Monday, May 13, 2013

What Does Success Mean

There were a couple of events last week that made me think.

(This is where DH says, "AAAGGGHHH!)

The first one was having lunch with a former critique group. Four different writing career paths and life events mean we don't critique together anymore, but we still try to get together once in a while.

And by different paths, I mean incredibly different paths. Christie still writes for two of the Big 5 and 1/2, but she's self-published her backlist from the now-defuntct Dorchester and Triskelion. She's also hit the NYT Bestseller List. Teri started with Ellora's Cave, dabbled in indie publishing, and is now focusing on finding a trad publisher for her young adult series. Life has hit Jody the hardest, which is why she focuses on the magazines that still accept short stories. Then there's me, who went 100% indie after nearly two decades of rejections.

Christie related her adventures during her first publisher-sponsored book tour, so of course the conversation turned to book promotion. Needless to say, she's shocked at how little promotion I've done, yet I'm still make a few hundred bucks a month.

Quite honestly, I can't do the amount of travel Christie does for promotion. For one thing, I have a preteen child while her kids are adults with their own homes and significant others. Then there's my health issues. My immune system is so compromised I'm lucky to get through the grocery store without catching someone's disease. Believe me, I wish I were joking. A mild cold swept through GK's soccer team, and I spent a whole day on the family room couch because it was closest to the downstairs bathroom.

The other thing that happened last week was Charlaine Harris's last Sookie Stackhouse novel was released. Despite my best efforts NOT to hit spoiler sites, the fan backlash over the ending was a major topic of conversation on several writer business blogs I follow.

I realize I really don't want Charlaine's level of success. I already have DH pissed at me over something I'm going to do in Book 8 of the Bloodlines series, I can't imagine having thousands of fans sending me hate mail and death threats.

No, I definitely don't want the kind of success Christie and Charlaine have. I would never survive it.

Deep down, I want readers, not fans. I want to give people entertainment in their lives, but not to the point they go Kathy Bates on me. Most of all I want to bring them a little joy. That's my definition of success right now.

But I am a woman, and I reserve the right to change my mind down the road.


  1. I am sorry to read about your immune system. That really does suck monkey balls and then some.

  2. Whisk, the immune system thing is what it is. For me to get on a plane, I might as well bathe in anthrax after being sexually molested by the TSA.