I want to make a million dollars. I've been milling it over in my head for a couple of months, and this seems like the lofty next goal I want to tackle. why? Because it's damn near impossible and will keep me working. Three years ago, when I decided I wanted to be a writer I read more than once that the odds of getting struck by lightning were higher than the odds of getting an agent. With the changes in the industry, I'm not sure this is true anymore. Lots of people are opting not to use an agent, and I think that helps those of us who would like to. But the fact remains that it's still next to impossible. (It's not impossible. I got an agent, and I'm not some special, magical writer--but it's HARD)!
So once the reality of having an agent and an editor sunk in, I started thinking where do I go from here? This has to be the beginning not an end. (I mean I'm still not in B&N). The next logical step was a print deal, but that's something I feel I should be able to accomplish in the next year or two. I didn't feel that was a strong enough long term goal to keep me chugging away. I'm aware I haven't been around commenting like usual. My life is kind of up in the air right now and I don't have much time, but I've been doing a lot of reading from my phone. I'm staying up to date on the industry and what's going on. I came across an article posted by Hugh Howey that said a self published writer shouldn't worry at all about sales until they have at least a dozen books out. I think this means me. True, A Missing Peace is being published by an imprint of Harlequin, but The Last Marlowe Girl will still be self published. (My agent and I agreed I should finish my self published series). But even A Missing Peace will be ebook only, and I don't think marketing an ebook changes because of the publisher's name. Then I read another article that said first books don't become bestsellers and when they do there is a reason for this. It's tied to some unexplainable thing going on in the culture. My first thought was Twilight, a less than perfect book about hope and the impossible in the midst of a recession. And somewhere in the midst of first books aren't bestsellers, you need 12 books to sell, print is a totally obtainable goal, it struck me. I want a million dollar book deal. I really do. I know what you're thinking. "Beth, don't we all?" You're right.
But then I saw my friend Misha Gericke's plan to make $7500 in royalties per month every month and to do this in five years time. Misha's plan is not solid. There are lots of things she does not know, like how she's going to do this. But it's well thought out. She has laid the groundwork by selling her first book , thinking of her next goal, placing a time limit on it, and going for it. And I realized reading her post that I really, really wanted a million dollar deal, but I had no plan as to how to get there. I read Misha's post again. I combined this with the earlier articles. It's going to be easier to make a million dollars selling multiple books. It does not make me less of a success because it requires lots of writing and means some combination of my books are selling like wildfire. So I amended the plan. Rather than banking on a million dollar deal, I want to make a million dollars in some combination of royalties and advances. Although, I'd still rather do it in one deal. And I don't want this to be stretched out over the course of a lifetime. Just working our day jobs, we could all probably accomplish that over the course of our life time with a small salary times a lot of years. So in one twelve month period between now and 2024 I want to earn a million dollars. This is the goal. I'll have another post soon with more of a plan.