It was five years ago today. I hit the “publish” button on my Amazon KDP dashboard. Several hours later, State of Grace was available for sale.
After several months of work and countless hours of research, I at last made my dream of publishing fiction a reality. As I wrote in this space at the time, I went from being a writer to being an author.
Despite all that research, I had no idea what I was doing — not that I knew that at the time. I’d educated myself, but there were vast quantities of information I desperately needed and didn’t have.
I knew all about publishing a book, but as it turned out, I knew next to nothing about marketing and selling one. Had I known even half of what I do now, I might have been more successful at it, because there were opportunities back in the early days of indie publishing that just don’t exist in the same way anymore.
There’s no sense crying about that, though. I did what I did and didn’t do what I didn’t.
But I did do one very important thing: I kept publishing. I wrote more books, I joined support communities, and I took courses to get better educated about how to be an independent publisher.
If there’s a revelation I’ve had in the past five years, it’s that I didn’t go from writer to author; I became a publisher. I’ve spent most of this fifth year concentrating on getting better at the business side of this endeavor (although I’ve been writing too).
Most importantly, I’ve embraced my destiny. I’ve been a storyteller all my life. I’ve made it my vocation, my career since November 22, 2011.
So 21 books later (I’ve been kind of prolific), I’m hitting my five-year anniversary and looking forward to Year Six. I’ve tried a lot of things that didn’t work and a few that have.
And I’m still here. I’m still publishing. Happy anniversary to me.