Okay, so I've been doing a lot of thinking and working, and working and thinking about publishing. I always seem to, and I always seem to find some new light or think of something in a new way. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this anymore, but I still am!
So I have traditionally published a series with Simon & Schuster. I enjoyed the experience, and I like working with an agent to sell my books to bigger publishers. I am hoping for future sales in this market. In fact, I just turned in a novel last week that I hope is "the one!"
Additionally, I have begun a journey into self-publishing. I have enjoyed it too. There are things I can do with my self-published titles that I can't with my S&S titles. Marketing, playing with price, and buying ads are the biggest things I've noticed so far.
I've also been networking and hob-nobbing with some Indie authors. They are fun people, and very determined and hard-working. I've also noticed--and it's all coming from ME, not THEM--this need to constantly be selling my books.
I've felt this pressure since self-publishing. Not from other authors, but in general. I've realized that I don't like it.
Selling books is not why I write books. I have no grand illusions of making a million dollars. I don't write to make money. I don't want that to be the focus of my writing.
But I've struggled with this, because the amount of money you make nearly determines your success or worth in almost any field, publishing included.
This thought of writing because I love it, and publishing because, for me, it's a needed process that comes with writing has been re-iterated this past weekend. I want to share my work with readers--hopefully readers that will love the stories I write as much as I do.
To me, that is the purpose and goal of my writing. It's also why I publish. I've been having a hard time identifying what would be "enough" for me. More money? I already knew I wasn't writing for money. But what is it? What drives me to write and publish? What is enough?
I think I've identified at least one piece of this perplexing puzzle. The reader connection. See, I got a review from The Deseret News, which is one of the big newspapers in Salt Lake City. The reviewer loved ELEVATED. She connected to it. She got out of it what I got out of it. She read and loved what I wrote and loved.
She said, in part: "It is easy to flow from the first word to the last without ever putting down the book. Johnson shows outstanding talent in this form, and her words are beautiful, important and deeply felt." (You can read the whole review here.)
It was a magical moment. It's like the reader and the author experiencing, breathing, and existing in the same space for the time it takes to read the book.
And that, I realized, is enough for me.
What do you think would be enough for you?