Ten signs you’re a successful author:

Last week, on Amazon.

  1. You have to hire a bookkeeper to comb through the accounts and figure out how you got money and where from. (Once it gets to be several thousand dollars, it gets worrisome.)
  2. Because of the above situation, you leave a secure job to write semi-full time, and only suffer a month or two of anxiety-related insomnia.
  3. Then, after you figure that out, you get a CPA who tells you about “tax shelters,” a previously unknown phrase (you have a long way to go to need this, but it's a fun idea.)
  4. You get to leave your adult children on your phone plan without the monthly threats to make them pay it all back.
  5. You write a book on author platform building and give it away to other writers so hopefully they can be successful too.
  6. Young people discover your books on “Reddit” an unknown and powerful alternate internet universe. They contact you through Google Plus, another unknown internet world, to rave about the books. You scratch head and wonder if you should be developing MORE social media platforms. (Argh.)
  7. Former colleagues stop you in the street, go “OMG! I read your book and I didn’t even know it was your book! I mean, I didn’t know you was you the author!” and jump up and down with excitement while hugging. (You wish you weren’t coming home from the gym, or had worn deodorant, or both)
  8. High school “mean girls” find you on Facebook and claim buddy status. You face moral dilemma of what to do.
  9.  Clients bring your book to their sessions to sign, and ask if you’ll write about them in future books, looking hopeful, and describe how they’d be a good character and why. Or, alternately, they go around telling people you, the author, are their therapist and they're probably in a book already. Just wait til I do my memoir project. (Here’s one they don’t teach you how to handle in Therapy School–and FYI, I don't pitch my books to my clients.)
  10. A reader who's a writer sends your book to her agent, who contacts you and offers representation—this after you’d given up and moved on from That Whole Agent Thing.

These are just a few of the amazing, remarkable things that have happened to me in the last six months. How about you? How do you know when you’ve “become successful”?

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