Updated: Mar 22, 2019
During a conversation before a recent TV interview, I was asked how proud I was of the fact that I had written and published a novel. My immediate response was a shrug. Ok, I realize that doesn't sound incredibly positive but hear me out.
Yes, writing a book and putting it out in the world is a pretty sizable accomplishment, I will not deny that. However, in the instant that question was asked, my mind flashed over many things; hours spent writing, editing, working on cover design, debating on material and viewing proofs (a process that led me to read the book front to back two more times).
That's a fair amount of work, but that's only the beginning.
I won't speak for everyone who writes, but my goal has always been to get my work in front of as many people as is humanly possible. In that respect, I am still in the very early stages. I am building up my e-mail list, utilizing ads and promotions and even working on supplemental products (T-shirts, totes, ect.) to help build brand awareness. I have made a few of my short stories widely available for free with the goal of more people reading them, finding my site and my other work and becoming fans. Just about every penny that I've earned from the release of Bermuda has gone into advertising and promoting it, and that is absolutely fine by me.
I've had a few people ask me about what's worked and what hasn't during this process, and it's honestly far too early for me to tell with any real certainty. What I will say to everyone who wants to expand their creative outlets, be it writing, photography or anything of the sort, is DO IT! Getting started is the hardest part for most people, myself included. Create. Bring your ideas to life. With that said, if you want to grow, you need an audience. You need exposure. While it's not mandatory early on that you invest money into this, it will become more of a necessity to get your work in front of people who are interested in your medium.
I have many talented friends who are into a differing array of creative outlets. They work at their craft and invest in themselves, which you have to do if you expect anyone else to do the same. Through this process I have come into contact with people who have been where I am at, and the successful ones have a few things in common, chief of which are patience and perseverance. Chances are you won't become an overnight sensation (even if it appears that way to some when you finally do break through) but with the right about of work and discipline you can set yourself up for success. Don't rely on others to make you successful. Have faith in your work and build yourself up. Don't ever be afraid to follow your dreams and passions.
There is a new hardcover edition of Bermuda which is now available! For more information, click here.
Speaking of creative friends, here are a few for you to check out:
Travis Moss - Singer, songwriter and all-around talented musician
Jeremiah Barnes - Photographer with a keen eye who is gaining more and more attention
Another Blessed Creation - Amazing art in the form of cakes and other baked goods
Be sure to check them out with a like and a follow!
Thank you all!