So, what *is* a successful author, anyway?

It’s a really interesting question; and, as you might imagine, one that’s of some interest to me. Depending on who you ask, so far FROZEN DREAMS has either broken through the average number of sales for a new book, or is rapidly approaching it, or the entire conversation is ridiculous because the Kickstarter skewed everything. The number ‘250’ gets bandied about a lot, you see; only I’ve seen people confidently say that should be e-book sales, and others say that only print copies count, and still more say that the true number for print copies should be about 100, and then people start suggesting it should be about how much money you’re making per year.

It doesn’t help that most people don’t talk about their own sales, much. I’m not really sure who makes money in this business, really. I think that I’m doing okay, here: the question is what happens with the second novel? And everything that follows?

Still: all in all, it’s been a good two weeks for the book. I just have to sustain it. And, in related news – very much related news – here are links to Amazon and Goodreads for honest reviews. And if you like a book that I didn’t write, review that one, too. The author will thank you. Apparently, books live and die on reviews.


  • Jeff Weimer says:

    I would reach out to Larry Correia; he has absolutely no problem helping new authors with all the ins and outs.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      I’d like to, but I never quite met him back in The Time Before, so it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make that connection now.

      • Compound says:

        If Larry’s not an option, how about CJ Carrella? Also an ebook author (his release this week is sitting at #11 on the Amazon fantasy ebook charts) and, unlike Larry, he worked for SJG so he’s approachable through the other before time gig.

    • junior says:

      But Larry’s never had 500 people show up for a book signing! So he’s not a real author!


  • bensdad00 says:

    The definition of successful is entirely personal, since the expectations are also.

    Remember also, success in a creative field is cumulative. The more you produce in the future, the greater the demand becomes for back-catalog stuff, and it costs essentially nothing to feed that demand.

    FWIW, by my definition you are already a success, and have been for years. You write things people are willing to pay for. I’ve written articles, essays and commentary for a quarter century and never once had that honor, so congratulations.

  • Luke says:

    You’re overcomplicating it.
    Did you write something and get paid for it?
    Congratulations. You’re a writer.
    Now, you can get all sorts of yardmarkers about being successful, but that’s almost entirely subjective.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Thank you all for the compliments, but the basic thing is this: I am an extremely lazy person. If I don’t push myself on stuff constantly, it doesn’t get done. 🙂

      • Luke says:

        Might own that t-shirt.
        Buried somewhere in the pile of laundry.
        😉 Just don’t make yourself neurotic seeking outside validation.
        (But seriously? Watching kids, keeping house, this side-hustle, the Patreon gig, writing books, and the SCA volunteer stuff… I wish I was half as successful at battling the demon of Sloth.)

      • junior says:

        Well, a sufficiently large royalty check does serve as a motivation all its own.

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