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5 Steps to Self-Publishing FOR LOVE OR MONEY: Build a Career as a Self-Published Author (Career Author #2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The core concept seems to be balance, and finding one's own path. It explores ideas about making money AND/OR feeding one's creative spark, and how a writer can choose any combination of the two with a strategy to fit it. Love and money are not presented as mortal enemies! There's a cute Venn diagram! Neither choice is demonized! I want to hug this book (metaphorically speaking) for that alone.
It says right up front that if you want a get-rich-quick scheme, this isn't the book for you - although it gets into maximizing one's strategy to fit the market. There are some well-charted paths to monetary success, and plenty of books explaining how to get rich in indie publishing. This book makes the tougher case that there are different kinds of success, and that a writer is free to choose which one means the most to him or her. It may be best fit to writers who care about a little bit about art and a little bit about money, and who want to get both creative satisfaction and material profit out of their work. It will be particularly encouraging to those in my position, who find rafts of advice about money, but no support about being excited about writing or caring about their work. This book fills that gap.
Which is not to say that you can always make bank on your creative idea. FLOM goes into detail on that point, without getting judgy. You can also write for profit and still get creative satisfaction from what you do, and that forms another section of the book. The interplay between the two is where this book lives for the most part.
For the artsy-fartsy crowd, the author posits that it's OK to be quirky as long as you're satisfied with not selling bucketloads. It identifies some non-monetary benefits in breaking the mold or being a fish in a small pond. It goes over the pros and cons of following one's own drummer, and how to nudge the most monetary benefit out of The Thing You Do.
For the money-focused crowd, there's an intelligent, nuanced discussion on what "chasing trends" actually means - about figuring out not just what's selling big, but why! It's a look under the hood of how stories work, and what readers are looking for in their books, consciously or not. I'm about as artsy-fartsy as it gets, and I still found this section fascinating. Why oh why does genre XYZ sell so much?? There's always a good reason for that, and this section explores how to identify what readers are getting out of it.
If I were to complain about anything after all that gushing, I will say that there are a few repeated sections between the "love" part and the "money" part - assuming, it seems, that most readers will pick one and ignore the other. So some core concepts are repeated word-for-word for several pages. I recommend reading the whole book anyway. There are interesting points to glean from the approach that's unlike yours, and it's a brisk, not particularly long read in any case. Just skip past the stuff that was covered already.
Final take: I felt so much more human within the writing world after reading FLOM. It suggests that there's room for all sorts, you can set your own goals, and you can chart your own path to get there. Conformity is optional, not mandatory. You can't demand that the world beat a path to your door, but you can choose what you put out there in the world and take the steps you need to take to find the path YOU want. THAT is why I got into indie publishing!
(This was actually for the Kindle version; I was so giddy that I didn't notice that part. I did not get a freebie or anything, and I don't know the author.)
Susan discusses this issue at length and comes up with a variety of ways to tackle it. The short answer is there is no easy answer and I came to the conclusion that I may need to compromise ie write my novels more to popular genre specifications. However another author may come up with a different plan. Susan says it is still possible to make a good living writing from love rather than money, but it may take more time.
She also covers other necessary topics for indie authors such as defining your goals, balancing writing and life and the joys and challenges of the writing process itself. The book refers a lot to information in the Indie Author Survival Guide and is meant to be read in conjunction with it. Both books make an essential resource for indie authors who are serious about making a living from their books.
“You have to work like crazy, be smart, somehow invest every particle of emotion into the book itself, but then fling it out in the world and be ruthlessly pragmatic about how to sell it.”
Those two quotes (of many that I jotted down) from For Love or Money (Crafting An Indie Author Career) by Susan Kaye Quinn nails how indie authors should go about developing a writing career.
Quinn writes from a philosophical perspective on how indie (I don’t use the term self-published) authors can make a living from their books and how writing for love or money can be beneficial no matter which path a writer takes.I heard Susan Kaye Quinn on The Creative Penn and Author Strong podcasts recently talking about her career (she is best known for her YA Science Fiction: The Mindjack and Singularity Series) and how she has learned to balance writing for love and money. Also, she has published romance novels under a penname that gets quite a bit of attention in For Love or Money.
I read this book in one setting and there are plenty of nuggets to digest like Why Do Want To Write, Creating A Mission Statement, Leave Your Biases At The Door If You Are Writing For Money, Being Patient, & Writing Like You Are On Fire. These are excellent motivational tips that will make a reader dig deeper on how they should craft their career as an indie author.
There are quite a few how-to indie author books on the scene. However, I believe that For Love or Money stands out from the pack because of its philosophical as well as a practical approach to the ever changing world of Indie Publishing. I highly recommend For Love or Money as a permanent resource for Indie Authors to keep on their bookshelf or eReader.
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