I just returned from an incredibly useful e-publishing conference in NYC, where in the span of ten minutes I went from wanting to quit writing and jump off the Brooklyn Bridge to becoming re-inspired and full of hope.
It was during the keynote talk on the second morning of the Digital Book World when the topic turned to self-publishing. I was fully intrigued, feverishly scribbling statistics in my notebook as the experts spoke. Then a well-meaning economist presented the results of a survey of self-published authors, saying the average annual income was $8,000. This was about the time I began gathering the crackers so I could save money on supper and considered taking an early flight back to Canada and quitting the industry altogether.
But then...thankfully, Hugh Howey and his lovely agent Kristin Nelson took the stage and fully restored my faith in having a career as an indie author. Essentially, Hugh had been writing books for several years, building his craft and his brand. In 2011, he finished the short story, Wool, which would be the first novella in a collection of stories making up an entire Wool series. Based on the stars aligning for Hugh--good writing, good timing, hard work and preparation, and plenty of word-of-mouth recommendations--his book exploded into the hearts and minds of readers, becoming such a success that he had to quit his day job just to manage the sales of over 40,000 books per month!
At this point, I released my clutch on the table mints and relaxed back in my seat, daring to dream that one day, just maybe, I could achieve the same success.