Measure of Success

I just wanted to drop a quick note to thank folks for their support after my 'failure' post yesterday. I’m overwhelmed with responses and love from you guys. From readers assuring me I am not a failure, and from other writers sympathizing with me because they too rode the Amazon fail bus all the way back home from the big dance. 

Come and win some crap!
It seems I am not the only author who had their eyes on the huge stuffed animals on the top row, but ended up having to choose anything in this general area, right in here. Anything, below the stereo, and on this side of the Bicentennial glasses. Anything between the ashtray, and the thimbles. Anything in this three inches. Right in here, this area, that includes the Chiclets, but not the erasers.

I did want to assure you kind folks that I wasn’t declaring myself a failure as a writer, just as a self published one. And again, that success is measured by the numbers game alone. I could measure it by other means, like the amazing readers I have met through self publishing my work, or the fact that a talented young man willingly recorded an audio production of the first chapter of The Cold Beneath because he loved it so much, or that an award winning author declared my work in the vein of “Steinbeck and Harper Lee at their best,” or another author was excited enough about one of my novels to actually write fan fiction set in that world, or the times I have sold out of books at a convention or some other kind of gathering. If I measured it by those means, I count myself a very successful author indeed. In the long game, these things are of more value to me than the bottom line. I count my success as a writer based on these anecdotes, and many, many, many more like them.

But, unfortunately, the bottom line is what the rest of the world is interested in. And no matter how I dress it up, I am not selling enough to call myself a “self publishing success.” Hence the very raw and very honest post yesterday. Numbers, numbers, numbers. It makes the world go round.

To the other writers who have climbed aboard the fail boat with me, remember we really are all in this together. Books are one of those products that folks seek out in multiples, and always will. In fact, most folks want gobs and gobs of them to read and cherish and share. While it is a competition to be the best we can be, we are also on this journey together. From our imagination to the reader’s soul, hand in hand we travel. Support your fellow author, and you will find they will shower you with respect and love in return.

There have been some folks out there who decided that my failure is pretty self-evident. According to them, my work is shabby, my website stinks and the genres I choose to write in are either too niche or just a matter of bad taste. No bother. I don’t write for them anyways. I write for two people.

You and me.

You know who you are, because you have picked up my work, read it, loved it and sought out more of it. You have left me five star reviews and sent my work shooting to the top ten for the day of any given genre list on Amazon. You have shelved me almost three thousand times at Goodreads and rated me over five hundred times. You are awesome. Sometimes I wonder who I am, but that is another reason I write, isn’t it? As long as we enjoy the stories, as long as we get cold chills with every page or laugh out loud or cry or get angry … as long as you and I are having a good time sharing the things I have written, than I measure myself a great success.

I am Tonia Brown, and yes I am a self publishing failure. A well loved, amazingly supported, surrounded by the best readers and writers a gal could ask for, self publishing failure.

Later taters,