I am always inspired by other ordinary people who have become successful indie authors.
These people show it is possible to make a great living as a writer. They balance creativity with business.
They are a business-savvy writer, or as I like to call them, Author-Entrepreneurs.
But what does it mean to be a successful author?
For some, it means to land a traditional book deal.
But success for me means:
- To enjoy what I do: To be able to spend my waking hours writing books and publishing them
- To learn and grow: To improve my writing craft and unleash and express my creativity
- To contribute and help: To inspire and help other authors on their own author journey.
And when you come across someone who has done what you are aiming to do you can’t help but jump up and down with joy, because it just goes to show that it can be done.
This is how I felt when I came across this wonderful article by Mel Sherratt. Mel is a lovely lady who I saw speak on a panel at the London Book Fair this year.
She was inspiring and generous with her advice. And most importantly, she is just an ordinary lady who, with lots of hard work and focus, created a business and life she is happy in. And if she can do it, I know so can I!
In a short five years, Mel has:
- published 13 books in multiple genres
- Is a regular panel speaker for Amazon KDP
- Have self-published books herself and also been published by Thomas & Mercer (Amazon’s publishing house)
- Sold over 800,000 books!
- All of her books have been in the Kindle UK top one hundred charts
- Several books have been translated into multiple languages
- Been shortlisted for a number of awards
- Spoken on panels at numerous literary festivals and conferences
- Runs her own author business collaborating with other professionals
- Has met many authors who have inspired her as well as building an impressive author friend list
It’s so inspiring to read how much Mel has achieved in just five years. So this also got me thinking about what my author plans are for the next five years.
Eight months into this author journey (since 1st April 2016) I have:
- Been a co-author on the FinTech books which was traditionally published: I made no income from this but it was a great experience to be a part of a collaborative effort with other authors.
- Started this writing blog to record my learnings and to offer and share my advice as I move along the author journey: I have published over 100 articles, posting quality articles twice per week. This has helped be to become more accountable to my writing process.
- Started to make some author friends: Networking with other authors who can help and support me on my journey and vice versa, offering help where I can.
- Started to learn about how to run an author business and how important it is to treat it like a professional career path: I have professional editors and cover designers working on my upcoming book.
- Have written a fiction book during NaNoWriMo (2015) : It is unpublished and a very rough draft but it taught me how to write a novel to completion.
- Have written a non-fiction book which I am currently editing and plan to launch within the next three months.
I am excited about what I have been able to achieve in eight months. So what are my plans for the next five years:
#1. To create multiple sources of income from writing by writing books and turning them into multiple different assets (audio book, print, ebook, online course, language translations)
#2. To help and inspire other authors by being a professional speaker and appearing on panels. My dream is to be a panel speaker the London Book Fair!
#3. To build an author community to help, support and knowledge share.
I am excited about this journey and want to learn as much as I can and put it into action.
Right now, for me, it is more important to produce quality books rather than picking an arbitrary number of books I would like to write. Because writing is only one-half of the equation.
You must also be willing to learn how to market and sell your book and engage with your potential readers.Goal
So think about what author goals you have for your business. And remember, this is a journey, not a sprint.
What are your author goals for the next year? For the next five years?