Today I’m posting about my publishing journey as a contribution for the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. I give Alex J. Cavanaugh and his Ninja Army permission to use my entry.
Title: The #1 Reason I Published a YA Novel
One-line bio: Jamie Ayres writes young adult inspirational love stories with a paranormal twist by night and teaches young adults as a middle school Language Arts teacher by day.
Books Published: 18 Things, 18 Truths, and 18 Thoughts (coming January 2015)
Writing is work. It’s work I’ve greatly enjoyed, but it’s still work. If writing is work, publishing is hard work. After publishing my first novel, 18 Things, I’ve come to know how much time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, attention, heart, and soul goes into publishing a book. I’ve had my own limits tested.
These days it feels like ninety percent of my writing career is researching, marketing, promoting, socializing, facebooking, blogging, tweeting, speaking, drinking coffee and consuming massive amounts of chocolate, etc . . . and about ten percent of actual writing. So when I received my first royalty statement, I’ll admit I felt like throwing up.
Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t become an author to make tons of money. I wasn’t wearing any rose-colored lenses, expecting my debut novel to land on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
But the royalties the first months were so small, I had to ask myself, why even continue doing this? If it was money I wanted, I could easily get a part-time job waiting tables and probably make more in a week than I would in a month of book selling.
I was at a crossroads in my life. Both paths, the Published Author and the Hobby Writer, had their good and bad points. But just like so many times before, I let faith carry me forward.
I took the profit motive off the table to get myself back in the saddle and write the next two installments of my trilogy, 18 Truths and 18 Thoughts. Because of the talents God has given me, I looked at my book as a gift to the world to empower young people. And it’s the belief I had all along . . . I just forgot about it for a little while.
*What challenges have you faced on your road to publication?
Don’t forget to check out other authors in the Insecure Writers Support Group. Alex’s A*W*E*S*O*M*E co-hosts today are Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue! We meet online the first Wednesday of every month 🙂
Great attitude, Jamie. It’s hard sometimes, I know. I’m currently going through a trying writing time and am going to latch onto your thoughts here. I made a decision a while ago to pass on offers I received for my YA, opting to sign with an agent instead. Now, I’m not so sure. Just feeling a little lost, but I do believe that all works together for the good of those who love God. So I’m just going to trudge forward and write my next book. Thanks for your thoughts.
Thanks for visiting . . . glad I provided a little encouragement today 🙂
Howdy, friend! Great to see you still blogging. My page’s cobwebs have cobwebs. Before the spring, I’d gotten caught up in this black hole of editing & re-editing my 1st chapter, 1st page, 1st paragraph for no apparent reason. Then, I got fatigued and even reading books had lost its luster. Looking for colleges and finally getting my oldest settled at a school, among the other distractions, consumed me. In the last couple of weeks, however, I’ve reacquainted myself with some of my favorite authors’ latest books and my goal to finish my book. Now, I’m writing like wildfire but I’m being smarter about it, if that makes sense. And I like what I’ve written a whole lot more!! 🙂
I missed you, Tuere! Thanks for visiting me today!!
Hi Tuere! It’s good to see you here and know you’re still kicking those stories around!
Sometime persistence is what takes an author from hobby to published. You’ve done a great job, and I know all three of your books will be a success.
Thanks, Kristina ❤
The small money thing is frustrating – I think more so, not because of the monetary value, but simply because those around often judge the success on that, and therefore, so do we. But the money is not why we started writing. Glad you held in there because your books have left a mark. . .even without the villa and swimming pool 😉
Thanks, Tonja! And yes, you wouldn’t believe how many people have asked me how much money I’ve made off my books . . . even reporters!
Someday, I’d like to make a living off writing–I’m not talking about being rich, just being able to pay the bills with it. That being said, it seems I’ve got a looong way to go. It’s disheartening, but I’m going to keep at it, because it’s what I want. It’s my dream. Sometimes you have to just write for the sake of writing, though. Making money off it is the tough part.
Yes, I remember when I first started, thinking I could surely make as much as I do teaching (which isn’t a lot). Boy, was I wrong!!
Your royalties aren’t the source of your income, God is. So it doesn’t matter. What He’s called you to do is what matters.
Thanks for contributing to the book!
Amen, Ninja Captain! And it was my pleasure 🙂
=) I’m reminded that it takes 10 years to get established as an author, and approximately 10 books to really get your career rolling. We don’t want to think about that, but the first is the hardest, and after that we’re just building on an earlier foundation. Here’s to persevering!
Oh wow, I’d heard 5 . . . is 10 the new 5 in this brave new world? I’m fine with that . . . whatever God wants 🙂
I know what you mean about the royalty checks. I didn’t have a bestseller until my eighth published book and that doesn’t guarantee the next ones will do great.
No, unfortunately it does not. Fingers crossed your 9th book is though!! Congrats on your success!
Jamie, I love the way you have described what is truly important about the craft of writing. Someone once asked me if I would do it even if I never got paid. And without hesitation I knew the answer was yes.
You write YA because you are young at heart and you know how young adults feel and think, dream and struggle. It’s an honor to be able to do what we do.
Also, a good friend, NYT Best Seller of over 25 books is still hard at it. With every new project, with every new release, she has the same doubts, she puts in the same blood and sweat. If we didn’t all love it, it would be insane 🙂
It’s never exactly how we envision, right? Publishing is hard work, but it’s a labor of love, and I can’t say that about many things. True we can make more money at other jobs, but those jobs make me miserable. Creating and writing and bringing a book to life is one of the best feelings in the world. There are no short cuts, but that makes the reward all the more sweeter when it finally comes.
Definitely not in this for the money. I’ve never worked so hard without any promises of ever making it into anything. But still I sit. 🙂
When I was a lot younger, I naïvely believed I’d automatically, immediately become a rich and famous writer, and that I’d be famous and rich by eighteen. My ultimate dream is to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and that doesn’t seem to go to people who get famous as soon as they start publishing.
I can totally see with all the stress and excitement of publishing that one could lose track of why you’re writing in the first place. There are more ways than money to pay off hard work, I would be over the moon to receive just one review that said my book touched them. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!
Patience, persistence, and hard work play a big part. And while it would be nice to make some decent money, that’s not the most important thing.
I’m definitely not in it for the money. I saw that with my first book. I continue to write because it’s what I do and it’s part of who I am. Also, positive reviews and fan mail shows that I’m touching people’s hearts and minds.
You have a better attitude than I do! I’m pretty sure the financial stress is eating me alive. Oh well. Such is the life of a creative! lol
Hi Jamie! I can so relate to the feeling you had when you received your first royalty check. But as I’m told, it gets better. You are doing a wonderful thing, putting your stories out into the world. Don’t stop!