Hugh Howey’s latest post is the best career guide I’ve seen for modern authors. Go read it. And the recent Forbes articles is a must-read on the REAL reasons for the indie revolution.
Which brings me to thoughts of the future and what it will mean to be an indie author for the next five years. I firmly believe the future will see more and more authors (new, midlist trad-pubbed, as well as veteran bestsellers) going indie, in part or whole. In five years a whole “generation” of writers will have made careers as writers without having ever been published by anyone other than themselves. Those authors will have made their own rules (about storytelling, writing, and careers), and they will be different than any other generation of authors in the past.
This crucible of indie publishing isn’t just changing the industry, it’s changing the writers.
The Five Year Plan
Right now, I’m working on a NEW Five Year Plan for my writing career, and Hugh’s post is a timely reminder that I need to take an objective view of the industry while planning my next moves. Before I self-published in November 2011, my Five Year Plan went something like this:
- 5 Year Goal: Make enough $$ from my writing to replace a part-time job in engineering and help fund my boys’ college education (estimated equivalent to selling 15k books/year)
- 1 Year Goal: Write&publish Books 2&3 of the Mindjack Trilogy; hit the top 100 in my Amazon category at some point during the year.
- First Book Goal: Break even on the launch of Open Minds and build fanbase towards the longer term goals.
What do I want to be writing in five years?
What drives the length of a story?