I've been reading Wool, by Hugh Howey, to get a sense of what the fuss is about.
This is the poster-child for indie books, the break-out success, being made into a movie, even.
It's in 5 parts, each part longer than the other, until it becomes a pretty substantial book. The first part -- the one that apparently got all the initial attention -- is actually pretty small. It would have been a fairly interesting story, by itself.
Nothing spectacular though. I mean, more than competent. Some good writing after a maybe a bit of maybe trying too hard at the beginning. (As a writer, I'm noticing that a lot in good first books.)
Halfway through, I was thinking -- this is nothing special, why is it so huge? Then about 3/4ths of the way through, I started noticing the quality of writing again, and it was pretty damn impressive.
So I'll give him his due. He probably deserves it.
So here's the thing. You have to write a good book. It's up to me to write a good book.
I keep trying, and I can't tell how good my own books are or aren't in some ways. I know when I've done my best, and I try to only publish those books.
But ultimately, it's up to me to write books that people like. Not only that they like, but which they want to promote.
A good book may not get noticed much, left alone. Publicity is still the biggest factor as far as sales are concerned. I mean, FIRST you have to write a good book, then you have have some luck, some connections, some timing, some skill at selling yourself.
Hugh Howey has a nice website, and a nice online persona. Humble yet authoritative. Just folks. And he's obviously been very smart about his career management. And he writes good books. So more power to him.
I keep coming back to the idea that I should just write my books, do my best, enjoy the process, and let nature takes it's course without expecting much.
I'm O.K. with that, most of the time.
1 day ago