoot, if I did just one writing sprint a day, 1400 words, I'd cross the half-million mark in a year. That's five beefy 100k novels or a bunch of smaller works. I've hit a million+ words the last two years, so this goal is easily attainable for me. Other writers work faster and harder, others work slower. It's all maths. :) Find the sweet spot that works for you, project ahead, and write fearlessly.

Offline CynthiaClay

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #187 on: June 13, 2017, 10:01:48 PM »
"Titus Andronicus" notwithstanding, though I guess he was writing to market with that one. :D

Oh I hate Titus Andronicus! Macbeth was written to market; that is, it was written to please the new king who was from Scotland, believed in witches and magic, and had an ancestor named MacDuff. It did the trick, too. The Lord Admiral's Men became the King James' Men. Pretty much all the Bard's plays were written to market and were rewrites of other's work.

I love this thread. Not only does it inspire me, it gives me ideas for more books. So thank you everyone!

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Online Jim Johnson

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #188 on: June 13, 2017, 10:05:55 PM »
Oh I hate Titus Andronicus! Macbeth was written to market; that is, it was written to please the new king who was from Scotland, believed in witches and magic, and had an ancestor named MacDuff. It did the trick, too. The Lord Admiral's Men became the King James' Men. Pretty much all the Bard's plays were written to market and were rewrites of other's work.

I love this thread. Not only does it inspire me, it gives me ideas for more books. So thank you everyone!

Heh! Different kind of market in those days. I can only imagine a writer nowadays wanting to write a novel to earn the patronage of POTUS.

Offline CynthiaClay

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #189 on: June 13, 2017, 10:10:41 PM »
Right, but that's not how people often use it. Especially here. Outlier often gets wielded like a club (not that I think David was doing that). Having now been hit by that club a few times I get why people are sensitive. It sucks having your direct experience dismissed based not on the fact that you failed, but that you succeeded too well.

When you are a woman, they don't call you an outlier. They call you an anomaly. :P

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Offline CynthiaClay

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #190 on: June 13, 2017, 10:16:37 PM »
What I get is aggravated that successful authors spend time trying to help and the advice, which is often applicable to every writer in every genre, is summarily dismissed because of the success of the person saying it. THEN there is thread after thread complaining about lack of sales, when everything people need to know is right here but some refuse to listen.

Someone said earlier that if every successful author made a list of 10 things we do, we'd probably have 7 or more in common. I totally agree with that statement because I know several seven figure authors and a ton of mid to upper six figure authors and we all share similar work habits and business plans. To say that someone highly successful can no longer give advice to new authors is basically saying they can no longer remember two, three, five years ago. I doubt any of us has forgotten what it took to get here. We're still in the trenches. It doesn't get easier.

Some of us are listening very attentively, our ears growing so big they stretch way above our heads. I am so appreciative of these posts of advice!

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Online Mark E. Cooper

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #191 on: June 14, 2017, 01:08:48 AM »
This is an excellent point and a good example of how statistics can be misleading. I assume plenty of authors hit 100k and quit their jobs to concentrate on writing more per day, whereas if you take the study at face value you will assume authors hit 100k because they quit their jobs and wrote more per day.


I didn't so much quit my job, as my job quit me. It evaporated along with 1000s of others and the town's major employer when Ford decided German workers were cheaper and more interesting. I agree with both of those BTW. Our management had been running us into the ground at full speed for years by burying us under spreadsheets.

So my job went away at a point when my books were doing the up-down thing. The ups were almost enough to live on (if I paid off my mortgage first with Ford's golden handshake due me after 32 years in the job) and the downs meant not eating every second day (BONUS! I needed to lose weight anyway, and I did. I lost half my body weight--don't worry, it was perfect. I needed to lose it)

So I'm half the man I used to be (about the size of a slightly overweight NORMAL man of (back then 47) and desperate for a new book release) when my boat comes in. Book 4 of my Merkiaari Wars series releases and hits it big. It was my seventh book overall. I gulp and whimper, and put all the money back in by investing in audiobooks. Those hit massively when audible still had 50-90% escalating royalties (I got them via Joe Nobody's service back then, and was grandfathered in later when the UK entered the ACX fold)

I add more books, more print, and more audiobooks. Since then income rises yearly until I enter the hallowed (and echo-ey) halls of the overnight successes--(AKA outliers). I started in 2001 with a single book self-pubbed in print, I hit the 6 figure boundary thingy 2015, and managed to just about cling to it for two years.

