Do We Write Books For “Financial Success” Or “Critical-Acclaim”?

Synopsis
Do we write books for profit alone, or to gain favorable approval from others? Or is it a combination of both? Is money more important than fame? Does fame guarantee a stream of income? These questions are a good place to start to understand why we do what we do, and how we can, or should, be defining our own success as self-publishers.

The Professor 1

What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn to look at how you define what success means to you as a self-publisher.
2. You will learn what the difference is between “financial success” and “critical acclaim”.
3. You will learn how and why you can have both at the same time.

Financial Success Vs. Critical-Acclaim Infographic

Share This Image On Your Site

Introduction
Do we write books for profit alone, or to gain favorable approval from others? Or is it a combination of both? Is money more important than fame? Does fame guarantee a stream of income? These questions are a good place to start to understand why we do what we do, and how we can, or should, be defining our own success as self-publishers.

How Do I Define Success As A Self-Publisher?
I believe that most of us that write and publish books are after two main things. These two can probably be shortened, or simplified, down to “money” and “fame”. I’m sure that you’re thinking that there must be countless ways to define success. And, I’m confident there is. We all have our own personal definition of what success means. But, I believe that most of those can be boiled down to the two main categories, or blanket terms, of “money” and “fame.

So, here is a very brief definition of each of them:

Success Ingredient # 1: Money/Financial Success: Some amount of financial return (money) for the hard work we put into creating and publishing our books; and,

Success Ingredient # 2: Fame/Critical Acclaim: Critical-acclaim for ourselves and for our books (fame), from our peers, co-workers, readers, family, etc.

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #86

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #86

Here are my personal definitions of these two terms, from my perspective as a self-publisher:

Financial Success Dollar Sign

Definition # 1. Financial Success:
We all want or need more money. And it would be really nice to be able to develop a steady stream of never-ending income from our books. But, unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of self-publishers make little or no money from self-publishing. And only a few make a decent part-time living doing it. Even fewer make a full-time living at it.

But, you must also realize that for most people, making money directly from the book alone is only one of many reasons to get involved with self-publishing. It is not uncommon for a non-fiction book that we have written, to help us achieve financial success in other indirect ways.

For example, some of us want to self-publish as a way to promote our own business. Some want to advance their career by gaining credibility in their chosen field – and credibility certainly helps bring and hold onto new business. Some might want to build a nice little side-business to supplement their current career, or do during retirement. Many of these reasons might be much more important to a self-publisher than making money directly from the sales of their book on Amazon.

Nowadays, having a book published is an amazing and powerful way to separate you from the crowd. Despite the fact that it’s much easier and less expensive now more than ever before, most people still don’t make the effort to publish a book. Doing so can give you a nice competitive advantage.

Critical-Acclaim Star

Definition # 2. Critical-Acclaim:
We all want or need a certain amount of fame. Here I’m using the term “fame” as a blanket term for all types of positive approval, or praise, or good reputation for our professional work, our book, and our ability to help others. As authors, we greatly desire to be seen as highly credible in our book, and in our subject matter. We want to be well-known for our trustworthiness and expertise. We need our reading audience, and our clients, to believe and trust us when we speak.

But, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this fame, or being well-known, is a guarantee of financial success. Critical-acclaim does not necessarily translate into financial success, and vice versa. Learning how to become financially successful and achieving critical-acclaim are two distinct skill sets that you must learn how to implement.

For example, some of us want to self-publish as a way to build critical-acclaim with our reading audience. Some may want this positive reputation from their current clients, prospective clients, peers, co-workers, employees, and so on. The list of those that we may want or need critical-acclaim from is endless.

“Do we write books for profit alone, or to gain favorable approval from others? Is critical-acclaim more important than financial success? These questions are a good place to start to understand how we define our own success as self-publishers.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)

Nowadays, having critical-acclaim from your audience, peers, clients, etc., is an amazing and powerful way to separate you from the crowd of the thousands of internet/blogging “experts”, and help you bring in new clients and customers. And never forget, that consumers are extremely savvy, and now have the tools to help them to very quickly find out who to listen to, to believe, and buy from.

Conclusion
As you probably can see by now, I believe that success is a combination of both. However, critical-acclaim is not more important than financial success. But, critical-acclaim makes me feel good, impresses my peers, my readers, my friends, and my family, helps me attract more clients, AND helps me sell more books. Achieving both makes me a very successful author and self-publisher.

Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. What is the difference between “financial success” and “critical-acclaim”?
2. Can our personal perception of success be complete without understanding these two?
Let me know in the comments section below.

This article also appears in Joel Friedlander’s online publication Carnival of the Indies – Issue #86

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it helpful. Please share it.

Hashtags: #selfpublishing #bookmarketing

Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

Author, educator, business owner, husband, and father of twins. Kunz is also a digital-media junkie fascinated by the intersection of media, design, education, and technology. Kunz is the founder of Dickson Keanaghan, LLC, a medical training and publishing company near New York City. @jckunzjr

This entry was posted in Authorship, Self-Publishing, Success and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *