Royalties are Less Important than Reviews

When they say you got to get the fundamentals right, they don’t really tell you how far the fundamentals go. Becoming an author is not simply about writing a wonderful book. A wonderful book is not an easy fundamental to deliver on. It takes a team to make that work. However, a wonderful book also takes practice. So after you’ve done enough writing and worked with the team and you have a wonderful book… that’s only the beginning. In today’s world, that’s just the first step. You also need to be able to sell that book. The first sale is easy: you get your wallet out and you buy. Getting a complete stranger to buy is magnitudes harder. After that, you have an even larger gap to figure out: getting a regular stream of complete strangers to buy your work. Even those can be fast tracked if you just throw enough money at it. The difficult part is getting them to buy without throwing buckets of money at the problem.

Some people think that if they throw buckets of money at the problem, it will eventually trickle into their other works. That might be true, but that becomes extremely hard to manage. So, say you are able to get a regular stream of complete strangers to consistently buy your work: fantastic! You still fail. Why? Because in order to make the book worth their time, it costs money. So you need to figure out a way to not only get strangers to buy your book, but you also have to earn out on your book fairly quickly. Why would you need to do this fairly quickly? Because you need funds to build ANOTHER book. You need funds to restart the campaign. You need funds to get this going again.

So after all the scrapping and connecting, the pleading and baby-kissing… what do you get with your author career? If you’re lucky and you work hard; there is one and only one reward. It’s easy to think the reward is royalties. It’s not royalties. If you pour everything you got in, you get a lever. Every time you pull that lever, you get to play the lottery. That lottery is simple: Is what I’ve created good enough to connect with people. That’s the treat. You get a visible, tangible sign that your deepest thoughts and work is validated. Not validated because they got a freebie, but validated because they spent hard earned money, took their scarce amount of time on this earth, and said - thank you for the escape. That thank you is the treat you get at the other side of the lever. I made fun. I made wonder. Here they are, in a box.

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