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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