(above) My first book about self-publishing came out in late 2009.
In late 2010, it led to three books. One is for writers who want to use a self-publishing company, one is for writers (like me) who want to set up their own publishing companies, and one is for writers who are not sure of their path to publication. (The two books on the right should be on sale in a few days.)
2008 was my first year as a book publisher. I planned to publish just one book, and I did.
I found that I really liked writing and publishing books, and in 2009, I published three.
In 2010, I surprised myself and published seven.
For 2011 -- which hasn't started yet -- I've started five.
That adds up to a minimum of 16 books that will have been written and published in less than three years. I don't know how many titles Random House or Simon & Schuster produced in their early years (did I beat them?), and their current production is way beyond anything I can imagine for my tiny Silver Sands Books, but 16 books seems pretty damn good.
And the weird thing about it is that my books have gotten excellent reviews and checks come in every month -- but I did not have any special training in publishing, my publishing business is a part-time/one-person gig, and I did not knock myself out to publish the books.
- I thank the wonderful people who have enough faith in my knowledge and experience to pay to read what I have to say. (And those who appreciate my sense of humor.)
- I also thank my wonderful wife who doesn't complain when I'm at the computer at (like now) 1:30 in the morning, instead of in bed next to her. Marilyn says she'd rather share me with a computer than with another woman. Besides, when I'm out of the bed, she sleeps with my furry substitute -- Hunter, our golden retriever.
Sure, I sleep less than most people -- but I love almost every minute of my work. I get up very early because I love my work so much that I can't wait to start tapping this keyboard.
Words are toys for me. As a writer, I get paid to have fun. Writing books and blogs is probably the second best way for a man to make money. I'm scheduled to have my 65th birthday in April, so I have little chance of employment as a gigolo. (Anyway, Marilyn has an exclusive contract for my intimate services.)
If I can self-publish books, so can others. And, of course, my books can help.
When I was 24 years old, I discussed a business idea with my father (Bud, above). I asked him if he thought I should try it. Pop said he didn’t know if I’d succeed, but he did know that if I didn’t try it, for the rest of my life I’d wonder what would have happened if I did try it.
If you wonder what will happen if you write a book, try it.
Or, as the folks at Nike say,
There's no reason to wait until 2011 to start a book. Just do it -- NOW.
Spending New Years Eve at your keyboard will be much better than being in the hospital because some drunken fool smashed into your car.
For today, for tonight, and forever, I say this: Be safe. Be productive. Have fun. Do the right thing. Don't be afraid to piss people off. What you think of yourself is more important than what others think of you. Write to please yourself. It's nice if your words cause others to smile, say "thanks" and pay money; but self-satisfaction is more important. Not everyone has to "get" you. Even a small happy audience can be satisfying. Don't leave the keyboard until you're staisfied with what you've written, because you never know what will be your last words.