When I first came back to writing, I realized right away that there were two paths I could take.
I could take it seriously, as a professional, and try to carve a career. (Strange to start a new career at 62, but then again, it doesn't feel all that different than when I was 32. I have plenty of energy -- obviously.)
Or I could treat it as a hobby.
What's the difference?
1.) By being a careerist in intention, it means being considerably more patient.
2.) Making sure every book is as good as it can be before it is released.
3) Having professional editing help, and asking for as many beta readers as possible.
4.) Picking certain books above other books with the idea that each book is the next link in the career and will do me the most good at the time.
5). Making sure the cover and presentation is as good as I can make it.
6.) Looking for the best platform -- trying to find publishers, for instance.
7). Doing as much promotion as I am capable of doing. Asking people to read and review my books. Spending more time on social media than I might ordinarily do.
8). Being patient. Releasing books in a measured way, when they will be most effective, and have the most impact on the next book.
9.) Spending money to makes the books as good as they can be, as an investment.
10.) Basically spending twice the time, effort, and money to make my books just that little bit more professional.
So I gave myself five years to do this. I'm two years into it. I've got at least 12 more books lined up that will be done to the above standards.
After that, if nothing happens -- and the odds are against me -- I'll revert to treating writing as a hobby. Just do my best, put them up when they are finished, make a brief announcement, and go on to the next thing.
4 days ago