“Never before have I enjoyed, nor anticipated a series this great since Harry Potter!”
It’s the endorsement of a writer’s work that every novelist dreams of hearing. Someone somewhere has enjoyed the words I’ve slaved over so much that they felt compelled to compare them to the most beloved book series of all time.
That comment is the first line of the first review I recently received for my third novel, Initiates. The writer of the review is someone I don’t know from somewhere in the USA, which makes it difficult for me to brush off because it’s from an independent source.
Of course, I was speechless…
…for a few minutes, anyway.
Reality set back in soon after I looked at the daily Amazon KDP sales reports. The series is selling, but we’re talking cup-of-coffee-per-day money, not cup-of-gold-nuggets-per-hour money. Reviews are coming in slowly on all three books, and most of them are pretty good.
Like most writers, I would love to have the success that J.K. Rowling had with the Potter series, but I don’t think I’d enjoy the disproportionate amount of scrutiny she fell under afterward. I’d be happy with a Rick Riordan/Hugh Howey level of success. They get recognized when they’re out in public, but they still seem to be able to go to the grocery store without getting mobbed. They have the freedom that they can write as much or as little as they want and not have their photos splashed across the tabloids, tagged with some click-bait exaggeration of a title. Of course, I know that all three writers mentioned are hard workers and constantly writing, but I consider that hard work to be the same as when my dad talks about the 27 years he spent farming – it wasn’t really work because he loved doing it so much.
Would I like to make a living as a writer? H-E-double hockey-sticks yeah! Most of my life has been lived in my head, dreaming of stories and adventures along the way, so now that I’m no longer too afraid to transfer my thoughts to paper, the notion that I could get PAID to share them is quite attractive. It makes me understand what my dad has said for so long – if you love what you do, it’s not really a job.
There’s a long road between one stellar review and full financial freedom, though, but maybe one happy reader at a time is a step along the right path.