Two and a half years ago, I embarked on a journey. I had an idea for a book that had been lying dormant in my brain for over a decade. That idea would become ‘Life of a Double Agent’.
With little knowledge about how to write a book, or how to publish a book, I set out on my journey. After six months of working six days a week, writing a minimum of two pages per day I had a rough draft of my first book. I shifted my activity from writing to searching for a publisher, and quickly learned that conventional publishers were out of reach. I investigated self-publishing, and found one that provided me the services I needed to self publish my first book. ‘Life of a Double Agent’ was born.
That experience taught me I had the ability, although crude, to write a novel. One year later, after getting some professional help with my writing technique, I had a second novel ready for publication. It was a political suspense novel, ‘The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)’, and it was self published as an e-book and a paperback in April 2014.
I learned that I really enjoy the process of writing a novel. But I also learned that I did not enjoy the process of promoting, marketing and selling my books. That realization presented me with a dilemma. Continue writing, and with continuous improvement in my writing skills, the books would get better and better. But, I would still need to spend significant time and effort promoting and marketing my works, with no guarantee of success.
When I began this whole process I had fairly loosely defined expectations. I hoped to have some commercial success, which meant at the time, at least covering my costs of publishing and marketing the book. When I began marketing my second book, I had similar goals, but added that the second book should exceed the first book’s sales, and sell at least one thousand copies. My first book has sold just over five hundred copies, thanks in large part to my very supportive family and friends. My second book, to date has not yet exceeded my first book’s sales.
I have now passed the time when I should have started writing my third novel. But before taking that step, I needed to do some analysis of what I was really trying to do. The analysis led me to some conclusions. As mentioned previously, I really enjoyed writing my two novels, but I didn’t enjoy the marketing and sales activities. Those activities were too personal. When you are selling your own books, in a way, you are selling yourself. I found I am not good at that.
The question becomes, can I find a way to create a larger audience for my books? I believe it is unlikely I can attract a significantly larger audience without spending significantly more money on marketing activities. Continuing to write novels for an audience of only several hundred people simply is not a logical thing for me to continue doing.
So, I am announcing today that I am retiring from my Indie Author activities. My two books, ‘Life of a Double Agent’ and ‘The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)’ will continue to be available on Amazon and other online bookstores, but my marketing activities will be suspended. All decisions are reversible, under the right circumstances. If a publisher or a movie producer contacts me with a mega offer regarding one of my existing books, or an offer to support my writing a new book, then this Indie Author may come out of retirement. But, for now, don’t count on it.
I have enjoyed meeting many, many Indie Authors through my social media activities during the last two and a half years, and I thank you all for your friendship and support. I wish you all well and much success. One of the other things I have learned on this journey is that there are a lot of very talented Indie Authors out there writing some great books. Good luck to all Indie Authors. It was fun being one of you for a while.