Making Money. Giving Up. Not Both.


Making money in the business of writing is hard.

Every writer learns that at some point, even New York Times Bestselling writers learn it when a book or a new series tanks, when a beloved editor is canned, or when a cover stinks, when a line of books is ended, or a company folds.  The disappointment is boundless, the resulting depression can be dark and deep as an ocean. We all know that.

But success can be found (even if it was lost ). Money can be made, at any level, with perseverance and determination and creativity. It can’t be done if you give up. There’s that.

Many of you know my story.

Fifteen years with only 1 (ONE) short story sale. SO MANY REJECTIONS. HUNDREDS OF REJECTIONS. Yes hundreds. Just one positive note in 15 years. Think about that. 15 years to find the dream. Then —

Two book contract with Warner Books as Gary Hunter. Lost editor after first book. Got a new editor. The world changed. Lost the next contract.

Two book deal with Pocket Books as Gwen Hunter. Lost editor before first book was released. Got a new editor. Did not hit (that then magical number of ) 100,000 sales. Hit at 98,000 with the first book and 82,000 with the second. Got canned.

Two book deal with Hodder and Stoughton out of the UK as Gwen. Got canned.

Two book deal with Mira Books. Book two went to 98,000 sales. Was offered an additional 2 more books! Company messed up badly with book three of the series. Dropped to 17,000 sales. (Dreadful cover and they placed it in romance aisle. It was medical mystery. Sales tanked, go figure. Stupid situation, and not my fault but I suffered for it.) Series ended after book 4, which only regrew to 50,000. Four standalones followed.  Agent and editor argued. Got canned.

Sold to auction at ROC as Faith Hunter. First series had good midlister sales. Then SKINWALKER. And success! And five books after hitting the NYT, ROC disappeared. I’m now with ACE. And the market has changed. Again. I’m still selling very well, but the self-published authors, selling cheaper books, are making the biggest sales for the NYT. Yes. Stuff happens. I persevere. BOTE-Cover

In between New York books, I’ve done the small press route. Liked it well enough to consider being an editor with one company when I retire.

My point is this. Don’t give up. Giving up makes you fail. That is all. Giving up makes you fail. Find a way. Write a new book. Do the work. Become a better writer. Giving up makes you fail. That is all.

OH – new book BLOOD OF THE EARTH, August 2. Preorder now at all booksellers.




11 comments to Making Money. Giving Up. Not Both.