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Discussion Starter #1
Just a message to say this nefarious lurker has been inspired to register and say thank you for all of the fine advice that permeates these pages. I should say that I am not in the league of many in terms of sales - I am going down the 'Coastal Erosion' path of gradually wearing down the reading public until they buy - but I am encouraged by everyone's success.

This seems to be a fine outlet for writers. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who almost whispers that they have written a book or two as if I've been involved in some kind of hidden war crime. Part of it is the tendency to not what to bore people and part is the realisation that telling someone you've written a few books ends more friendships than it preserves - sample conversation

Friend: "Wow, you've written a book!"
Me    : "Four actually."
Friend: "I'd love to read them."
Me    : "No, you probably wouldn't."
Friend: "No, I really would."
Me    : "Well as long as you don't think you HAVE to read it or HAVE to like it."
Friend: "No, I'm sure I'll love it."

Fast forward three weeks:

Me    : "Hello Dave, how are you?"
Friend (Ex): "Dave? Who is Dave?"
Me    : "Dave, it's me!"
Friend (Ex): "Who? I've never seen you before in my life!"
Me    : "Is this about the book? I told you that you didn't need to read it. Let's not let it get in the way of our friendship."
Friend (Ex): (clutching chest theatrically) "Aghhh, I'm having a coronary episode! Please leave me to flail around on the ground in peace."


Anyway, thanks for a reminder that writing, however modestly one could call it (My total sales would probably pay for a King-Size Mars Bar), is a fine creative endeavour. Fascinating to read all of your experiences.
 

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Welcome.

And a lot of us, successful or not, don't talk to friends and family about our writing. Many, many people don't understand creatives or the creative process.
 

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ImaWriter said:
Welcome.

And a lot of us, successful or not, don't talk to friends and family about our writing. Many, many people don't understand creatives or the creative process.
I agree entirely.

I've never, ever told anyone that I write books, especially not when I only had one. I think a large percentage of people think their life story would be worth writing and that everyone would be fascinated, so when someone says they've written a book, you want to go hide behind the sofa.

The reason I stopped writing years ago was because I wanted to keep it private and my husband went about telling everyone, even total strangers. He, obviously, saw a raving bestseller with millions pouring in; he had no idea of the realities of finding a publisher and getting sales. Now I have in the region of 40 books and I know my readers like them, but only because of kdp. And don't for goodness sake tell anyone you are self published. You'll get all sorts of 'couldn't you find a proper publisher?' Or as my daughter and her husband keep doing every time I get a great review: 'why don't you find a proper publisher?' The fact is, they think everyone trad published is going to hit the big time.

Nobody understand us, but us.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've never said the phrase 'Self-Published Author' as I'm sure people will assume I've written some non-fiction book on how space baboons built to pyramids. There is an assumption that there is something very self-indulgent about writing a book. Yet, what a golden time to share our work! I know Amazon aren't doing it out the goodness of their heart, but it's definitely been a boom for us all.
 

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BuckarooBanzai said:
I've never said the phrase 'Self-Published Author' as I'm sure people will assume I've written some non-fiction book on how space baboons built to pyramids. There is an assumption that there is something very self-indulgent about writing a book. Yet, what a golden time to share our work! I know Amazon aren't doing it out the goodness of their heart, but it's definitely been a boom for us all.
Ha! I hear you 100% People give me the reaction of "You write stuff?...You?" But the older I get the less and less I seem to care. Because people gonna do, I guess.

Also, I am half tempted to see how many books there are about space baboons building the pyramids, but the other half of me really doesn't want to know. It's probably more than one.
 

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I still remember taking my first book to the local library to donate it. I basically shoved it at the librarian, mumbled something inarticulate about, "I wrote this ... thought you might like to have a copy in stock ..." and then bolted out the door. Bless the librarians, though, they not only did add the book to circulation, they somehow managed to convince me to give a talk to celebrate the release of my next book! Only about five people showed up for it, all personal friends, but the librarians were as enthusiastic about it as though the entire town had turned out. I'm still not sure how they managed to overcome an introverted self-published author's mortal fear of admitting to having written a book, but they did.

... I miss that library since we moved away!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your respective replies. I worry that I have given away my one great chance at success by mentioning the Space Baboons idea.

As you all rightly say, we don't necessarily claim to be contributing great literary works (though some surely are) but the effort of righting the book is just as arduous as if we were getting paid handsomely for it. It takes a certain amount of brio to write when, personally, I realise that the Earth won't stop rotating if I don't - there is the 'why bother?' feeling about half-way through a new book - but it must be different if people look forward to your work. Not that that doesn't bring its own set of pressures with it of course; the expectation of a readership can have a dreadful way of biting you on the rump! Still, here we all are and I really am delighted to read that so many have made a living from it; how many would a traditional publisher have taken a risk on in the old days?
 
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