Crap. I missed my own anniversary. Ten years of writing came and went last week and I missed it.
My first book Kevin and the Seven Lions came out on January 9, 2013.
Like many writers, I wrote a manuscript and sent it to many different agents and publishers and got no response. This would have been around 2010.
So…since I wrote ONE manuscript, and no one picked it up. I put it away and gave up, because that means I am a terrible writer. I was a failed writer.
Yeah, that’s what I told myself.
Note to aspiring writers, write MORE than ONE manuscript. Learn from me. Write, finish what you write, ship it out, write the next thing.
So with the advent of the Kindle and learning you could make a book yourself, I wanted to have a book in my classroom sitting next to famous books. I thought if I bought a copy and my mother bought a copy then it would have been a success.
So I paid the wonderful illustrator Carla Tracey to make the pictures and cover. And she did an amazing job.
Side note, I put out a Kindle version, BEFORE I ever owned a Kindle.
Reader, learn from me. Don’t do that.
Then the next week I release the paperback on January 16, 2013.
The book was profitable in three weeks.
Wait! Profitable. What? You have my attention Amazon.
So thank you to all those that bought that first book.
I am not a seven figure writer. (Yet.) I don’t make enough money to live solely off my royalties. (Yet.) And that always seems to be the bar at which writers compare themselves. Stephen King, John Grisham money.
Not gonna lie. That WOULD be nice to have.
But that’s not happening right now.
But one thing I realized is that I am is a PAID WRITER. Every month I’ve earn money from my writing. Some months I could pay for a coffee. Other months I could pay the car payment and a few other bills.
And the fact that I still get paid from something I wrote years ago is just…awesome.
A paid writer? That’s a big deal to a guy who hated high school English. I mean I got Ds and then would work my tail off at the end of the year to have a pathetic C average for the year. I admit. I was lazy.
More importantly, I have learned that my writing has more value than just the revenue. I’ve met other people because of my writing, I’ve made connections, my network has grown.
I’ve gotten opportunities to speak to schools about writing.
I mean, what’s that about?
People have asked me to sign my book when they purchased it.
Like I was someone…
I mean what the heck is that about?
There was the day, the second book I wrote, Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien (not gonna lie, that is a kick-ass title…) was listed in a Bookbub email and it peaked at #14 of the Best-selling children’s books on Amazon.
It was right next to a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and Wonder.
I remember having to sit down and cry when I saw where it was on the list.
Sure, it came back down to Earth and reality. But for one brief day, I sored in the clouds and saw the curvature of the earth.
The lesson there is your writing can have more value than just the amount of royalty sales. My books helped me find teaching jobs as I bounced back from a divorce.
In that case, they may have literately saved my life.
Thanks to everyone who has ever read one of my books, be it you paid for it or borrowed it, just thank you. Thank you to anyone that has left a review or passed my name on.
And trust me writers like it if you reach out to them and tell them you liked something they wrote.
For fellow writers, my lesson is this, your writing has value, even beyond the royalty statement.
It has value.