Measuring Success

What is success? Does anyone actually know the answer to this question? Is there some measuring stick by which all authors can gauge success? One of the author groups I’m in recently brought up this question and every answer was different. The general consensus seemed to be that success was a relative thing, defined by each person individually. Some said it was the amount of sales, others said it was the fact that there were sales at all. There was talk of fan interaction and of response to promotions. Everyone had a different opinion.

One of the biggest sidetracks from this conversation was about promotion and if one form is more or less useful than another. Are sales actually being generated from blog tours or should promotion be focused elsewhere? Is it better to pay a company to handle your promotion or to do the promotion yourself?

As a relatively new author, who came onto the scene with not a clue as to what I was doing, these are especially relevant questions. I’ve learned a lot in the time that I’ve been active and I find I continue to learn more every day. I’m not going to lie, I find some of it very difficult. I find the more social aspects of it stressful and I stare at my twitter frequently unable to think of anything to tweet. Facebook isn’t much better. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only author who has this problem, and I think probably not.

I want your opinions, your thoughts. What then, to you, defines success and how does one reach a successful point? What promotional method do you use that you’ve found is efficient? If you could give advice to incoming authors who’ve never been published before, what would you say? When you release your books at what point do you say, this book was a success?

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