Is it worth it?

This isn’t my first time on this merry-go-round. I’ve asked myself this question several times over the years. Is this all worth the effort I’m putting into what I’m doing? I’m creating art, but to what end? Why put so many hours into something only to put it out and watch it fail?

GRPC2 launched yesterday. I sent an email to my newsletter. Put out a blog post. The YouTube video. Put it out on FaceBook. All my other social media.

2 days in, I’ve sold 0 copies.

Let me stop you from going and buying the book right now. Please, don’t buy the book because I don’t want to guilt anyone into buying a copy. I fully expected to sell zero copies. I said when I launched the book, I expected to sell zero copies in the first month of launching the book. This isn’t a surprise.

When I launched Golden West, I sold a couple of copies. Gave away quite a few. Second book, I sold very few. I didn’t sell any of the 3rd. To this day, I think one person has read book 3 in the Golden West trilogy and that’s a completed trilogy. Honestly, I expected to sell some copies. I didn’t think the story would fall dead.

It did. I didn’t fully promote that series. I don’t even know how many people know I wrote it. By the time I’d started publishing those books, I’d already lost a good number of my audience. These things happen. It’s all my fault for having so many stops and starts over the years.

For those that have stuck with me and watched what I’ve done, thank you for being there. Even if you’ve not bought a book and are waiting for audio editions, I still appreciate you being there. You help keep me motivated to keep going and put out more books.

So, is this all worth it?

Honestly, I won’t be able to tell you for quite a while. I don’t know. I’ve invested myself in a 2-year plan. I want to get these 16 books written, published, and out to readers. After those 2 years, I want to work on something else if the sci-fi hasn’t taken off. If, after 5 years, I’ve still not garnered an audience, I’ll have to evaluate if it’s all worth it.

Yes, I’m giving myself 5 years. I hit publish on my first book, Chosen: Astel 1, back in 2011. I’ve been at this for 10 years already. I’ve published in fits and starts and with no consistency in either topic, genre, or schedule. This time around, I’m changing my tactic. I’m on a schedule. I’ll be putting out only Sci-Fi (Space Opera) books until I complete a story arc. I want to give readers a completed story line to follow from beginning to end.

I know I’ve lost so many people because of what I published and how I published it. I can’t change that. What I can change is how I approach my publishing going forward. That means getting on a course, on a schedule, and sticking to it. Getting words down every day to get more books done. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The only thing that’s currently out of my control is growing my audience. How will readers find me? By me getting more and more content out there. That’s my goal. If I stick to it, over the next two years, I’ll have a dozen new books, and 50 or more short stories. 2 years, over 60 new pieces out there for people to find. That’s how I’m planning on attracting people’s attention.

Well, part of it. I also plan on reaching out to podcasting friends when I get the wheels in motion. I’ll reach out to blogs, send out review copies, find websites that do reviews and see if they’d like a copy. I’ve got plans in my head and I’m reading more books and taking more lessons to help better chart my course. Many have gone before me. Some have been wildly successful.

Let me state emphatically, I don’t feel I’m owed anything. It’s not “my turn”. I won’t succeed simply because I waited long enough and I want it bad enough. That’s not how art works. First of all, art is subjective. What one person hates, another will love. I need to get work out there, and let people find it. That’s all I can do right now.

Is it all worth it?

I simply won’t know for quite some time to come. I’m going to enjoy the ride for all its worth. I’m glad you’re here with me and I hope you stick around to see what happens next.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only: https://anchor.fm/jr-murdock/episodes/5-a-Day-With-Jay—0131-e10dirf

Posted on May 6, 2021, in Blog Post and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I know that things would be different if we could get your name out there to everyone. The content is great, but advertising isn’t easy. For what it’s worth I tell my sci fi book friends about your stuff all the time.
    Where would you start with a marketing campaign ?

    • I do appreciate you helping get the word out. Every little bit helps. It’s awesome you’re doing your part.

      As for where to start, first off, I want to build a better backlog of material for people to find before I start to push. My plan is to check with old podcasting buddies and see if they’ll allow me to hop on for an interview. Next will be major research into Amazon Ads and Facebook Ads. There are some changes happening with the targeted advertising, so it may be a bit more challenging than before, but we’ll see how that goes.

      I also plan on being a LOT more active on Social Media. Specifically, TikTok where I’m getting hundreds of views on each video, and YouTube “shorts. It’s possible I’ll be able to leverage those for Instagram as well. We’ll see. I may even start uploading my YouTube 5 A Day With Jay videos to IGTV (Instagram TV).

      Mainly, it’s making myself as visible as possible and hoping people stumble upon me in one way or another. I’ve still a lot of reading and studying to do so I can learn how best to market myself.

      Again, thank you for coming along on this journey.

  2. Ha! 2011, huh? The same year our daughters entered the same high school. The same year my students and I released the first version of our “gamified curriculum delivery system.” And for 10 years both of us have worked on our other progeny—our art, craft, product… whatever you want to call it—without much fanfare.

    What’s with the egg timer? What’s magical about five more years? Either you love what you do or you don’t. Dropping a deadline on your dream? Are you sure that makes sense?

    From something I wrote in 1995:

    It would be much easier, for all of us I think
    Look at what we’re standing on, and what we’re on the brink
    If now could be just like then, then maybe we could speak
    Wouldn’t have to run and hide, from what our wishes seek
    If we did not know better, what questions we could ask!
    Listening, we’d make believe, and wear the answer’s mask

    As for me, I’m often told, who’m I to disagree
    Time to join the real world, stop playing make believe
    They say I should know better, let’s see if they’re all right
    Make believe that we can see, what real worlds are like
    Just for fun we can pretend, there’s treasure to be found
    Gold doubloons in living rooms, if riddle is unwound

    I don’t like to interpret for other people, but those stanzas are taken out of context. The treasure ain’t cash. And that dream hasn’t died after all these years even though hardly anyone gets it.

    Stop when you no longer love what you’re doing, not when an arbitrary deadline demand you “be realistic.” Since when have dreams ever been realistic?

    Anyway, if it matters, the title of that 1995 labor of love is Dream Yet Complete. 🙂

    • Wow! I’ve not seen this blog before! I may have to dig deeper into it. 🙂

      Suffice to say, I’ll never stop writing. That 5-year plan is to access if I want to continue going at break-neck speed writing 6 books a year and trying to break into a new career, or do I want to step back, take it easy, and write more for fun instead. I doubt I’ll ever stop writing. It’s all a matter of how hard do I want to push myself.

      My mom always said, it’s hard to burn the candle at both ends.

      Wow, yeah, 10 years both our daughters went into High School together. It’s been a long, strange trip indeed.

      • A logical, rational, reasonable response. One day I’ll learn to embrace those. 😛

        Beware the IX. It’s full of dead links, unfinished business, and really, really weird stuff. One day I’ll update and expand on the ever-amazing adventures this simulation seems to offer.

        Meanwhile, until it ceases to be fun, I’ll continue playing the high school teacher alt in this RLMMORPG.

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