Would you believe I almost forgot today was my 10 year anniversary as a published author? I started out the day early per usual and got to work. Then suddenly, as I was cataloging books in my Notion database, I realized the date. It was ten years ago that I published my first book, Removed, the first book of the Nogiku Series. Technically that book published on September 11th and then I started promoting it on September 13th because Amazon did not have pre-orders at the time. So I call the day in between my anniversary.
A lot has happened in the last 10 years. I wrote a lot of books. I sold a decent many of them. I've created whole worlds and characters that live in my head. I've tried a few genres. I've definitely gotten involved in the technology side of publishing. I've made a lot of friends and learned a great deal. I've had one or two fan mails that kept me going. It's been an amazing time!
I've also had a lot of bumps in the road. I've never made a profit, never made more than $1000 in book sales in a month. There are plenty of professional organizations that I can't join because my income is so low. I've considered quitting several times. I've had several bad reviews and people attack me and my books. I've made enemies of former friends because of my involvement with AI tools. I've fallen behind schedule, been stuck, put down, and insulted. Yes, it really can be that petty in the author world sometimes. (You need a thick skin to be in this business.)
Despite everything, the thing I love most about my 10 years published is that I have learned a lot about both business and life. I didn't realize I really enjoyed the intersection of marketing and technology until I did this job. I didn't realize that my capacity for learning would lead me to some of the greatest opportunities I could ever ask for. I couldn't know where my path would lead me if I hadn't stuck with this crazy idea that I could write books in a new and volatile market. I have learned SO MUCH and I'm so grateful to have had the chance to gain all this knowledge.
Things are shifting for me now. I'm obviously not just an author anymore. I'm also a part of a new start-up business that has the potential to do amazing things. I'm moving my focus from exclusively writing books to also including coaching authors and teaching this new technology on the scene. I'm letting go of expectations and rolling with the punches. The next 10 years will probably bring more upheaval and change, and I'm ready for it.
So, happy anniversary to me! Today, I'll celebrate a little and then it's back to work!