Collateral Intentions hit an unbelievable stride in June. The eBook soared up to the Top 100 in all 3 of its category listings and beyond. Reaching as high as the Top 50, Top 10, and Top 5, simultaneously. While the paperback hasn't topped the charts the way the eBook has (yet), it continues to climb and perform well in a highly-competitive pool of every single book sold on Amazon (currently an estimated 50 million listings!), poetry books, and memoir books, holding its own against some of the greats.
I am exceedingly proud, shocked, in awe of this accomplishment. What started as a side-project became something beyond anything I realistically expected (but still far-short of my wildest dreams—catch me laughing with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show next year). Admittedly, once these rankings came so close to the top, I struggled to be content without that elusive, sparkly "#1 Best Seller" badge. The race isn't over yet but for now, I wait and appreciate.
My next steps are getting print copies on the shelves of indie bookstores and submitting to published book contests. I've emailed a couple dozen shops I like from areas I've lived in, succeeded in being turned-down by many, locking-in a few consignment contracts with a few, and I'm awaiting responses from the rest. I'm still doing research on which contests to submit to in the hopes I can win some accolades and maybe some $cheddah$. As of yet, this whole thing isn't making me money so much as its costing me but I view it as a hobby, something I put money into for the joy of it without expecting something back. I'm having fun seeing how far I can push it.
I came across an article yesterday that had some great questions to consider:
Do you want to get paid for your work, or just get your ideas out there?
Both. It started as the later and continues to evolve into the former.
How much do you want to get paid? Do you want to write as a career gig, or as a way to fulfill your creative passions?
$100 per month of passive income would be A M A Z I N G, which comes out to about 10 copies sold per month, 120 copies per year. I'm unsure as writing as a career; the pressure to continue to produce new content to support myself could be an exciting edge to push for a time, but I think it would take away some of the magic. I'd prefer a lucrative hobby.
Do you care about reaching a bigger audience? What size is that audience?
I do! Initially this was just about finding a way to print a polished collection of my writing pulled out of chaotic journals for myself and loved ones. Now, I realize I've always kept my journals open to inspire others to be more open. I'd love that message to spread faaaaar. What size, exactly? Hmm...I'll ask for a 1 million milestone.
How much money do you have to invest in your writing career?
Are we counting line of credit?
Is there a timeline for your goals?
I would love to sell 150-500 copies to complete strangers in the next year.
How many publications would you like to have in a year? Five years?
I have an idea for a kind-of series from Collateral Intentions which could result in as many as 15 publications in the next 5 years, plus some side projects that are extremely disparate from my debut publication.
(Are Writing Contests Worth It? Highly recommended read)
I look forward to looking back on these answers with a laugh.