The life of an Indie author is at best unpredictable. Many people read your work and keep their valuable opinions to themselves, thinking that their contribution to an author’s journey is of no consequence. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Those brave enough to take the time to critique an author, invest great wealth into the next creative adventure. Something to remember when the author touches a reader’s raw nerve.
If you enjoy an author’s work, tell someone else. If you don’t, then complain to the author.
The recent battles between the big publishers jostling for the lucrative top spot, in a very competitive literary world, has left the Indie population divided.
Let’s dispel a popular myth before I continue. All authors make a good living from their writing. Ninety five percent of authors make a few cents in the dollar from their work. So why then do authors write? And why does the pretty book in your hand cost so much?
Maybe I can answer these questions in a short story.
I used to work for a man I will call Tom.
Tom was a visionary, an entrepreneur in the business world. He could see an opportunity, take a great risk, exploit it and make the opportunity pay in a big way. This wasn’t an isolated event. Time after time, he would see a need, figure out an angle and reap a harvest. In time, he built up an empire and became reasonably wealthy.
Tom was a gentleman and he cherished the contribution of his many employees. When he moved his business to a larger centre, his employees packed up their homes and followed him. Some had been with Tom for twenty plus years and were happy.
The happy bells of retirement soon rang in Tom’s ears and he wanted to sell the empire he had built up. He was used to an opulent life style and wanted to get the best price for his business.
To sell the business as it was, would only render him tens of millions and he didn’t think he could live the remainder of his life on such a low sum. After all, he still had at least twenty good years left.
After much consultation with his advisers, he decided to radically expand the business to make it more attractive to an impressive buyer and add an impressive price tag. But this move would come at a cost to his employees, in a radical shake up. In a short time, most lost their jobs.
Tom employed a highly motivated and ruthless chief executive. In a matter of eighteen months, the business went from a family feel, to a market force that devoured businesses and people, and spat them out bloodied and beaten in its wake.
As the news of a multi million dollar deal to purchase the company met Tom’s eager ears, another unexpected deal also reached his ears from his doctor. He was diagnosed with cancer and was dead twelve months later.
Just before he died, I heard one of his last remaining, long term employees say to him, “What good will it do, being the richest man in the cemetery?”
As I reflect on Tom’s true story, I ponder my own mortality and a verse from the Bible rattles around inside my head. What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
Whatever side of the Indie debate you find yourself on, whether you are a high powered executive or a struggling author, when they finally close your eyes for the last time, what legacy will you leave and what hope will your work offer to those left behind?
Aunt Tabbie’s Wings just released and The Secrets of Black Dean Lighthouse coming soon.