How Do You Measure Success?

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Ask this question to ten different people and you might very well get ten different answers.  Many may say success lies in the amount of money you make, while others will say it’s reaching your goals. Sometimes, it’s just not so easy a question to answer.

Is success selling a certain amount of books? I recently came across a quote that said: “The average U.S. book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime”.  I’m not sure how true it is or where it came from, but if I used that to measure success, I have no doubt I’d be considered successful by year’s end.

Is it in the money you make?  Considering most authors I know work another job in conjunction with writing, I don’t think most of us are in it for the money.  Not to say that wouldn’t be nice, but I think most of us aren’t expecting to be able to live off our book royalties.

If your book gets picked up for movie, does that mean you’re a success? Probably! Hah except that they typical have to change the story to fit the different medium, so it doesn’t always end up as powerful as your writing, but I would definitely rank it up there high on the success ladder.

I think, for me, success lies in the reviews, both good and bad.  I think writing something that moves the reader enough to want to review it means your writing has touched them in some way.  Of course the good reviews make you feel better about your writing and it’s lovely to see people enjoying your story, feeling for your characters, etc. but I’ll take the bad as well and use it to better myself and my writing.

How do you measure your own success?

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