Joe Konrath is an awesome guy. He opened up his blog for authors to guest post for the next while. (Yes, of course I signed up. I asked to be scheduled early next year, though, and will announce when my post goes public.) But anyway, I just read the one from July 23rd, and it was really awesome!
It was written by Richard Stoker. In his post, Richard discusses the Forbes list of highest-paid authors from 2010 and 2011, then draws conclusions based on those lists. I really enjoyed reading his thoughts and think most of my author friends will as well.
You can access the post here.
All of this has got me to thinking. How important is it to write a blockbuster? On the other hand, how important is it to be prolific and put out many quality books?
Personally, though I'd love to write a blockbuster, I'd rather the steady, slow, continually writing more books routine. Like many others, I've watched authors who write blockbusters. JK Rowling released Casual Vacancy and it took forever to find it's target audience, mainly because everyone knew her through Harry Potter and judged the book based on HP's merits. After seeing how that went, JK released her next book, a mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling, under a pen name.
Stephanie Meyer, on the other hand, hasn't put out a new book since when?
My point is, JK Rowling is writing because she's a writer. It's not her fault HP went huge. She's not content to sit and live off of what she's made (she gave most of it away last year anyway). Stephanie Meyer, on the other hand, seems to be more interested in making movies. In fact, Austenland, which she produced (written by Shannon Hale) is coming out soon. I'm super excited!
I don't want to jump into public view until I'm good and ready. Which means more years of potential mistakes and working out kinks and writing more books. Anonymity isn't a bad thing, it really isn't. :-)
What are your thoughts on all of this? Would you rather be a Dan Brown, as Richard describes him, or a James Patterson? Or would you rather have a slower pace of life than either of these authors enjoys?
Another personal thought from me: I don't want millions of dollars from my writing. Millions of dollars definitely equals publicity. I write under a pen name for a reason (my maiden name). Only close friends know my husband's name or my daughter's name. I'm one of those outgoing extroverts who's really an introvert and loves privacy. :-)
But I'd definitely be very happy with a modest six-figure income from my books. :-) And if anyone knows how to become a millionaire from book sales, without everyone finding out, let me know. I wouldn't turn down the money, just the publicity. :-)