Learning Success – Kristen James
I like success stories. They inspire me and I genuinely like to see people succeed. On top of that, I may be able to learn something from someone’s success. I’m not big on pessimism and I try to stay away from people who have that disease. Usually they want to drag you down with their negativity and misery and since I only live once this go around, I like to eliminate those things that will not be helpful.
I’m not saying that you can’t be realistic. I actually tell people all the time that I’m a hardcore optimistic realist. There’s a way to do things and be successful. Just have to push on and find a way that works. I truly believe that, especially when it comes to being an independent author and publisher.
I write about a lot of different things that pertain to writing on my site. I know that some of the people that come here are fellow writers looking for nuggets of knowledge to help them in their aspirations in becoming a successful indie writer. So I like to give back to them some things that I have discovered. Share and share alike as they say. That’s why today I have a new class of articles I’m calling Learning Success. In these posts, I will highlight some of the things that successful people do, not just in indie publishing, but in general. My hope is that it will help others be the same.
I just like to help however I can because I know being an indie author and publisher is a rough gig.
That being said, I came across an interview with romance author Kristen James that I thought may be an inspiration as well as helpful. No, I don’t write romance (oh Lord in heaven, no) but this is not about her books. It’s about her process and success.
Here are some stats: Kristen James has written 20 books. She has 1000 reviews on Amazon. She’s sold over 100,000 books. The kicker is that she’s done all of this in two and a half years. That is not a typo. It’s simply impressive and indicative of what a writer can do if they put their mind to it.
Now, before you ask how in the world she can do that, understand that all of her “books” are not full length like we would think of them. I’m looking at one right now that is 62 pages. Another is 75 pages. Another is 354 and another is 220. So they are all over the place in terms of length. But she’s smart. She writes shorts that gets readers hooked on her style and then hits them with her longer, full-length material.
Kristen says that one of the things that led to her success is writing in he goal book.
“I began writing in a goal book in 2008. I wrote down big and little goals and tracked progress. Now I can look back and see exactly how far I’ve come.”
I addressed writing goals in my post on macro and micro goals. Writing goals is a powerful thing that can lead to discipline and success.
Another thing that she says is the single best thing she did was following her heart and writing specifically what she wanted to write.
“The single best thing I did, after starting that book [goal book], was following my heart and writing Point Hope. I left the romance genre rules behind and wrote a story from my heart. That led to many breakthroughs in my writing.”
You will often here writers say write what you know. But if you write what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life as the old saying goes.
Now, I do not believe in luck. Same as fate, wish, and one I have a special dislike for, karma. It’s mumbo jumbo superstition which I’ve stricken from my vocabulary. But when asked what happened that made her so successful, Kristen says:
“I believe in making my own luck…We get lucky by publishing more books. Trying new platforms and promotions, trying new things in our writing, and sharing what works.”
Another way say that is that she works hard, treats her writing like the business it is, and is innovative. All good things being and indie writer.
You can read the whole interview here:
Let me know what you think by writing in the comments below.