Book writing is a tough business. You spend months putting in work, pouring your life into a 70K+ word novel, becoming your characters, figuring out ways to bring them to life and get people to love them as much as you do, and it consumes you. After all the writing is done, you spend so much time trying to figure out how to promote the story and the characters, and your life becomes edits and revisions and ARC’s and you put just as much effort into that as you did the writing phase. You buildup and buildup getting ready for the release and doing all you can to hype it up and get people talking about, and the next thing you know, IT’S OVER. The book comes out and one of two things happens…
One: your book is popular and you can feel it picking up in sales and promo and word of mouth, and you get butterflies all in your stomach from the love you see being bestowed on your work, and you get the urge to check USA Today to see if you made one of the big bestseller’s lists because that’s what happens when your book is selling, and you feel like you’re on top of the whole damn world! You get anxious to track your numbers and dollar figures, and you happily accept those messages from people telling you how awesome you and your story are! It can be the best feeling in the world! What a rush it can be!
Or Two happens: your book comes out and sells decently in its first few days on the shelf, and then you watch in sadness as the numbers slowly fade away and your Amazon ranking goes the opposite way you were hoping it would. You go out and beg bloggers to share that your book is live because based on the sales, it’s obvious the world doesn’t know your book is available for purchase because that’s the only thing that makes sense after all the work you did trying to let people know how awesome the book actually is. After a little while, you accept that the book is not going to sell as well as you thought it would or as well as it deserves. You take a deep breath, try not to cry, try not to get caught up in what the fuck happened, try not to ask yourself what you could have done better to get people to know about this book, and tell yourself it’ll be better next time. You shake your head because you know this book is better than your last, and keep telling yourself that your time is coming, and you say, WELL, THAT WAS FAST. It’s over and time to move on to the next book already. Sometimes your work is a hit, sometimes you feel like shit and have to pick up the pieces and move on. It doesn’t mean your book is crap, or that you didn’t work hard enough, or pay enough for ads, or contact enough blogs. When you’re not one of the big names or one of the cool kids in a crew, sometimes your work just doesn’t get noticed. It doesn’t mean that you sell out and go join a clique to ride somebody else’s coattails. Fuck that. You don’t quit. You move on. You work harder. You just keep writing. And it’s on to the next one.
You use the experience as motivation going forward, and you get yourself hyped up to write. You pay attention to every book that gets so much hype and you try to learn what you can and make sure your next book is one that is not to be denied. You get fired up, and you write your ass off. You promote your newest releases of course, but you dive into your next story with everything you’ve got. You strategize your cover and synopsis and figure out how to get them to work to your advantage, because you are so sick and tired of being forgotten about. You give your life’s blood to the next book, and tell yourself they won’t be able to ignore this one. They won’t be able to ignore any of the ones you’ve got coming up, because with every book release, with every book that goes unnoticed, you learn something and use it to make you better. You get up, you dust yourself off, you wipe away the tears, and you grow.
Nothing worth keeping ever comes easily. We’ve got nowhere to go but up, and that’s where we’re going.
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