talent, popularity, and sales…

…are not always related.

I have been thinking about this lately, I guess ever since I came back from GRL. I learned a lot there, not really about publishing or writing, but about the more social aspects of this industry and the m/m romance niche.

What I observed was this: there are authors who are talented. Really talented. They write great stories and they write them well. There are authors who are popular. They cultivate interesting personas and everyone wants to be their friend. And there are authors who have great sales numbers. They please readers and sell more books in their sleep than most of us do during a promo-blast.

But… these three traits do not always overlap!

In fact, there are hardly any authors who manage all three at once. I’m not saying this to be judge-y. I spent a lot of time thinking about all my favorite authors, my author friends, and the top selling authors in this genre overall. I really can’t think of any who hit that trifecta regularly.

I know I will never be popular, that just isn’t something I can be. I probably will never have great sales numbers and I know I’m not the most talented writer, either. But if I could pick one thing to be, I guess it would be talented. Because I know my stories will outlive me, and I’d like them to be the kinds of things my kids could be proud of. Sales would be my second choice, because money is always good. Popularity I don’t really care about, though it would be great if people didn’t hate me.

My point? I need to focus on what is important to me. If I really want to be better at this, then spending hours on social media is a waste of time (still fun, though!) So I will try to keep my goal in sight, and keep working to become a better writer and storyteller. And I will try not to get discouraged about sales and popularity in the process ❤

4 thoughts on “talent, popularity, and sales…

  1. Great post, Amelia! I’ve noticed the same thing. There seems to be a lot of happenstance involved in what sells when and how many copies. A good friend once told me that success depends a lot on luck…and luck is when hard work stumbles over a moment of opportunity. I think that’s a fancy way of saying work your butt off and what happens happens. =)

    • Thanks 🙂
      I think we’ve all read a book that blew us away, and then realized the author is not selling very well. Or similarly read a book that was recommended highly, or written by an author everyone raves about, and been less than impressed.
      I think you are right about luck. Thinking about books that have made the top 10 lists, and comparing them with those titles that have not “made it,” I struggle to find the common threads. I think sometimes maybe it IS just synchronicity.
      But as you say, hard work is a factor. And as it is really the only factor we can control, I guess I will just keep working as hard as I can 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, DP!

  2. It’s one of those pick two scenarios! Like ‘Fun, Free, Easy’.
    But seriously I look at traditionally published books, and think that sort of thing a lot. Not to rag on Twilight, but they weren’t very well written. However, they were very popular and sold a ton of books.

    I’ll keep striving to sell more stories, but I try really hard not to let my numbers dictate my feelings about my writing for the same reasons.

    • Exactly! I think that it was becoming a problem for me, all the comparing and worrying about how I measure up. And really, the only person I should be competing with is myself. But it is difficult to ignore sales rank and blog hits and all that. I’m trying 🙂

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