Vintage typewriter on a desk

Back to my Roots…

Hey there, I’m Marie, a multi-published, award-winning fiction author. I’ve been active in the publishing industry since 2011, back when mainstream indie publishing was still in its infancy stage. A lot’s happened since then, and I’ve made a lot of costly mistakes along the way, many of them. I’ve easily lost at least six figures in the process over the years. And honestly? I wouldn’t change a thing. There’s so much to be said about how the industry has morphed to what it is now. Many authors who were popular back then have either disappeared, or started new ventures.

I never considered myself a popular author, or one who has ever ‘made it.’ I never had a breakout success that set me up for retirement. It’s been a struggle then and now. Perhaps a lot of it is my own doing, because I am not considered a ‘mainstream’ writer. I’ve tried writing to market, and all it did was give me burnout. That wasn’t how I was wired, and I had to accept the fact that I had different stories to tell. I fully believe there is a market for every type of book. Some markets are bigger/smaller than others. My stories have mostly catered to the smaller markets, and I’ve finally come to accept that.

Imposter syndrome and comparisonitis is a real thing in this industry. It’s hard to not be frustrated when you spend months or years putting your heart and soul into a book, only to get crickets. Meanwhile, another author can write a book in a month and get a cult following as soon as the book is out. It’s a shitty feeling to feel ignored, and I know all about it. It’s something I still struggle with even now. But I’m slowly accepting that I have a special superpower, just like everyone else. I believe in my stories, and my writing. They will remain buried as hidden gems for now. They are the underdogs of the industry, and I’m totally here for it. I have fallen more in love with less-popular books than the mainstream cult-following ones. This has been my case with movies, as well.

I don’t know what I would do if my books ever became breakout successes. I guess I need to figure it out. I’ve seen what the price of fame can do to some people. It can be anxiety-inducing, and that’s the last thing I want to deal with. Writing is my outlet, my passion, and one of many ways I de-stress. I don’t want my passion to turn against me. I’m not a unicorn (yet). But I will be prepared for if and when that time comes.

For the new year, I’m getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things with my business. Throwing away things that didn’t work and going back to my roots. What did I do to get to this point? I started out my career writing Fantasy books, so I’ve gone back to those stories. There’s a greater joy I hadn’t felt in a long time. I’ve started a blog again. I’ve gone back and forth with blogging, but couldn’t stay consistent. But since I’ve ditched my newsletter, I’m going to spend more time blogging instead. I never started with a newsletter when I first published. So here I am, full circle, back to where I was in 2011, only with a little more knowledge. It’s a humbling and freeing feeling to not have the pressure of chasing the latest trends or hustling hard to make a buck. It’s literally enjoying the process all over again.

There are a lot of authors out there whom I think have lost their way and forgotten their roots of how they got where they are. It can change a person, usually in the wrong way. There are very few of the OG authors left that have not forgotten, and they still have my respect.

My goal in life is to one day become financially independent so that I can dedicate more of my time to writing. But I don’t want my writing to be my sole source of income. I never want my passion to become my sole source of income because it will then become a job and I will hate it. I’ve been getting heavily involved with financial investment groups to hopefully learn how I can start generating passive income. Because I learned about financial independence later in life, I’ve been spending these years playing catch-up.

The stigma of self-publishers never able to make a livable income is still out there. Honestly, there are a vast number of both traditional and indie authors who do not make a livable income. Many of these authors have 2+ jobs. Some may be fortunate to have a spouse to help lighten the financial load. I do not have any of those things, which means I have to hustle even harder. I have no excuse to give up when there are plenty of people out there working their asses off in careers with spouses and kids to support.

I am responsible for my own choices.

This new era of ‘hustle culture’ in the publishing industry is an experience I’m slowly accepting. The market is so saturated with books, yet, it is still possible for authors to be paid for their work. This is another reason why I made such a drastic pivot in my business—to cultivate my 1000 true fans. Adopted from Kevin Kelly, this is something that has constantly been on my mind this year. I’m on a mission to find my 1000 true fans, no matter how long it takes. These are die-hard readers who love and support you unconditionally. So many other authors around me have this, and now I feel like this year is my turn. I love every reader who takes time out of their busy life to read my books. The readers who know me and have seen me at book events and conventions, they know I give them the ultimate VIP treatment. Because I do give a damn about each and every one of those readers who took their precious time (and parted with their hard-earned money) for me.

With all that to say, I am an author. A multi-published, multi-award-winning author.

And a damned good author.



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