Sad Soaks And Rock Stars

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I read an article by a famous multiply published author yesterday, although I’ve totally forgotten his name, so I can’t say who now. My memory is really rotten with names. He said that the reason most authors become miserable drunks is because of the terrible depression that sets in after their first book is published and sells not a single copy in months. That is indeed a depressing thing to say. I don’t think I’ll be swigging gin for breakfast while singing Mr Bojangles quite yet though. Of course I want people to buy and read my books. And thank you to those gorgeous and discerning people who have already bought Shadow People so far. How exciting to think of you guys, wherever you may be, reading it, and travelling to my worlds with me.

As a writer I’m grateful to every single person who reads and enjoys my scribbles. But I really don’t agree with that famous author guy at all. In my circle of indie writer friends there is not one single sad old gin swilling soak that I can see. Well. Not gin swilling for that reason anyway. We writerly folk enjoy the odd tipple just as much as anyone else. They are just a group of hard-working, talented, and inspired people who are doing what they have to do, to share their stories with people who want to read them. I think they “get” that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and not without a bit of spadework also. They’re not miserable either. Just a little tired perhaps from having to learn how to be salesmen (or women). Generally, the tender, creative soul of a writer doesn’t easily embrace that particular profession, most especially when trying to sell her (or him) self. Never let it be said that I am ever politically incorrect. Anyway. The amount of indie writers zooming around the web says success to me, and not desperate depression, whether they sell one book or thousands in any given month.

Maybe I’m wrong, I very often am, but to me it’s logical that no matter what you do to earn a crust, you don’t go from first day newbie to rock star overnight. Even if after all is said and done, you only end up rocking the club scene, and don’t get to open for Gaga, I still see that as success. I don’t see any reason to be depressed when you’re doing what you love, no matter how slow your first book is out of the starting gates. I reckon the main thing is that it’s actually at the gates. That achievement alone is success in my eyes, and if one person really likes your tale, so is that. If one does, more will too. It’s all just in the time.

So, if there really are any pickled pen-pilots out there today, crying into their Absinth’s, I say to you – give it a year, not a day – before you hit the booze and Prozac. And of course, so you can meet those lovely folk who will like what you wrote, join our merry group of Readers, Bloggers and Writers on Google+.

Till next time friends. xxx

Van Gogh pd book

12 thoughts on “Sad Soaks And Rock Stars

    Rosanne Dingli said:
    February 12, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I read this post because of the beautiful picture – well done! I do not drink at all, and yet there are days when I wish I did. It can be depressing to watch sales figures, so it is better to only have a look now and then.

    Political correctness is possible without the his or her business, BTW, if you just write the phrase in the plural and use the neutral ‘they’.

    I have given it 25 years, because I have been writing seriously since 1985. In that time, I have published innumerable articles, stories, poems, reviews, features, and commentaries. In book form, presently in print are three novels (the fourth to come in 2013), five collections of stories, and my collected poetical works. I have also published a novella and a couple of single shorts as ebooks without a paperback version. I find that paperbacks of my novels sell well, and eBooks outsell each edition of paperback by about five to one.

    It was the other way around when my first novel came out in 2001 – the ebooks were on CD and we thought that was incredibly techy.


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 12, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Now that is inspiring Rosanne! Thanks! Your line-up of published works as well as the fact that you’ve been an author for so long. I’ve only been writing for about three years now, so I’ve got a long way to go before having that kind of status. Mine will only come out in paperback in a couple of months though. For now I just want to get them up was ebooks. I’ll check you out on Amazon for sure.


    adelesymonds said:
    February 12, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Another great blog Jo. A reputation takes time to grow, a following of loyal readers hungry for your next book takes time to grow, your first book takes time to promote and sell, a new author needs time to grow etc We need to give time, time. (and also put in a lot of marketing)


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Thanks Adele. True, true, and true!!! xx


    Ian said:
    February 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Perhaps old school writers were more prone to gin because printed publication was their only opportunity to get read? Nowadays self publishing has opened the field and closed the drinks cabinet ; )


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      You’re right! That long year waiting to see it in print would be more than enough to bring on the cocktails I reckon. I love self publishing. It’s worth every little bit of extra work to do it all yourself. I’m not anti-gin though – at all – I hasten to add. More for celebration though. 🙂 xxxxx


    awriterweavesatale said:
    February 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    after I finished my novels, I was depressed. But it wasn’t about whether they were selling or not. It was about having fallen into a void; writing a novel is a long process, an immersion. And I was content and happy as long as I was immersed. I could have a rotten time at a party and who cared!:) I was only happy again once I started on a new idea.


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Strangely enough, I was just talking to a writer friend about that today. She’s just had one of her books come out in paper for the first time, and I’ve just had my first full length published. It’s an odd sort of feeling. When the mad ride to get it done is over, you’re a bit all over the place. It really did feel like I’d “lost” something for the day after it was out there. Back on my edit of the first one now, so sort of back on track. We are an odd bunch, we writers, aren’t we? 😀


    LucyPireel said:
    February 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Jo, once again you hit a nerve. Hahaha, I am known for not being the most patient person walking the face of this earth, but I have learned that I must be, for it does take time and effort, lots and lots of effort to get your work in the eye of the readers. But where to find those readers? On the book of faces? I feel that there we only fling our work in the faces of other writers, which is nice too, and one or two might even buy some of what they see, but true readers, where oh where are thou?
    Still a nice glass of red wine (Shiraz preferably, or a Calvados goes down very well on the odd occasion I’m inclined to party. Nope no wallowing in self-pity here for not moving any books. Not to mention I would like to see sales pick up. 🙂 )


    Pam Howes said:
    February 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Good blog. Just come across this on someone’s FB page. Takes a while to get off the ground but always worth persevering. My first novel was published in P/back in 2009 and enjoyed a modicum of success but when I published it to Kindle it really took off and still sells. It became a top 100 best seller in the saga and drama ratings and even a mover and shaker for a while, with almost 50,000 downloads to date. This has had a knock-on effect on the following books in the series. And that’s the thing, you have to keep writing and producing more work. I love it when reviews come in and the reader laments getting to the end and wishing the next one was available. I’ve set myself a two a year goal now and so far so good, helped along by the odd glass of wine! All the very best. Pam.


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      I hope I get to where you are Pam! This is the sort of thing I like to read from hugely successful authors. Not so much the negative – “if it’s not a bestseller straight away you may as well give up.” sort of thing. 50,000 Is incredibly amazing in such a short space of time, and all of us new writers should be reaching for that star instead. That would be down to your story and your writing I think. I can’t imagine selling so many books! Thank you very much for your words of inspiration, and also the good wishes! The condoning of the wine is right up my street too. Good for the muse.


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