When I first began studying prolific authors, I came across an excellent interview with Nora Roberts, which can be found here:
In it she states:
"On a perfect day, I get up and maybe work out for about 40 minutes or so – because I’m on my butt the rest of the day. I usually go up to my office by 9:00 and work for about 6 – 8 hours. And I write…check email…write some more. After dinner, I either call it a day or go back to work for awhile."
This quote has always captivated me. So you want to be a prolific author? Write eight hours a day, every day, like Nora does. Easy, right? Try editing a novel for three weeks and see if you still have the same level of enthusiasm as when you first started.
But that's what you must do if you hope to succeed. Work as often as you can and you'll be amazed at the results. Of course, putting in the hours is only part of the equation.
The discussion soon shifts to:
- What did you do with those hours?
- Were you effective?
- What should you be doing differently?
Personally I like smaller projects because you complete the entire development cycle every few days. The end is always near, and once you have a few projects under your belt (as well as a few additional pounds), you really get into the creative groove. And if you hate the current project at hand, keep grinding. In a few days, it’ll be in your rearview mirror.
Every day is exciting because you're making meaningful progress towards your goals. There’s also a heightened sense of security knowing that if one project falters, the next will pick up the slack.
That's exactly what happened with Happy Healthy Hearts. Even though I consider it one of my better picture books, it failed to do anything in terms of sales. Several customers have been surprised by it when they got it as part of the collection Four More Fantastic Bedtime Stories for Children 3-6. It's a great little book that no one wants to buy. Is it the title? Probably. The cover? I'm on my second already, but still the same results. I'm not sure what it is, but eventually it will find an audience.
Thankfully one of my newer releases Bubblegum Princess has been able to generate a few sales. It's been averaging about 60 copies per month since its initial release (not stellar numbers, but certainly serviceable). Once I get a few more projects off my plate, I intend to go back and add some additional content. It’s my way of saying thanks for supporting me.
As for Adorable Dogs: Labradors, I slaved away on it for a few hours this morning before finally getting it up on Amazon. Whew! I also submitted a mini-collection, which includes the German translations of My Little Pet Dragon and My Crazy Pet Frog.
Another day, a couple more titles. Now imagine if I really applied myself…
My Little Pet Dragon Update
The final numbers are in! My Little Pet Dragon did just over 21,000 copies in free giveaways (about 4,000 copies/day). I've already sold about 25 copies this evening with an additional 25 borrows. It's currently ranked in the low 3,000's and climbing.
I also gave away two other titles, Alphabet All-Stars: Animal Edition and Aveline, which did 2,500+ and 500+ copies respectively. While Animal Edition did great (for an alphabet book, that is), Aveline's performance was abysmal. That really surprises me because I thought it was one of my better titles.
Oh well. If at first you don't succeed, write another book.