Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What is success?

by Stacy Green, author of psychological suspense with a dash of romance

What is success?

That is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. My second novel, TIN GOD, recently became an Amazon bestseller. It was a wonderful, euphoric feeling, but I shun the idea of being called a bestselling author. Thanks to great advertising, I simply sold a lot of copies at a sale price. It’s been great for visibility, but I don’t think it’s fair to call myself a bestseller. Sales are steady now, and it’s a wonderful feeling, but I’m still new at this gig. I don’t expect to have massive numbers thanks to amazing readers telling all their friends about the book.

And to me, that’s what a true bestseller is. A book that is so good (or at least has so much reader buzz) that you just have to try it out yourself.

I’m not there yet. But I’m working on it. 

But the experience has raised the question: what is success, and how do I measure it?

As an indie author, I invested a lot in the editing and cover of my book, and I’m finally crossing into the green side of the investment spectrum. So yes, there’s financial success. Like the majority of us, money has to be a major factor in my decision making. 

But there’s also critical success. Reviewers have loved the book in a way I never expected. Talk about the warm fuzzies! Nothing like praise to make a person want to work harder. 

And then there are the plain old numbers–the ones any business obsesses over. And in the publishing world, numbers mean bragging rights. 

But you know what? None of that truly equates to success. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but what success really means (or SHOULD mean) is that we are happy with the product and effort. Whether we are writers or engineers or executives or salespeople, at the end of the day, happiness in our career is more than money and accolades. It is feeling like we are doing something we truly love and something we’re meant to do. 

Not everyone is lucky enough to say that, but I am.

So I’m calling today a success. 

What about you? Have you been lucky enough to be able to pursue your dreams?

**Semi-Finalist in The Best Indie Book Awards for Mystery/Suspense 

**A Kindle Bestseller in Mystery and Suspense.

Trapped by poverty and without many allies, Jaymee Ballard is determined to reunite with the daughter she believes was stolen from her. But when the one person willing to help Jaymee ends up murdered in one of the historic mansions in Roselea, Mississippi, she realizes the secret of her past has come back to haunt her.

Now any hope Jaymee has of making things right rests in a man she barely knows and is afraid to trust, a man with his own demons to fight. Up against years of deception, they rush to identify the killer before the evidence-and Jaymee's daughter-are lost.

TIN GOD is an action-packed romantic suspense/psychological thriller featuring a strong woman determined to find a demented serial killer and find justice for her child.

Purchase on Amazon


About the author :

Born in Indiana and raised in Iowa, Stacy Green earned degrees in journalism and sociology from Drake University. After a successful advertising career, Stacy became a proud stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. Now a full-time author, Stacy juggles her time between her demanding characters and supportive family. She loves reading, cooking, and the occasional gardening excursion. Stacy lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband Rob, their daughter Grace, and the family’s three obnoxious but lovable canine children.


Amazon Author Page

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Twitter @StacyGreen26


  1. Great thoughts! We've talked about this privately, and I'm glad this is the conclusion you've reached. And congrats on making back your investment. That's got to feel awesome.

  2. Congratulations on every aspect of your success! Savor it. For ambitious people, the feeling of success can be elusive because we're always setting up new goals and challenges. But it's good to be reminded that happiness is about enjoying every moment.

  3. Hi Stacy, I totally agree with your definition of success. For me, success is loving what I do and getting paid enough to make me feel grateful. I'm grateful every day, and that's success enough for me.
    Congrats on being a "best-selling" author. It's a great accomplishment, even if it doesn't spell "success" to you. The important thing is that it's a recognized milestone and every milestone reached is another rung on the ladder.

  4. Yes, congratulations on your success. It's so gratifying to not only have the increase in sales, but also the good reviews. There's nothing more heartwarming than to have someone really 'get' what you're writing.

    I've seen this topic discussed on various writing loops and I think every person has their own definition of a bestseller. I think the term is more important to authors than readers.

  5. You have examined something most people define as external and internalized it very well.

    "…happy with the product and effort" made me think of all of the books that make the bestseller list because of who supposedly wrote them: politicians, celebrities, infamous criminals. I read a statement once that if you walked into almost any home that had purchased one of these books, it would be as pristine as the day it was bought. I wonder how successful those "authors" feel.

  6. Oh, I love it, Stacy! You have totally nailed this. Success is doing what we love, doing it well and making enough money at it that we can keep doing it.

  7. Thanks so much, everyone. This is something I have been struggling with for a while, and being called a bestseller after the Book Bub ad really spurred it on. As authors, we spend so much time focusing on sales numbers that the joy of writing sometimes gets lost.

    I know that has certainly happened to me in the last couple of months, and I'm really excited to be back on track.

  8. Great blog post, Stacy. I've been tied up at Craftfest/Thrillerfest all day with no internet, so just checking in quickly before heading over to the Craftfest cocktail party. I love your definition of success! Keep doing what you love and your readers will continue to grow!

  9. Thanks so much for having me Jodie. Have a great time at Thrillerfest!


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