It is happening again.
It may be even worse now considering the circumstances.
It’s the same thing that I am sure happens to at least some other relatively new indie writers out in the world on occasion and maybe even more seasoned ones. That moment when we question the area of the industry we are in. It is that moment where it just seems too big to work with and understand even with how long we’ve been at it and all that we have learned on the journey. It’s that moment when ALL the stuff we have to do on our own just feels too much, too overwhelming and almost impossible. It’s that moment when we see that there are demons hidden in the shadows of modern book publishing and in social media and we feel like we are dealing with the modern equivalent of prohibition bootleggers. Where the line between those who want to help and those who are looking to take advantage of us occasionally blur.
It is that moment when we seriously ponder the idea of traditional publishing and its modern offerings and the validity of them. It is that moment when we sit with a blank screen in front of us and we are on the verge of writing a query letter to a literary agent in the hopes one might say yes and make the madness stop or just lessen it. When we seriously question whether we want to deal with the bullshit in the indie publishing world and going at it alone. It is one of those times where we wonder if we really do need a guiding hand even just for the sake of stability and normalcy for our creative processes.
I do wonder sometimes if all the negativity I occasionally read from some in the indie writing world about traditional publishing just breaks down to jealousy and rage from those who were never noticed. Don’t get me wrong I love indie writers and know many wonderful people now who I didn’t even just a few years ago. Nevertheless, I wonder if there is still some merit in traditional publishing for newer authors like myself. Is it as impossible as some make it out to be? Is it as pointless as some Indies say it is? Are some more influential Indies screaming, “don’t do it” in Facebook writing groups and on Twitter while sending out query letters and manuscripts on the down low? Even then, I wonder if I went that route if I would be running in just another circle and struggling just as much. Would I just be trading one circus for another?
If independent publishing is so wonderful in that it gives authors more control (and theoretically more money) then why don’t we see bigger named traditionally published authors walking away from their publishers and handling business on their own? Why are top tier authors who know the business like Stephen King and John Grisham for example NOT self-publishing since their names alone can sell millions of books now? What keeps them in the old guard? Surely, with their connections and talent they would only make more money on their own. SO why stay?
I wish I could just sit and write without having to worry about and trying to figure out all the marketing that goes along with it and whether I am doing it right. I wish I did not have to scramble and scratch just to get a book published in this forum when it comes to covering the costs so I can put out a quality piece of work. I wish I would get an email or message saying, “Hey I’d like to interview you for my writer’s blog.” Even something, little like that would feel amazing and break up the monotony of this.
I wish I did not have to sit and waste so much time researching and reading about where and how I can promote my books and myself while knowing in the back of my mind I cannot afford to do anything when I do find a place that seems interesting and legit. I will not lie, sometimes I just say to hell with it because it’s like needing to fill your gas tank but only having ten bucks.
I wish I wish and I wish…maybe maybe maybe
Part of the writing business like any other is luck. Hell, a lot of it is luck. Nevertheless, how do I put myself in a place to make things happen? It’s one thing to hope for good luck, but it’s dangerous to plan on it. Sometimes though it feels like this business is so confusing and fragmented that luck is actually the most viable and realistic option.
My next novel, All the Roads Home is set to be released this coming January. It is my second novel. You know what I haven’t done? I have not even taken the time to celebrate the fact I wrote my second book. I haven’t even taken the time to be properly proud of myself or even pat myself on the back for it. Why you may ask, well because I am so caught up in getting everything ready and in place for its release that I haven’t allowed myself the time to just sit back and appreciate what I have done. I guess in that respect I miss the naivety that I had when I published my first novel Running Northwest. When I didn’t know the business as well or the expectations. When I was just thrilled to have published my first novel before reality hit me as far as what came next.
So for now, I just sit and write and imagine my successes and failures past and future. I have another book that needs to be written and the purity of writing is the only thing that I can control at this point. But even then there are a hundred things in the back of my writer’s brain that seem to get in the way.
So tonight I have this