Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m jealous.  Of what or whom, you ask?  AUTHORS.  Wait, amend that: SUCCESSFUL authors.  Wait, amend the amendment: WILDLY SUCCESSFUL authors.

I keep telling myself I AM a successful author.  I’ve been published.  Three times.  Number four comes out in the next few weeks and number five is in edits.  Sooo…I’m a multi-published author.  That’s a writer’s definition of success, right?  Absolutely.  You bet.  Is that a rhetorical question?

The problem boils down to money, a concept that REALLY irritates me.  It shouldn’t be about financial gain, but Success and Money seem to go hand-in-hand.  Is being published really the measure of a writer’s success?  Before getting published, getting published was all I wanted.  DONE.  Yea!  Once I had one book out there then I wanted another.  DONE again, and again, and again.  YIPPEE!  Now that I have BOOKS on the market, I spend all my free time promoting them, doing author events, giving away free books in the hope of gaining loyal fans who will buy the others.  So far I’ve spent more on promotion than I’ve made in royalties.  When my husband cocked an eyebrow at me I shrugged and said, “What?  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  I HAVE to promote.”  Thank GOD for tax deductions, lol.

I blame this dilemma on e-books.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Kindle and the fact I can carry a THOUSAND books in a device the size of a single paperback.  However, thanks to e-books any person who thinks they can write can publish a story (hands up if you’ve read one of those).

I read e-books today and reflect on the days of real, PHYSICAL books, remembering when seeing a typo was almost unheard of.  Grammar was important, as was plot and character development, emotional depth, and ACTUAL WRITING ABILITY.  Now all it takes is an eye-catching cover, a good back blurb, and VOILA!  One is an author.  With such a cluttered field, how does one distinguish between a GOOD book that has been developed, edited, revised, polished, and painstakingly produced, and a book that someone wrote over a weekend and ran it through one of the e-publishers, typos, stilted dialogue, and bad grammar included?

This makes me wonder if those authors most of us know – John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, and the like – would still be as hugely popular if they had to publish in the current market.  If Catherine Coulter had to go up against every aspiring novelist who could publish their own work, without “pounding the pavement” first, would she still have become a multi NYT Bestselling Author?  The bratty, five-year-old in me wants to plant my fists on my hips, stomp my foot, and pout, “NO!”  The other part of me just longs for a small taste of the immense success these “household names” have been blessed with.

Is it childish?  Absolutely.  Do I begrudge these well-known writers their achievements?  Absolutely not.  I AM jealous (who DOESN’T want to be world-renowned?), but I have hope that if I keep plugging away, eventually some of that success will shine on me.  Regardless, I’ll keep writing.  I have no choice, because if I don’t my head will explode from the characters and all the noise they make.  And I have NO idea how to get brains out of a keyboard.


If you haven’t yet, you can check out my books here:

Accidental Affair

Right Place, Right Time

Her Sister’s Keeper

And my publisher…:  Black Velvet Seductions


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