I sold my first short story 4 1/2 years ago to an Internet Publisher and received a payment of fifty dollars. I’ve learned a few things since then:

1. It’s almost impossible to get paid for a short story. Believe me, I know – I’ve had forty or so published. Short stories are generally considered a free read, so authors generally have to be satisfied with a publishing credit and, perhaps, some free advertising space.

2. The chances of making a living from sales of your novel are virtually nil. Again, I have first hand knowledge. Your best bet is to build your catalog, get several books published and build your fan base, or be fortunate enough to sell the movie rights to your book. I have two more novels awaiting publication and remain hopeful for a movie deal. Don’t laugh.

3. I’ve been surprised and somewhat embarrassed by how few copies of my book have sold despite my best efforts. It’s easy to remain relatively invisible regardless of how many sites you’re on and how many social media platforms you use.

4. Social media is a time-sucking celebration of banality that does almost nothing to move the sales needle. Your results may vary.

5. I have no regrets. I’m a published author and I’m proud of that. I believe that success is incremental; it rarely happens overnight. I look forward to what comes next.