A constant source of fascination to me is in watching various authors' careers unfold. I am always interested in seeing the choices they make and the paths they follow.
Lately, I've had the opportunity to watch two authors at roughly the same place in their careers follow very different paths.
The first author recently self-published a book for young adults. The book is quite good, the writing is tight, the plot intriguing. As time has marched on, however, he has become frustrated in his attempts to get the attention he believes the book deserves. So in an effort to stand out, he has become more and more x-rated in his blogs. His theory is that he will gain the following through his over-the-top posts and once he becomes a bestselling author, he will tone things down because then people will be watching.
The other author is finishing his first book and will soon self-publish it. He has been growing a following based on the genre he has targeted. Because his books deal with romance, he has carefully constructed romantic posts that appeal to the audience he wants as his fan base. He is very careful with each post to make certain it fits within the guidelines he has set for himself and he is already acting the part of a successful author, knowing he will grow his fan base by posting the type of scenes that will play out in his book.
My opinion about the first author is he may not realize it, but people are watching right now. There isn't a light switch that suddenly is flipped; an author's career is all about the journey itself.
My opinion about the second author: with a following on Twitter that already approaches 30,000, he's going about this in exactly the right way. I expect to see this man on the bestseller lists.
What do you think?