Friday, January 27, 2012

Author Greg Hamerton on Hope and the Kindle fire

Guest posting today is fantasy author Greg Hamerton, author of the epic fantasy series The Tale of the Lifesong.

In life, many of us expect to be lucky. We’re secretly optimistic about our chances. I suppose it’s why so many people buy lottery tickets, go to casinos, try paragliding ... and write books.

“You can’t win it if you don’t play it,” echoes in my mind as I write this. That lottery ticket I bought last week didn’t have a single winning number on it. And yet I’ll probably be suckered into buying another one, some time, with the simple thrill of anticipation you can engineer by taking a chance.

And I’ll probably be suckered into writing another book by that same childish notion of winning big. It helped get me through dark hours of writing: to keep on closing the door on sunny days. I was writing The Book. And although hoping for a best seller wasn’t the only motivation, it helped.

Many reasons conspire to get us behind our keyboards: to express our art, the joy of creation, the love of crafting, the challenge of mental gymnastics, the learning that comes from writing, the surprising insights, and the Story that must get out. But underneath this all is burning inspiration, and it is fuelled by book sales. When there is no hope of ever being published, bought and read, the fire can only burn for a while before it dies.

But Amazon has handed everyone a piece of kindling.

Used to be, 99.9% of writers had no realistic opportunity to even buy a ticket to the ‘best-selling book’ lottery. Now, within a day of loading your manuscript on Kindle Direct Publishing, you’re in a place where you can win. No gatekeepers, no delays, no middlemen. Unlike the other digital markets right now, Amazon’s sales figures are staggering. To be fair, for many authors, selling hundreds a day is as unlikely as bagging the Euro Millions, but you have a ticket. It is possible.

Suddenly there is no reason to let the fire of inspiration go out. Amazon has enabled your next creation, by offering you hope. I expect this will cause a raging fire of new authors and new books. It’s already happening.

How do I know my little flame will stand out in this literary inferno? I think I’ll be lucky. It’s in my nature. As it is in yours.

So write!

Greg Hamerton is a fantasy author, graphic designer and extreme sports publisher. He is best known for his epic fantasy series The Tale of the Lifesong, which begins with The Riddler’s Gift and continues with Second Sight.

"There is a song that drifts on the breeze through all the world. Its rhythms are echoed in our breath, the music is caught in our laughter, hidden in our language, woven through our life. Singers reach for the melody, but it is too delicate to hold and too elusive to remember. As the Ages pass, so the Lifesong retreats under the sounds of our time, its potent beauty and danger ever more a mystery."

Find out more on

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sure wish my titles would go to hundreds a day on Amazon, but a couple a week is better than nothing!