Success: acclaim or money?


SHARING ALERT: this piece is profoundly sad. It’s also the kind of story that can stop a new writer dead in her/his tracks. If that’s you, you may want to close this tab. If not, it’s an eye opener.

Merritt Tierce wrote a debut novel many of us would run over a basket of puppies to claim as our own. It was positively reviewed and got a lot of attention in the “right” literary circles. And still, it was not successful in terms of the almighty dollar. Read this account of the dark side of literary fame.

It provided many stomach-churning takeaways–solid confirmation that it’s tough to be a writer, even if you achieve “success”:

  • Don’t quit your day job to write.
  • Don’t assume that praise will equal sales.
  • Publishing is unfair, the audience of readers fickle and unpredictable.
  • Your book is not a guaranteed Golden Ticket to the good life.

One thing’s for sure. I’m going to go out and buy Merritt Tierce’s book. It may not help, but it cannot hurt.

Photo courtesy of Didier Weemaels/

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