I was working on Createspace this morning, submitting my fourth novel for review so that I can order my paperback copy and begin the second round of editing. Instead of being excited though at the prospect of releasing this next story to the world, I felt this deep sense of dread overcome me, saying to me, “Ugh; here we go again.”
Days, weeks, months invested into this labor of love that will-maybe- reach a dozen or so eyes and hands…maximum. I’ll spend long hours writing query letters to the few bloggers who are gracious enough to read and review indie titles, praying that a few of them (bless those of you who do!) who will agree to read it and provide me with those crucial, initial reviews. I’ll try for that Publisher’s Weekly review that I always get rejected from. I’ll create a paperback giveaway on Goodreads, and the winner won’t write a review (four giveaways and counting). I’ll edit and polish and polish and edit. I’ll post samples and trailers. I’ll price it as cheap as I possibly can without sacrificing all dignity. And then I’ll wait. Hope against hope that maybe…this one….might take off.
The problem is that I really thought Tomorrow was going to be that novel. I thought, “this is my masterpiece!” And although I’m grateful for the positive feedback it’s gotten and for the readers who’ve taken a chance in it, I’m sad that it didn’t become that breakthrough piece for me.
And the worst part is: I know it’s my fault. I have zero clue how to market effectively. I look at what other indies are doing to market themselves and think, whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about doing all that! And does all the social media networking on a three dozen sites and paying for ads and doing signings, and branding, branding, branding really work? And when would I find the time? The money?
So, in the midst of all this pity party-ing/introspection, I’ve decided that I need to take a few steps back. Delay my release date of this next novel until I’m sure it’s really ready (TBD!), even though I set this “one book a year” goal for myself (I suppose that can count as writing, not publishing, right?) I need to take the time to research this whole self-marketing quagmire, and do it right.
And I also need to give myself a good swift kick and remind myself that this is art that I’m creating out of the joy of creating it, and be thankful for those that I do get to share it with.
Indie writing has been a wonderful journey so far. I’m grateful for the other authors I’ve connected with, the novels that I have discovered from authors all over the world. I’m grateful to be part of it all. Hopefully, I’ll release this next novel as a wiser, more with-it author.