When Am I Successful?

When I started self-publishing, I had no financial goals. I didn't know what was reasonable to expect. I didn't know if I was "good enough" and while I put my best work out there, I had a lot to learn about writing, editing, promoting, formatting. . .

My stated goal at this point was just to get my book into the hands of people who would enjoy it. My only financial goal was less a goal and more a cautionary "I can't spent more money than I earn." In other words, I didn't want my writing to become a financial drain on my family. I've managed this, in spite of a few large expenses that sent me temporarily into the red (cover art, web domain name, Scribophile membership).

This last month, sales have been good, by my standards anyway. I showed Matt and he said, "Hey, you made enough to buy us groceries for a week."

That got me thinking, as I checked my sales for the umpteenth time, what are my current goals?

I'd like to keep making a profit, but that feels so out of my control, it is hard to promise myself to "make such and such" by the end of the year. I can't make people buy my book. I've already achieved my first goal. People have read and enjoyed my book. Some have left very nice reviews. Several intend to come back for the sequels or already have purchased book two.

I still have a goal to put out at least one if not two or three books per year. Once I have the entire The Dragon and the Scholar saga available things might slow down. Since you are working in the same world with the same characters, series come out a little quicker than unrelated stand alone volumes. That said, I have planned release dates in August and December for the next two books, and I'd like to make my current work in progress, Beggar Magic, available next spring.

So, for me this might be how success looks, a little bit of extra income (groceries here and there) and pats on the back from the occasional reviewer. We'll see what the future holds.