Defining Success

I admit it. I check my Amazon sales rank a couple of times a day. I can’t seem to help myself. I look nervously around the web for reviews. I hope this is normal.

I think it is.

Everyone wants to be successful at whatever they attempt. I mean, who goes into anything thinking, “Gee, I hope this doesn’t work out.”

But what is success? How do I define it when it comes to Charlotte Collins?

Is it selling 1,000 copies and getting a contract with a big publisher?

Sure, that would be great.

But even if that never happens, I have already achieved success. In fact, I have achieved a lot of success. Success builds on success, and sometimes even failures can be turned into successes, depending on the way you look at them.

Here’s the way I look at it:

  • I finished a novel! This is the biggest jewel in the crown as far as I’m concerned. Writing a novel has been my dream since I read Anne of Green Gables.
  • I gave my novel as gift to my mother-in-law for Christmas, and she loved it. An actual person read and liked my book.
  • On my mother-in-law’s advice, I sent it to a published friend, and she suggested I attempt publication. Wow! Two people liked it!
  • I took the risk of sending it to agents and publishers, and even though I didn’t meet with sucess in the traditional way, I got very good responses.
  • I started my own publishing company. I never would have done that if the publishers hadn’t rejected me. Another success, and this one came out of what seemed like failure.
  • Someone not related to me bought a copy! I still can’t believe it.
  • In fact, lots of people have bought copies! I really can’t believe it. I’m on track for meeting my goal of selling 1,000 copies in a year.
  • Charlotte Collins has gotten great reviews from the Austen world. What an honor!

Am I on the NYT bestseller list? Hardly.

Am I in the top 100 on any Amazon lists? Nope.

And even if I don’t get a big publishing contract, I have acheived success with Charlotte Collins. I would consider myself successful with just the first two bullets on my list: finishing a novel and having one person read and like it. Everything else is amazing, wonderful, and beyond my expectations.

I am so thankful to be able to do this and I am thankful for every sale, review, and note of encouragement I get from my readers.

I have readers!


And to thank you all, I am in the process of writing you a Christmas gift. Only 67 more days….

6 thoughts on “Defining Success

  1. You most definitely have achieved success!! Big applause and heart-felt congratulations!

    And thanks to one of your posts about how to self-publish I'm working on pulling together a series of blogs I did, turning them from blog form into book form. You have no idea how your blog has been/is a major influence in my life. Thank You!

  2. Thanks for the comments, gals!

    And Kittie, congratulations on your new projects! I can't wait to hear more about them.

    You can add inspiring people to my list of successes. That's what I wanted for this blog. I wanted to share my journey, and I hoped it would inspire people to go after their dreams, even those not related to writing.

  3. Many great successes are built on many unsuccessful attempts and disappointments. The fact that you remain diligent and stay focused on you goals is highly important to achieving success. Congrats on starting your own publishing company, its yours! Thanks for sharing..

    Best wishes

Comments are closed.