6 years to Write a Book

As a successful epic fantasy writer who quit his day job and got picked up by Penguin, Anthony Ryan definitely attracted my eyeballs. It was also heartening to see that he was not 16, but rather was a middle aged person with a former real day job – totally real life stuff. Plus he’s really dryly funny.


Why reading this post makes me better:

1. He took 6 years to write his one book, Blood Song.

At that rate I’m still ahead as I’ve never spent 6 years on any book. That said, I’ve spent like 20 years writing and yet to finish even 1 book. Much less publish.

2. Sales started off slow.

In his 5 first months of publishing Blood Song he sold 2000 copies, most of them in month 5.

3. Quality.

He writes the old fashioned way, concentrating on plot and language and all that instead of just churning out stuff for the sake of stuff.

All things for us aspiring writers to remember.


Self-publishing: slow but steady success by the numbers

After putting in some 3,000 words today — a good day for me, and one which has seen my creative brain about wrung out — I can’t help but fast forward to dreaming about success. My pragmatic side says, hey! simply to finish a book of a quality you’re satisfied with should be the goal. My hopeful side says, and then there was Fifty Shades of Grey, et al.

So I’ve been combing statistics, and here are some neat links for authors like Lindsay Buroker who are kind enough to actually break down their sales. Unlike people like Konrath, her sales haven’t been up the roof (she sells on average 2500-3000 copies total each month, from a variety of books) but enough that she quit her day job about a year ago. Lindsay clearly works hard and puts together clean, well-edited prose, plus I love her lovely and highly professional looking covers, which she kindly posted are done by http://www.streetlightgraphics.com – go Lindsay, and we wish you much success! Thanks for sharing with us.