Motivation Monday -- A Hybrid Author's Story
I love this story because it reminds me of my own in a small way.
So there's this author. She's a social worker living in a single-wide trailer in East Texas. She'd always wanted to be a writer but talked herself out of it. Didn't believe she could write a story...and even if she did no one would publish it, so why bother?
It does to me. Goes back to my blog on Finding Your Passion in which I discussed a group of people who know what their calling is but they talk themselves out of it and so have to take the scenic route to their dreams. Being miserably successful...or at least getting by. Doing what you think you're supposed to be doing.
That's what this author did.
So, get this. She finally sits down and writes this book in one feverish month. When friends and family started asking to read the book, she decides to post the book for sale and make it free for a week. to her surprise, people started reading and reviewing it...even after she started SELLING them for a small fee.
Colleen's book hit at the beginning of the New Adult genre, which is hot and new and drawing a huge readership from adults fresh out of YA. The stories are very relatable and the following is strong. And she capitalized on that at the right time. Also, critically important, she wrote the book she wanted to read but couldn't find on the shelves.
Toni Morrison said, "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
That's what she did. She wrote a book about young adults involved in poetry slams and a burgeoning romance that takes a interesting turn.
Her readership grew like crazy...and she was missing her characters so she published the sequel. She also had some help from book bloggers -- authors LOVE book bloggers. That's when her book hit the Kindle 100. And not long after that, the first book and the follow up hit the New York Times Best Seller list for ebooks.
How about that?
Of course, the Big 5 got wind of the two books and Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint ended up picking up the ebook rights to her novel. And not long after that she sold the movie rights.
When it came time to write her second series, she sold both the ebook and paperback rights to Simon & Schuster. She was able to quit her job and become a full-time writer.
Let's pause here for a deep sigh. *sigh* Ahhhh....dare to dream.
One of her biggest thrills was dumping the single-wide for a house with doors and central air!
The author's name is Colleen Hoover.
And her first book was called Slammed!
What was my take away from her story?
1. Don't talk yourself out of your dreams! If you know what you were called to do, then given into it as early in your life as possible. Yes, you can do it! No, there is no one to stop you but YOU.
2. Write the book you want to read! That's what I did. That's what a lot of writers do. If you want write, it is the best place to start.
3. If you reach a level of sales success that attracts Big 5 publishers, definitely consider hybrid publishing. It really offers the best of both worlds. I suspect Colleen probably got to the point where all she wanted to do was write and not worry about the other business of writing. When you're making a level of money and you have a movie deal, that may work for you. BUT hybrid publishing allows you both control and freedom. Certainly worth consideration...
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