It’s one of our failings as humans to look at what everybody else is or has or can do and to not appreciate what we ourselves have.
As a writer, I watch other authors have success I would like to have: hitting best seller lists, publishing some really awesome books, fans craving to read more, their book splashed all over the internet.
No, this is not a self pity party. Haha! The fact is: I want them to be successful. I don’t want to take that from them. They are an inspiration to all of us. But I also don't want THEIR success for myself. I want MY success.
Do you understand the difference? The advice that I hear over and over on marketing books is to target your audience, and this was the biggest mistake I made when starting out. I didn’t target my audience because I didn’t know how. I just knew I wanted to write and sell books, and I wanted dedicated fans who love what I write.
I could try to copy some of my favorite authors, be more like them, try to steal their audiences, but the book industry (as well as life and the universe) just doesn’t work that way. There’s only one me and only one of each of them. I can’t copycat. Instead I’ve got to find my own niche.
L.P. Dover writes some really hot books and is really successful with the steamy romances. She has an audience who loves her, but those people who like clean books that won’t make you blush should stay away from her stories. The blurbs, the covers, and the stories are targeted to meet the desires of a specific group of readers.
Airicka Phoenix and Cambria Hebert both write New Adult Paranormal Romances, just like me. And my audience might include people who are also part of their audiences, but again, I still got to be me if I want anyone to read what I write.
The same goes with everything I do in life. Nobody else can be Mom to my kids, even if they are a great mom. Nobody else can dance or sing or plant flowers or experience adventure the way I can.
And that’s what makes our world such an awesome place to be. We are all needed to make it full of awesome diversity.
People who have read one good book and have fallen in love with reading are always looking for another good book! The book industry isn’t about competition. There is nothing to envy when you see someone else’s success. Just like there is nothing to envy when someone else has lost a few dress sizes and is looking great. Someone else’s success means that success is possible for you too.
They can be your inspiration rather than your nemesis!
So to all those people who bully writers, pirate books, or plagiarize: JUST STOP!
You don’t need to cheat to be successful.