Verbal Vomit #21332 - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

Verbal Vomit #21332

I'm writing this for no other reason than I freaking want to. What other reason do I need, really? LOL

There was a time when I felt bad about wanting to make money as an author. I. FELT. BAD about asking people to pay me money for my books. Hell, there was a time when I couldn't even SAY the word "author" when I was talking about myself. I felt like a sham.... like that title was something I needed to earn- and clearly having 1, or 2 or even 3 self-published books didn't earn me that right.

It's an interesting thing, putting your heart on the line in each novel the way that we do. Or at least the way I do. I'm an extremely sensitive being. You may not think that when you meet me because i'm pretty straight forward, blunt and aggressive- but it's true. My guts are deeply sensitive. They hurt easily. It's part of who I am ... I am very emotional.

How do I always stray so quickly?! LOL Okay, back to the point.... there was a time when I first started out that I didn't feel worthy of making money. I know that might sound crazy, but it's true. I didn't feel like my books were as great as other books out there. I felt like they didn't warrant a higher price tag and so I basically gave them away for free to anyone who wanted to read them, or said they would. Everything felt like a constant choice- either gain readers OR make money. It seemed like I had to pick one or the other (sometimes to be honest, it still does) and I couldn't have both. I chose the readers because I wanted to reach as many people as possible with my words and hopefully grow and gain a fan base so that I eventually COULD make money doing this. Making a living became my #1 goal because I quickly realized just how much I LOVED writing. And I never wanted to stop doing it.

As I continued to work my ass off as a self-employed human and my writing grew, so did my self worth when it came to this business. It really is an evolution that we all go through from first starting out to wherever we are now. I know that it isn't the readers "problem" all the things self-pubbed authors have to pay for on our own, what we miss out on, how we prioritize, etc.... It's not your issue what I choose to do to maintain my business, or how many people I have to pay to help me run it (accountants, lawyers, advisors, editors, designers, formatters, etc). But in that same regard, I sometimes long for a smidgeon of understanding.

That this IS my business.
My livelihood.
I'm trying to save for my son's future the same way you're trying to save for yours. I have goals and dreams the same way you guys do. Right before The Perfect Game took off, I lost the first (and only) home I'd ever bought. I've struggled. I've lived paycheck to paycheck the majority of my life. I've gotten into HUGE debt as a single mom before. I know what it's like to scrimp and save for things that might seem silly to others, but know would bring you immense joy to have.

Those of us who work for other people expect to get a paycheck for our work each month. Why do we all somehow see Indie Authors as "not worthy" of getting paid for theirs? We like to tell them what to price their books at, what their books are worth, and what we're willing to pay.
It's really hard being on this end of that issue.

I don't want you guys to ever think i'm a greed based person. I'm not. But as I've grown in this industry and feel like I've paid my dues, I do believe my books are worthy of a certain price point. And the thing is, I don't want to feel bad about that. I'm tired of feeling bad about asking readers to pay for my hard work and talent. I can't give it away for free all the time. And I know the flip side is that you guys read 2390482394 books a month and so you can't afford to read every single book you might want too. But if I've learned anything from y'all, it's that if there is a book you want, you WILL buy it, no matter the cost. You all taught me that. Time and time again. You're always teaching me things.
I have no idea what the hell my point is anymore. Sometimes I just enjoy verbally vomiting to you guys so that we can try to bridge the gap that seems to exist between author and reader. I like you guys to understand the why's of things. At least from my perspective. I love and appreciate you all so much. Thank you for everything you've always done for me. I don't even have a career without you and I am FULLY aware of that. Always. Don't ever think I take you for granted.

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