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #192 on: June 14, 2017, 02:54:16 AM »
Some of us are listening very attentively, our ears growing so big they stretch way above our heads. I am so appreciative of these posts of advice!

I second this - I have nothing substantive to contribute to this thread (not published yet) but I am deeply appreciative of all the fantastic posts from successful, experienced authors.  The willingness to share experience, information and insight is, in my view, the best thing about kboards and the reason I haunt these boards when I really should be working (like now!).

Online GeneDoucette

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #193 on: June 14, 2017, 03:38:12 AM »
I actually wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on the idea of success bias. The challenge with gleaning advice from success stories is that what-worked-for-me is very often not universal. It could be something everyone could do, but only worked at a certain time in the past and won't work now. (Like, when the market was less flooded.) It could be the equivalent of a professional baseball player's advice on how to hit a home run: just hit the ball really hard. (We can all hit the ball hard, but very few of us can hit it 350 feet in the air.)

The challenge of writing a book--a single book--that ends up being super-successful is incredibly daunting, despite which the best advice anybody can get is: write a book everyone wants to read. We all have different ways of going about that.

And yes, that's sort of useless advice, but every level of detail beyond "write something everyone wants to read" is going to run into people who didn't do that one thing and still succeeded. It may be the writing equivalent of the anthropic principle: we know the successful books are the books everyone wants to read because everyone is reading them.

Offline Rosalind J

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #194 on: June 14, 2017, 09:05:22 AM »
I actually wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on the idea of success bias. The challenge with gleaning advice from success stories is that what-worked-for-me is very often not universal. It could be something everyone could do, but only worked at a certain time in the past and won't work now. (Like, when the market was less flooded.) It could be the equivalent of a professional baseball player's advice on how to hit a home run: just hit the ball really hard. (We can all hit the ball hard, but very few of us can hit it 350 feet in the air.)

The challenge of writing a book--a single book--that ends up being super-successful is incredibly daunting, despite which the best advice anybody can get is: write a book everyone wants to read. We all have different ways of going about that.

And yes, that's sort of useless advice, but every level of detail beyond "write something everyone wants to read" is going to run into people who didn't do that one thing and still succeeded. It may be the writing equivalent of the anthropic principle: we know the successful books are the books everyone wants to read because everyone is reading them.
Probably true. I've never had a gigantic hit but still hope I do someday as I get better at this and that all the magic pieces fall into place.

Offline JaydenHunter

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #195 on: June 14, 2017, 09:31:44 AM »
Maybe I'll start a thread when I have some more things to say about my recent move, but I just moved to Mexico...

So another way to become like a "100K author" even if you're earning substantially less is to go to the third world.

I got offered a job yesterday (I wasn't even looking) to teach at an English school, so I might work part time just as a bit of a safety net and also to meet people (and maybe learn some Spanish).

But, that said, if you've achieved even a small success with your early books, you can parlay that small amount into a full-time writers life (which allows more time to write) if you move out from an expensive place to a cheap place.

I'm not making 100K but my life without a huge monthly nut may actually mean I have more flexibility than a lot of people stuck in a corporate job with a mortgage or rent and a car payment, etc...


Writing in multiple genres, because "Reasons."
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Offline KevinMcLaughlin

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #196 on: June 14, 2017, 09:39:33 AM »
I actually wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on the idea of success bias. The challenge with gleaning advice from success stories is that what-worked-for-me is very often not universal. It could be something everyone could do, but only worked at a certain time in the past and won't work now.

Agreed! :) And then there are those of us whose "success stories" read more like a playbook of what NOT to do. I went full-time last month. Finally. It took me six years to get there - since the mean in their survey seems to be about 3 years, does that make me an outlier? ;)

Along the way, I crossed genres. I made up new genres that nobody really wanted to read. I wrote serials just as KU1 was dying. I was inconsistent in terms of writing and publishing schedules. I do my own cover art (which has finally improved, but some of my early covers were not so good). If I were to write about my experience as an indie publisher, it would probably read as a laundry list of things to avoid.

