Part one in a series

One million books will be published next year in the U.S.

Seven hundred and fifty thousand will be self-published.

The average length of a novel is estimated to be 60,000 and 70,000. I decided to thread the needle and use 65K, coming up with 48,750,000,000 words self-published each year. That’s 48 in billions.

My 89,342 words face a daunting challenge.

Who wants to be a writer?

Justine Goldberg, writing in Publishing Perspectives, claims 200 million Americans say they want to publish a book.

Wow. Talk about competition.

I sometimes feel like Forrest Gump when he decided to stop running. Is it time to stop writing?

No, it can’t be

That can’t be.

I can’t stop. Writing is hard-wired into my DNA. It’s nothing to do with competition. It’s not about how many words I’m up against. I’m not finished telling stories!

Get it right

Even if 750,000 books are published next year, most will be third-rate, at best, according to Joseph Epstein in The New York Times.

In the Publishing Perspective article, Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks said, “Self-published books are uniformly badly published.”

Tom Dever, TLC Graphics and Narrow Gate Books, added, “If a book looks self-published, readers aren’t going to buy it.”

That’s the challenge, Indie authors. That’s part of the edge against the competition. Books can’t disregard the craft of book publishing. Self-publishers pay a price ignoring in the rush to publish.

It’s easy to self-publish. It’s easy to do it wrong.

If you and I work our hardest to get it right, we leap over a huge number of self-published authors.

Doing it Right

Remember the old expression that everything old is new again? There’s no substitute for:

  • A good story
  • A good Cover
  • Good Interior

A good story doesn’t come out like a newborn baby, fully formed and ready to breathe. To keep the metaphor going, a story is conceived, developed, and birthed.

I know when I’ve written something good, I think. I don’t have an eye for what I’ve not written well. Beta readers and workshops help.

Like many, if not most, Indie authors, I don’t have a lot of cash on hand, but I spend as much as I can on cover design. To me, a cover is an invitation to the dance between reader and author.

The interior is our story on display. We want that dance to end with the reader wanting more. Editing is expensive, but I pay as much as I can. I keep putting comas in when I shouldn’t and leaving them out when they’re needed. Before you point out the coma mistake I just used, I had an editor tell me my use of commas put him in a coma.

In the End

Finished with a story, I sleep easily, knowing I’ve done the best I can.

Somewhere out there a reader is waiting. Print sales are up, eBook sales down, and the use of smartphones as a reading device has gone up 7%. I don’t care how they prefer to read, I love readers.

For me, I’ll keep writing until I don’t have any more stories to tell. I still don’t see the stop sign. How much writing will end as novels? Who knows? My first writing love was a short story.

That’s my story. I would love to hear from you. Agree? Let me know. Disagree? Let me know. I’d love to keep our conversation going. Writing’s a great journey for me, and I wish the same for you.

Thanks for reading,


Click and send me your thoughts


The dynamic author of 4 thrillers, Chuck’s an unapologetic wordsmith, and friends with many fictional characters. He’s the creator of the Matt Tremain thrillers series. You can find out more about his novels at Amazon Author Central as well as his website: www.chuckwaldron.com


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  • Wow, Chuck, that was an enjoyable short read! You keeping coming up with new “stuff” that makes me smile and think well that’s a new way of saying something!! I enjoyed reading it—- so keep on writing!

    • Thanks for you encouragement. That’s what keeps writers, like me, going. Now, I’m challenged to keep coming up with new “stuff.” 🙂