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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

"Big things have small beginnings"

Sales are one of the major goals of being an author. You want to make money, you want people to see your work, you want to be recognised and successful. Not necessarily in that order, but generally that's the gist of what you want from a successful writing career. Ideally, you'll also be allowed to pursue your own projects in peace, but that's a luxury not always given, as many can attest to. It's part of the struggles of being a writer, particularly one trying to start out in the industry.

I've recently, finally, received the royalties for the sales of my sci-fi novels Crystal and Sin: yeah, it does take around two months for Amazon to get its act together and actually send me the royalties. They're not much by any stretch of the imagination, but they're a start. As was said in Lawrence of Arabia and later quoted in Promotheus, "big things have small beginnings".

Don't turn your nose up at even the slimmest of pickings from your writing. No, you're not making so many hundred thousand a year, you're not the owner of a country cottage far away from the city smells... But your work is being bought, and you're earning something from it. Whether it's a sideline, your chosen full-time profession, or some quirky one-off that takes off, don't be discouraged because you've sold... perhaps... only ten or twenty copies. It's a start!

It's an uphill battle, and even the slimmest piece of ground covered is worth celebrating. Don't go blowing what you've earned or anything silly like that, but remember that those few people decided to buy your book, and are reading it even now. Your book is being read, and it's just the start...

Oh, if you want some advice on creating submissions for agents, read this post from the website Writers&Artists. It contains good advice for both pacing your book in its early stages, and has some well-phrased versions of general advice for creating your submission. Also see the blog "Publishing... And Other Forms of Insanity": it's an invaluable resource for all fledgling writers.

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