It’s almost March already. I can’t believe it, can you?
Where did February go?
Do you often find yourself asking these questions? I do, all the time. And it happens with books too. I had an arrangement with a local market-holder to stock some of my books, so I ordered a few. When they arrived I half-heartedly picked one up and leafed through. I began to read, and was hooked! Had I actually written this? I couldn’t remember. Eighty thousand words, where did I find the time?
Well, as for February, it was pretty crud. Things got the better of me. I’m in a job I no longer love and I’m stuck in a country I want to get out of. To do that I need a job, and I can’t get one. I’m too old. I posted some of my feelings on FaceBook (which is not to be recommended, and in the cold light of day I was an idiot to do so) and fairly soon people were telling me I am depressed and should go to the doctor’s for some medication.
Me, on medication…FOR DEPRESSION.
The whole point is, I am fairly hacked off with all this publishing business. Note publishing NOT writing. I’m not self-published, by the way. I don’t ever want to be. I have nothing against self-published authors, but the sudden explosion of such authors has had a negative impact. Some are good, I concede that. BUT, there are hundreds of thousands of folk out there who believe all they have to do is sit in front of a keyboard and bash out any old gloop in order to earn a million. This has done irreparable damage to all of us. Readers, a discerning bunch, are now wary of ‘new’ writers. Too many badly written, and dreadfully edited, self-published books are out there. So, trying to break through is virtually impossible. All you can really do is write GOOD books, a lot of books. Keep going and try…
I write and submit to agents and independents. Some of them have seen something in what I do to offer me a contract. And here comes the reason for my current low, which I touched on last time but want to go into further detail here – one of my publishers has refused to publish the sequel to another work because the sales have not been so good.
I was crushed by this. He even said I was ‘a terrific writer’. My books receive 4 and 5-star reviews, so it’s not like I’m crap. BUT…it’s all about money, isn’t it. Sales.
Sales. Jeez, I hate selling. I hate all this marketing and promotional stuff. I can’t do it; it simply doesn’t fit well with the sort of person I am. I have little self-belief, lack self-confidence, am the sort of guy who sits in the corner at parties and nobody notices. There is no way I can suddenly leap up and start sounding off about how great I am. Because I’m not. I’m just a grunt, down in the trenches, working every day to put together stories that people might enjoy.
The problem is, not enough of them are buying to discover this for themselves.
So, I’ve tried. I offered free books. Imagine, a free book and in return all the reader had to do was post a review. Because reviews help. Well, I posted and posted, and I’ve submitted my books to review sites, promotional sites, endless, endless posts on FB and Twitter…over 9,000 people saw one of my posts. NINE THOUSAND! How many people actually responded? Two.
So, I’m close to giving up. Not writing, I’ll always do that, but I’m just about rock bottom…and then, oh glorious, wondrous day…something GOOD came out of all of this. One of the few people who responded asked me a simple question, ‘Have you got an agent, because if you haven’t I can introduce you to mine’.
A good friend told me something good always comes out of something bad. And it looks as though it might. I wrote to the agent, sent them one of my books and…she says she is interested! Now, I’m not jumping up and down because she is still reading it, but… So, I’m now gnawing my fingers to the bone, waiting, waiting, waiting.
So, I could turn it around. I could break through. I could.
February? It disappeared in a blur of mixed emotions.
Perhaps March might prove to be filled with sunshine!
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