When Amanda Hocking was a depressed 17 year old, she wrote a novel about a girl who falls for vampire brothers. It was rejected by 50 publishers and it isn’t hard to imagine why. Ten years later, she decided to self-publish it as an e-book, following it up with romance novels about trolls. The first month a couple sold, the next month 36, and now one million ebooks later, St. Martin’s Press paid 2 million for the privilege of signing her up. There is also a movie deal.
So what’s the message here? Some people will say if you want to succeed, write YA romances about trolls or better yet, some creature of the night not yet picked up (Golem anyone?). But that’s not what I take out of this.
If you’ve got food on the table and a roof over your head, do what you love and f-iretr-uck success. At least “success” as it gets shouted into our ears: make money, make news. That sort is a crap shoot.
Amanda Hocking was lucky that way. She got 2 million dollars and a feature in The Independent.
I don’t know anything else about her life or whether she is also lucky in personal happiness. I hope she is. But that is something all of us have a say in as well as a stake in.
Do something you love today. See something you love and share it. That’s success, and we all really know it is–we just forget because of all that noise that insists it’s something else. Someone hand me the ear plugs.
How do you define success?