Living the Dream

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

What did you do with your first book “paycheck?” (Thanks for reminding me of this idea, Richard.)

Happy to help with the prompt.

This is my favourite Stephen King quote, and I look at it to remind myself of its truth, whenever I’m feeling imposter syndrome, or when someone tells me that I’m not a “proper” author – because (insert reason here).

My first novel, Freefall, was self-published almost exactly nine years ago. I sold two eBook copies in May 2013 and received £2.04 at the beginning of July.

I can’t describe the feeling when I saw that deposit on my bank statement. It was a mixture of shock, amazement, disbelief and gratitude. It was hard to accept that my story, the dreams I had seen so many times and had copied down, had actually made me some money.

OK, so I hadn’t made a profit yet, the cover had cost me £3.25. Even then, two months into my career as an author, I was already running at a loss.  

But, that didn’t matter. I had done what I didn’t think was possible. I had written a book and learnt how to publish it.

More importantly, two people I’d never met and would never know had chosen to read it. If I could find a few more like them, I might be onto something.

My plan at the start was that any profits I made would enhance my pension and provide a meal out or a visit to the theatre once in a while. Maybe even a weekend break; if I got really lucky.

To get to that level, it was clear that I had to write more books. Which I did over the next few years. Since Freefall, I have written seventeen more novels, three books of short stories and a textbook. As well as contributing to quite a few anthologies. I have several works in progress and a constant stream of new ideas, enough to keep me busy for quite a while.

It seems to have worked out reasonably well so far, with more books available, the numbers have slowly got better. We have dined well and had a few extravagances, all paid for with the proceeds of my imagination.

Although I’m still not at the level where I could manage to survive on my royalties alone, I’m getting there. I have had good and bad months, this April was one of the worst,

Notwithstanding the money, the fact that people read and enjoy my books is a source of pride. I feel very grateful that strangers are prepared to hand over their hard-earned cash for something that I’ve produced. And when I’m asked about my next novel, it makes me feel justified to call myself an author.

If anyone questions my status, I can always refer them to my reviews or to Mr King’s definition.

Never mind a meal out, given the way things are going, I might just need the extra income to pay the gas bill.

Until next time.

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8 Responses

  1. Jack Eason

    Our game is all about hard work (ours). With each new story we create, we not only improve, but also learn from our mistakes…

    • Richard Dee

      Agreed, I look back at what I did before and can see how my style has changed (and hopefully improved) over time.

  2. Daryl Devore

    You said – But, that didn’t matter. I had done what I didn’t think was possible. I had written a book and learnt how to publish it.
    Isn’t that an amazing feeling? A lot of people say – I could write a book – yet they never do.
    You wrote a book. Published it. And got paid for it.

    • Richard Dee

      Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling. And to know that it’s given someone else pleasure is a pretty close second.

  3. Stevie Turner

    I cannot survive on royalties alone either, but as you say, it’s a great feeling when somebody buys our books.

    • Richard Dee

      I’m still amazed that people I don’t know like what I do.

    • Richard Dee

      I know, it’s a good job I don’t have to rely on it to live.

Comments are closed.