To my readers and any writers that would be interested in my advice. I would like you to know that I have no idea what I'm doing.
I really don't.
Not a clue.
I'm just making it all up as I go and hoping for the best.
I like writing very much, and I think I'm pretty good at it. I just don't know if I'm correct, or if I'm deluding myself. I don't really care too much because I'm having a blast.
Writing is fun. It's like daydreaming out loud. I love daydreaming and always have. I don't remember a whole lot about my childhood because I was constantly daydreaming. It was much more enjoyable than all those classes or any chores I might have had.
I'm sharing my daydreams with you. I've altered them a little bit, because in my daydreams, I'm always the hero, or emo kid watching the hero. Yes, in my daydreams I'm emo. It's a bit odd and I don't understand it. I'm not in my books though. Those are about other characters that are more interesting.
I don't know what I'm writing
My stories take a lot of twists and turns that I don't expect. There are certain things that are solid and I know what's going to happen. Everything other than that is a complete mystery to me. I think the characters are going to go to one destination, but they end up somewhere completely different.
The worst thing is when I make up new friends for my main characters. I introduce them and say, "Hey! Check these guys out. They're fascinating!" And then my main characters end up having a problem with the new guys, or the new guys are complete jerks. That sort of thing really pisses me off.
I don't know if my stories are any good. I really don't. I enjoyed writing them. I really like the characters. I did my best to get all the letters and punctuation in their correct places too. There are some great reviews and a few terrible reviews of them, more good than bad.
All of the stories end up in weird places. There is no save the world or happily ever after. Each book is about an adventure and it ends when the adventure is done. The characters go on living their lives and I may or may not write about future adventures.
To other writers
I really don't know what I'm doing. I've been at this for two years now and I've achieved mild success in sales and downloads. I've written a decent number of stories too.
Most of what I'm doing has been from reading what other Indies are doing. However, I'm pretty sure they're just guessing most of the time too. The ones that are successful are probably shocked about that fact, maybe even a little embarrassed, hoping that people don't realize that they don't know what they're doing either.
It really is fun though. Each sale, each good review, each contact from a fan telling me how much they like my stories, is a thrill! I would recommend it to anyone who likes to write.
I'll continue to share my experiences with self-publishing. I'll tell you if I figure out something that helps me write a better book, or get a few more sales. Just understand that I don't know what will happen in the future or if I'm even doing it right.
For all I know, I may be about to metaphorically drive off of a self-publishing cliff. That's okay though, I like to pretend I'm flying.
It's a great time to be a writer. Instead of gatekeepers choosing what we are allowed to write and instead of publishers keeping the lion's share of the income, writers get to write whatever they want and earn a good amount of each sale.
It's a wonderful time to be a reader. You get to read whatever you want rather than being told what you're allowed to read. You also have a limitless supply of stories. To make things better, books are becoming affordable, even free in many cases!
So that's pretty much all I had to say. I have no idea what I'm doing and just wanted to let you know.
All my best,
John H. Carroll