hit tracker Dave Shields Author Blog: The Paradoxymoron

A journal detailing my efforts to launch my career as a novelist. The goals are to share info about succeeding in this field with other aspiring authors, to provide updates to the many supporters who have asked me for them, and ultimately to build the momentum necessary to assure success in this venture.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Paradoxymoron

Intriguing opportunities streamed in after winning the Ben Franklin Award. I guess I can't be surprised that some of them have turned out to be little more than illusions. I'm just one breakthrough away from turning my writing passion into a legitimate, bill-paying career. I've gotten here with a lot of optimism and hard work, but as in any business there are tough realities to face. In publishing, the numbers are intimidating. There were 195,000 books published last year. Obviously, even the most avid reader will only experience a tiny fraction of them. People who find a book they enjoy often buy one copy and share it among friends, or they get it from the library. The math is simple. Most of these thousands of books, no matter their quality, have little chance of selling enough copies to make their authors a living.

But still, like so many other aspiring authors, I run down every lead I can. Each time, I'm giving up time doing the most important things in life, whether it be to earn a secure living for my family, to go on a bike ride, or to hang out with my little girls. I'm not doing any of these things as much as I should. Those closest to me say that I've given up too much in pursuit of this dream. So, it's for them that I reitterate my time limit. If I'm not hitting our goals by the end of August, I'll choose a new career.

Between now and then I have two major book oriented goals. First, I'll work as hard as I can to get publicity for and spread the word about The Race. Second, I'll finish my sequel and insure that it is on shelves by next spring. After that, if I get a big break, it will have to be because my existing work is good enough that someone decides it merits attention. I'd cross my fingers, but it makes typing too difficult.


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