You Never Know

One of the authors I “follow” on Twitter (I say follow because I refuse to have an account there so just go to a select handful of author pages and read their latest Tweets) is Seanan McGuire.

Last week she was pushing a self-published title that was in KU called Legends & Lattes that she’d come across and really loved. And thanks to word of mouth and enthusiasm it got pretty high in the Amazon store.

Well, today she shared this link about how Tor UK just acquired the book and will be publishing it in December.

I don’t know if any of that was in the works before last week, but it highlights how finding that one enthusiastic reader can change everything for an author.

Another self-published author I know (Victoria Goddard) saw a significant jump in sales when author Alexandra Rowland started reading her books and tweeting about how much they loved them. Rowland even wrote a post about it for the Tor blog.

You just never know when you’ll connect with that right reader in that right way and things will take off.


Interestingly, yesterday I re-read a book I’d written a few years back that I’d then unpublished because no one really bought it and I figured maybe I’d written it too soon for anyone to take seriously.

I’d decided I’d re-release it because I was having fun doing new covers and that let me do one more for that series.

The book (now titled Sell That Book, formerly called Achieve Writing Success) was for those who’d written a novel or maybe two novels and now wanted to make money from their writing.

What’s ironic, funny, interesting is that there is a chapter in there that touches in a way on this very thing.

The chapter before that talks about how if trade publishing is your dream then self-publishing should not be the “well, I guess I failed at trade pub, let me self-pub” alternative. Because self-pub requires mastering five times as many skills as trade pub.

But the chapter this made me think about is the chapter after that which basically talks about “why let someone else keep you from your dream?” If trade pub is saying no to what you want to write, why not take a chance on yourself and self-publish it?

I am a firm advocate for making your own path if others aren’t going to make it for you. So if you have this thing you’re passionate about creating, then create it. Get it out there into the world.

Maybe (and probably likely) nothing comes of it. Hundreds or thousands of new books are published daily that don’t sell.

But at least you’ll have tried. You’ll have created something that no one but you could put out into the world.

And, you never know. Maybe that thing you created succeeds…

(Don’t do it with the expectation that will happen, because, yeah, no, sorry, not likely. But don’t let someone else’s no stop you from what you feel in your gut either.)

Anyway. Nice to see those little moments of good fortune in the world. And if you love a book, let others know. You never know what magic you might create for that author.

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is a former securities regulator, registered stockbroker (although only briefly), and consultant on regulatory and risk-related matters for large financial institutions with expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering regulation, mutual funds, and credit rating agencies. Since 2013 M.L. has also been a published author under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at] gmail.com.

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