I met Megg Jensen through a Facebook connection. I begged her to be my guest. I wanted all her secrets of success. LOL. Like Dorothy in the Wizzard of Oz, I think she gave me the answer I always knew. I am posting this today in celebration of Opening day of #Dragoncon14! Shhh I think I heard that C.L. Wilson is going to be a guest there on the writers tract!!!
Megg tells us: “In the summer of 2012, I sat at a dealership, signing documentation to purchase a new car for my husband – one I was able to purchase in full with money I’d earned from self-publishing. The form asked for occupation and I was proud to write “Author.”
The salesman saw that and gasped. He looked me over, then asked if I was Suzanne Collins. My rather snarky reply was, “If I was Suzanne Collins, I’d be at BMW, not Hyundai.”
We both had a good laugh over it, but the moment wasn’t lost on me. Not only was I contributing to the household, but I was buying a freaking brand new car with cash I made from turning my imagination into words. How crazy is that?
I went from that high to a drop in sales in the fall of 2012, only a few short months later. I can attribute the dip to many things – the end of a series, a change in genre, medical and household emergencies – but my income didn’t recover from the drop.
I find myself in 2014, not despairing, but working my butt off to get back to the top. That’s the one of the best parts of self-publishing.
If I had a drop in sales like that with a traditional publisher, it’s pretty likely they wouldn’t send another contract my way. I’d have to fight for anyone to notice me. Not in self-publishing. I can take my career into my own hands.
2014 has been a year of learning and rebuilding. I don’t expect to make as much money this year as I did in 2012, nor is that my aim. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, success rarely comes from luck. Hard work is the basis and this year I’m rebuilding that base.
I’m writing books faster by managing my time more efficiently. I’m consolidating my editing process by booking pros. I’m hiring out work that distracts me from my main job of putting words to paper.
Most importantly – I’m learning. The business has changed drastically since I began self-publishing in 2011. Back then, success was easy. Now there are thousands of books going live on Amazon every day. Visibility is the number one priority, whether it’s through ads, blog tours, or word of mouth. The smart indie will do her research before publishing another book.
Writing is art, but publishing is business. Success doesn’t come just to those who write well – it is earned through hard work and perseverance. I plan to be on top again, even though it may not happen until 2015 or 2016. When it happens, people will ask, “How did you rocket to the top so quickly?” I’ll just nod because I know that all overnight success requires a lot of hard work.
Bio: Megg Jensen is a bestselling author of high fantasy.
No stranger to top ten lists on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore, Megg’s novels (Anathema, Oubliette, Severed, Sleepers, Afterlife, The Sundering) have garnered millions of downloads, attracting thousands of fans all over the world. In April of 2014, her compilation ebook, The Song of Eloh Saga, hit #42 overall on Amazon and #9 on Barnes & Noble.
Growing up on the amazing fantasy and scifi of the 1980s, Megg’s influences include Madeline L’Engle, Robert Jordan, and Terry Goodkind. She lives in Chicago with her husband, kids, and two miniature schnauzers.
Instagram – @meggjensenpix
Twitter – @meggjensen