What kind of a writer are you? What does your process look like? What’s a realistic quantity for you?
How picky are you – what are the most important aspects to get right for you?What’s the best genre for you to write (which might not be the same as your favorite genre to read)?Writing to market vs finding your audience – those are not exclusive.
Write stuff you love, that you would pay money for. Don’t write something just because it’s hot. If you’re bored, what’s the chance your reader will like it?But, know where you’re going to shelve it. What categories it belongs in. How big that market is. Do your research, follow authors in that genre, join fan groups of that genre. Pay attention to what they like, what they hate, what they expect, what they forgive.Don’t write for awards. Just write your best stories. Awards are for prestige but they don’t pay the bills. This is a business class, if you want awards, you might want that MFA.
Finish what you start. And then either shelve it, or do something with it.
Answer this question – is this part of my million words of crap? Or can I make a few bucks on it? If I’m not sure – start a pen name, throw it out there, see what happens.Give it to some beta readers, see what they think. Probably not your mom, or your partner, or your kids. People who are your target audience, who like that genre.AND STOP FUSSING WITH IT AT SOME POINT.Also, if it’s truly not salvageable, you can give up on it. Start something else. That you will finish. Finishing is its own skill set, and YOU CAN’T SELL A HALF FINISHED ANYTHING.
How techy are you? And yes, that’s a real word – didn’t even get flagged when I was writing this. You’ll need to have at least some technical skills to run your own business in today’s environment – or a friend or partner to do it for you. Otherwise you’re going to spend a ton of money paying for services.