I am almost to the day of the anniversary of when I feel I really became an author. Being published is how I made that determination. I published my first book on Amazon, all by myself, at the end of November 2011. I have recently been told I'm not a published author, for the reason that I am an Indie and I did as "zillions" of others did, I self-published. The dictionary defines an author as a person who has a book for sale that has an ISBN. I have an ISBN, two of them, so I guess I qualify. The e-books have ASIN numbers, so I guess those aren't published.
Having that out of the way, what I really wanted to talk about was the cost of marketing. I won't lie; I have sold over 1000 books this year. Did it make me rich? Hardly. Truth be known, after paying for extended service this, and proof that, I may have come out even. Would I do it all over again? Yes.
When my royalty checks rolled in every month, I did pay bills with them. I felt really good about it! However, I did have an outlay over the last year for marketing purposes. When I first published with creatspace, I did the extended coverage, bought paperbacks for a giveaway, purchased a "cheap" editing program, and updated my website to pro. All of this was in the interest of getting the best product to the customer.
Does this sound like complaining? It's not. My life has been enriched over this last year in ways that can't be measured. I have some satisfaction in knowing people bought my books, and liked them. I have come to realize that the real thrill is in being read. I have been giving away stories on this website, from some very talented authors who feel the same. Seeing the readership grow week after week on the serialized story of Capt. Lanie Romein, has left me thoroughly amazed. I updated to pro just to keep track of the readership on those two pages!
The other enriching experience was the wonderful cyber friends I have made. I live in two worlds, my real world and the World Wide Web. On the WWW planet, I have made friendships that have lasted longer than some of the ones in my real world. We know about each others families and all the ups and downs of life. We support each other by encouragement and even to the point of buying each others books occasionally.
So maybe I am not the most prolific or wealthy author, but the small amount I had to pay to have all that I do, is priceless to me. Thank you to readers, and writers as well, for one of the best years ever!