Do you know what it means to have a vision? How about a vision for your life? Now, how about a vision for yourself? What happens if that vision becomes blurry? You still feel its rightness inside your heart and mind but you feel like you’re are looking down a long highway that just keeps getting longer. You feel like you are getting nowhere fast. You feel like you are driving thru North Dakota. Fuck North Dakota!
I suppose this is how I feel about writing, my writing. Its giant burden sometimes with all these ideas, hopes, dreams and plans I have. As an Indie author we are supposed to accept that this is not the easiest of roads (as if any road for an author is “easy”.) We are supposed to accept it because that is the truth of it. Yes, if you have thousands and thousands of dollars in the bank to spend on smart internet marketing and going to books shows then the road isn’t as hard. So what about those of us who don’t have the thousands in the bank? What about those of us who struggle to pay our normal everyday bills and live while trying to find time to even spend on writing much less marketing? Are we just supposed to stop trying, stop writing and stop publishing until life gets easier and less complicated?
I try my best with the business stuff, the marketing and being social online. I do what I can, what I know how to do and I know its really not enough to get “noticed” except sporadically but I really don’t know how to do it better than I have been.
I have a job. It’s a crappy job sometimes but it’s a job with generally good people, FT College and soon a little boy and a relationship (with my dream girl Stacey) then add trying to be novelist and work on my 2nd book on top of this. Oh yeah…its summer but in 2 months classes start for the fall. I don’t have time to be sitting online for 10-12 hours day writing blogs, posting book reviews and keeping tabs on the entire FUCKTON of social media I am expected to use. Sharing and friending, tweeting and retweeting, hash-tagging and re-blogging I just can’t devote that much fucking time to it. If that makes me a bad Indie author than fuck me in the nose!
THE CORNER OF A VERY CROWDED ROOM
Hundreds of thousands of people now write and publish every year around the world and perhaps an equal amount who write but never even try publishing for whatever reason. Some will only do it once and never do it again. Some will do it many times. None of us want to be forgotten. None of us want to be that man or woman who people say, “Didn’t you write that one book? That was a long time ago huh. Anyways can I have fries with that?”
We, the authors, have stories to tell, things to say and voices to be heard. We want to bring hope, show love, tell a good story and more than anything leave something of us behind in a way many others can’t do. Do you ever wonder though, with the influx and growth of E-books and Indie publishing, that we are in fact shooting ourselves in the feet? Are we making it harder for us to not just market books and find readers but also write our stories because of the sheer pressure we are putting on ourselves because of how we are expected to operate in this business? The publishing world has always been pretty competitive and now throw millions of writers of varying quality levels in the mix selling their eBooks from .99 to….whatever.
Just for shits and sniggles I Googled the phrase “Online Book Publishing” this is what I got…
My Underwhelming “Success”
They say there are readers for us all and that may be. They say there is room for us but we just have to work at it, write and write and write and write and practice solid marketing AND build our mother$^&$ng Platforms!!! I sold about 13 copies of my first book Running Northwest in June on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s a banner month right?
No, it’s not it really not.
I should not be excited about that. I should not be excited that I spent 2 weeks in Amazon’s top 150,000 instead of around 1,000,000 in rankings…but I am. I remember one day I hit 85,000 on amazon and I thought “Wow that’s cool” But it’s not cool, 85,000 is not cool, it’s not okay. It’s accepting halfassery I guess. Why? Because I think I sold about 8 books to get to 85,000 on Amazon’s sales list that month. 8!!! I can’t be happy about 8. Eight sold books don’t pay the bills regardless of how great the ranking was. Nevertheless I appreciate the fact those people thought my book was worth spending the money on whoever they are and hopefully they will leave me a nice review.
Creative writing as in writing a book is not so easy that everyone can do it. It takes a special person, with a special mind and heart to be a writer I think. But if you believe the radio and Facebook ads then YES everyone can apparently be a writer and publish a book. It’s just that easy it seems. You can be a certified author now for less than a trip to McDonald’s dollar menu. It’s not right though, it should not be this easy I don’t think. When I decided I wanted to published Running Northwest and begun my research into the business end (2011) I never even heard of Indie publishing until I began my research. I was content on going the old fashioned route…but I didn’t. Late at night when I’m tired from working all, day and my beautiful pregnant girlfriend is sleeping in our bed I wonder….maybe I should have.
I’m obviously doing something wrong. Perhaps I’m doing many things wrong but I have no idea what those things are really. The “what-if’s” make my head spin. Maybe it’s because I screwed up in how I released Running Northwest and not wanting to repeat that with All the Roads Home (whenever it’s actually done.) I wish I would have done all that pre-advertising and social media ass kissing that I wasn’t even aware I should be doing until about 8 months after I published. Maybe I should have taken one friends advice and re-titled the 4th and final edition of Running Northwest giving it a new name and “life” since I had a few bad reviews on old editions. I felt like that was dishonest though. As well as expensive….
Believe in yourself…even when it’s hard
I have no intention of stopping this train and giving up on doing what I love doing but it’s just hard to stay positive and to know the course I am on is the right one. Especially now when I have 2 people depending on me to make this dream of my at least a bit successful.
I just needed to vent….