When I came up with the idea for a book about my experiences adapting novels into screenplays I didn’t really think anyone would be interested, but I wrote, edited, and published it anyway. And in the past year Learning to be a Good Editor: by Adapting Novels into Screenplays and Stage Plays has been my biggest seller.
A writer friend of mine, Jennifer M. Fulford, best known for her work related to the Three Musketeers series, Love, Blood, and Steel, put out a book of poems herself and found the experience invigorating. A handy thing about her book of poems, Poems from Planet P) and some of my shorter books (Unity is Now, So ALL VOICES May be Heard) is if you use Amazon’s services you can have a good sample of your work out there for a very low price. So if, for example, you published a very short collection of your short stories or a chapbook of your poems through Amazon’s services then published it through Kindle and KDP Select, if you’re willing to take only 35% of royalties you could have your book available for sale as an e-book for only $0.99! This can be an excellent tool for self-promotion as it gives readers a good, solid appetizer of your work which will hopefully entice them to want more.
And in this post-Internet day and age many people expect to get free or nearly free samples of anyone’s work. A great deal has already been shared on the Internet for free (except for everyone’s internet/ cable bills, costs of buying a computer or other device, electric bills, repair bills for said devices, etc.) And many people see the Internet as a laid-back, worldwide community for sharing. If you need to make some money people understand. But if you expect to charge for everything, or charge a high for everything, people get very unhappy with you. It’s irrelevant if you or I like this or not—it’s a fact and so it must be considered when making product and marketing decisions.
Many people, especially with the economy the way it is these days, won’t spend much money on an unknown author, unless the price is low enough. So you could make a small collection of your previously published works, which most markets won’t accept (almost all markets want previously unpublished work—and posting on a blog, obscure website, Tumblr, etc. almost always counts as “published” these days). Since Amazon’s basic services are free anyway you may get a huge return on investment J
Take a chance in general. Life is short (even if you believe in reincarnation every lifetime is short and you won’t be this person again), so don’t waste it. Don’t let fear, internal doubts, or criticisms from others stop you. Life is for living.
I used to work in a landscape and property maintenance business, mostly doing landscape labor. Many of our customers were elderly—this is why they hired us, because they could no longer do their yard work or often their husband was deceased and therefore couldn’t do it anymore. What you see is people regretting the chances they didn’t take, not the chances they did, even when the chances didn’t work out. Some people play it safe their whole lives, experience very little, and then they die, disappointed in life. It isn’t “life’s” fault. You are responsible for your own life; you are not a victim of it. You are not powerless. If you’re still alive you can still do something. Take these chances while you’ve still got them. Some day you won’t. Death is the greatest teacher, it gives us motivation and gives all life meaning and value it wouldn’t otherwise have. Wonderfully, you’re alive. So go live. Best of luck to you on your journey. I hope you find what you’re looking for. Enjoy.