But I persisted, and now I am doing this full time.

If there is one single constant thread through virtually every success story that has lasted more than a year or two, I think it is persistence.

Offline KevinMcLaughlin

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #197 on: June 14, 2017, 09:53:24 AM »
Maybe I'll start a thread when I have some more things to say about my recent move, but I just moved to Mexico...

So another way to become like a "100K author" even if you're earning substantially less is to go to the third world.

I got offered a job yesterday (I wasn't even looking) to teach at an English school, so I might work part time just as a bit of a safety net and also to meet people (and maybe learn some Spanish).

But, that said, if you've achieved even a small success with your early books, you can parlay that small amount into a full-time writers life (which allows more time to write) if you move out from an expensive place to a cheap place.

I'm not making 100K but my life without a huge monthly nut may actually mean I have more flexibility than a lot of people stuck in a corporate job with a mortgage or rent and a car payment, etc...



First off Jayden - best of luck. :) I've seen you post about this adventure on FB, and I think it's awesome. I hope it turns out to be everything you want it to be for your career. Just remember to do the work you went there to do. Don't get TOO side-tracked. ;)

I've known lots of people who have done similar things. Ten years ago, I was heavily into indie game design. I had a friend who packed up his life and moved out to some prairie house in the middle of nowhere with his wife. They had enough savings to buy the house outright. It was cheap to live there. They moved there to cut costs and run their indie MMORPG business. They did great for a lot of years (I think he eventually sold the company and moved on to other things). Around the same time, there was a great article written by another game developer about "right -sizing" your life.

The theory being that we often increase our spending to match our available income. If we're making $80k a year at a comfy day job, we build up monthly expenses which make earning $40k a year seem impossible to survive. But often the *quality of life* can increase when going from a higher income job one dislikes to a lower income job one loves. The transition can be hard because it feels like you're giving up a lot. But as Jayden is demonstrating, often the benefits can vastly outweigh the difficulties.

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #198 on: June 14, 2017, 10:18:56 AM »
I also put together a hypothetical contrast putting the provocatively named "5,000 words per hour" into the model. I hope Mr. Fox takes this in the spirit it's intended (I'm a fan!) if he happens to see it:

As much as it seems ridiculous. - In order for him to complete Destroyer in the 21 day novel challenge it would have had to come in under that 2.4 weeks to complete draft.

I'd also go out on a limb and say that 5000 words per hour is not sustainable, but could it be when you only have to write like that for an hour each day? Or maybe 2500 / hr for 2 hours each day?

Presumably you've read the book. I said quite clearly that I don't believe 5,000 words per hour is sustainable for most authors. The book was written when I was full time, and my personal quest was reaching that 5k because I only had an hour a day to do it. These days? I'm full time. I average 3,600 words an hour, with no aspirations of pushing it any higher. My writing is typically finished in two hours or less, though if I'm puttering about it can take longer.

The important take away, the one that people tend to like to ignore, is that you need to write consistently. Ignore the click bait title. Ignore how many words every other person in the world is writing. How many words are YOU writing, and are you doing it every day?

One of the chief differences between people who do this full time and people who do not is that we've developed consistent systems for both marketing and production. Are there exceptions to that? Of course. But as in all things, if you look at enough data points you will spot trends. Most authors making a good living have a steady production schedule, and produce well-honed books in the same genre to build momentum.

Even Annie, who breaks many of the norms for others of us doing this 6 figure thing, will tell you how quickly her income drops if she isn't putting out new releases.


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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #199 on: June 14, 2017, 10:28:32 AM »
Maybe I'll start a thread when I have some more things to say about my recent move, but I just moved to Mexico...

Down the road, I plan to spend half the year there around Playa Del Carmen. I know an author there who says she has trouble spending more than $1500 a month. She even has a maid and a gardener.

Quote
So another way to become like a "100K author" even if you're earning substantially less is to go to the third world.

That's very relevant to the discussion. Making a $100k a year is great, especially if you can put half or more of it away for a rainy day. If you need it just to survive, that's a different story.