I wanted to share this blog and the struggles that I have been dealing with for the past “little” while. It seems over this past week to me that each person’s story and struggle is important to understanding who they are and where they come from. It is also rather therapeutic for those who are doing the telling. I hope this story doesn’t seem too personal, or that you think I’m revealing far too much about myself in it. However, I do believe in honesty and truth, and in not hiding in the shade.
It’s so hard for me to put this into words that make sense. The closest I can come to is that I feel like a failure. While there are a few things in my life that are not going right at the moment (work, school, the pursuit of happiness), the one that would be relevant to this blog is my novel and my writing. FOREVER BURN came out March 1st of this year, and while I have sold copies of it, I feel inadequate in the amount that have been sold and the entire process.
I’m sitting here thinking that it needed another round or two of editing. That it needed a better, more formed, stronger publisher, who works harder (or at all) on marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my publisher, she’s great and sweet, but I’m starting to see some downfalls and thinking that I may have made a bad choice.
When it comes to marketing, I feel as though there is only so much that I can do by myself for free. I certainly can’t afford to hire a publicist or even pay $50 to end up on a blog tour or to have my book reviewed. I’ve been unemployed since December of 2011 and the toll on me has been taken. I live off of about $900-$1000 a month (3/4 of that if not more goes to rent). That is considered poverty, yet here I stand (or sit, actually), living off my mother who can barely afford to live as is. It’s a constant struggle. When is writing and taking this time not worth it anymore?
When will I reap the benefits? I did get my first royalty check at the first of this month. I was ecstatic even though the dollar amount was measly (under $20). What do I get for it? I spent hours upon hours, money on ink to print and edit, money to mail stuff out to the publisher, cover artists, editor, and formatter, I put so much time and energy into it and all for what? I know that I’ll get more later on, but what I’m debating right now is whether or not it’s even worth it to try again.
Such is the life of a writer, I suppose. But so is the life of a student, a daughter, a volunteer, a copy-editor, a woman, a young adult, and a human.
I am someone who likes to see quick results, who can look and know that there is an end, a resolution, a pinnacle point somewhere in the near future. Maybe that’s not what happens with writing; maybe I need to be patient for yet another three years and still struggle to make any ends even come close to meeting; or maybe I should just give up. Not writing. I’m not sure that I could ever give up writing as a whole, but maybe I should give up the idea of publishing in this world, of sharing my stories in anything other than an online format for free for anyone who happens to stumble upon them. Maybe this just isn’t the time.
Time is an interesting subject to study. After spending a week in Guatemala and small towns where time just seems to slow down, where there are seconds and minutes in each hour that can be counted because they are each working toward the survival of time’s occupant; perhaps this is what I need a reminder of. I need to let everything slow down and come to ripen with the seasons.
13 thoughts on “The Failure of Time”
My debut (e)novel has been listed on Amazon for six months now and I’ve yet to sell fifty. I think the process is long and slow, but there are ways you can spread the word without spending $50. Are you on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to name but a few? The more sites you cover, the better your chances. Post on WordPress (or any of the above sites) that you want to try a blog tour or write guest posts and I’m sure you’ll get a response. Heck, I’ll let you post on my site if it gets you a leg-up! As to the question of whether you’ve gone with the wrong publisher, that’s something that you will be able to feel in your water. You may get some rsponses from other bloggers who can help you with this. I’m an indie, so I handle eveything myself as best I can…
Perhaps if you communicate regularly with your publisher and ask if you can do anything else to spread the word, you might see that she is not doing the things you’d assume she ought to. be doing.
Hope this helps.
I’m on all those sites. My publisher doesn’t handle any marketing–which she told me. It’s small press so I’m indie too. The thing is I don’t have time to do much more marketing than I’m already doing. If I choose to do more then I have to give up something else and since its school or writing, so writing gets the boot. Something I’m but find if thinking about. Maybe ill take a week in June and heavily promote and no writing. We’ll see.
Do you have your FB and Twitter etc echoing your WordPress posts? It saves having to type things up more than once. A boon, indeed.
I do have that. It helps sometimes. I might need to get more into the blogging world. I tend to post and not actually read blogs. =)
If you have the time, there is a wealth of information out there. I have had immeasurable help from fellow bloggers – both directly and indirectly and might not have (self) published otherwise.
Yeah. I never wanted to self pub. Probably because I’m too lazy =P not really. It just wasn’t something that ever appealed to me. Why did you choose to do it?
I spent a year querying 102 genre-relevant literary agencies and received replies from less than half. It was when I was reading #48 that I calculated that even if the slip had said ‘send us your MS today’, it would still be eighteen months before my book would hit the shelves.
I felt the weight of time upon my shoulders and that was when I made the decision to become an Indie.
It’s very intersting wearing so many hats – a steep learning curve. But on the plus side, there is no-one to blame or wonder about. If sales are low, there is only one person that needs a kick in the butt…
Lol that’s true. Not all publishers take that much time to get books out. Depends on the company. Mine was submitted in October and released in March. The newest publisher I submitted to is about 8 months after acceptance (still waiting to hear). So it really depends on company.
I also never really queried. The publisher fell into my lap–which could also be part of the problem. That and not promoting of the company herself. Anyway, lots to think about today.
It was something that concerned me at the time – do I go for the first agency that says ‘yes’, or hang on a little and see who offers the best deal?
Unnecessary fretting, as it turned out. :(
It could be what happened to you, I guess. It would be so exciting to have someone accept your work that you might not look any further.
Give it time, perhaps market patiently and think about parting company after a couple of years – or press for better terms.
Part of the issue, which I know, is my novel is in a very small niche. Not a lot of people read lesbian fiction.
Ill think about. Have three more years before I can steal it back again =P
I would have thought that was far from being a niche subject IMHO. :O
It totally is M/M is much bigger and a lot of lesbians prefer to read it.
I am so glad you shared this. Writing itself is typically a solitary process, and we often feel like we need to do everything alone. You took a huge and brave step by sharing your heartaches here. The good news is that unlike in some professions, I don’t see writers eating their wounded. Most, even the “big shots,” tend to be supportive. Perhaps in sharing your story, the rest of us won’t be so afraid to share our own.