The later part of this post is more for me than anyone else. I just have to get it out of my system because I'm driving myself up a wall.
I have to say that I'm really frustrated at the moment. It's not that I'm one of those folks with no patience and way too much time to bitch and moan about my lot in life. I really try to do a lot to stay positive but right now that's only getting me so far and I want to vent a little.
I have been doing as much as I can for this book. I'm doing interviews, blogs, lots of networking and even reducing the price of the ebook copy ( I can't afford to knock down the cost on the paperback one honestly) but so far none of that work seems to be paying off in serious dividends. I've talked to a lot of writers about it and apparently the sum of my sales has exceeded the sum of many writer's sales that first year (8 ebooks and one paperback so far) and while that's a bit comforting I also have to say it's a little disheartening. Let me tell you why.
As a newly published author in the crazy world of self/indie publishing I have to do all of my promotion on my own and that means that I have to dig up places to market, ways to get the word out and do all kinds of networking to get just a little attention for my book. It doesn't sound like a lot but trust me it can be very time consuming especially for a mom of two (one less than a year old no less). In many ways self-promotion alone is an 8 hour a day job, toss in things like breastfeeding, baby care, teething, homework with the first grader, reading time with the two of them, cooking, cleaning, little league baseball and trying to find time with my fiance and really it all turns into a 12-16 hour day with very little room to breathe.
The other bit is that while other writers might be shelling out for things like review copies, adspace, book covers, promotion and driving themselves to signings I'm rather limited. I can't be the only writer out there who sees an ad for book promotion, clicks on it and then lets out a big sigh of dissapointment when they see the price tag. I literally have no money to invest in those sort of things. In fact even if I was selling more than I am I don't know that I could afford to throw what I got back into such things precisely because I could really use it for the sort of everyday stuff that others take for granted they can buy like laundry soap and gas for their car (haha if I had or could afford a car that is).
What it boils down to is that I feel like I'm putting out tons of energy and time is slipping through my fingers when I could least afford for that to happen. The fact that I'm not seeing a lot of payoff for that actually hurts quite a bit. In fact it puts me in mind of that year of freelancing I did during which I really was working 16 hours a day and losing way too much time with my son. I NEVER want to lose time with my kiddos like that again. The look in his eyes every time I had to tell him I was working and couldn't play killed me!
That being said, I really can't quit. I've spent something like 12 years trying to get Eyes Like Blue Fire completed and struggled for what seems like forever to find someone to read it over and tell me if my writing was worth investing in. I was one of those writers who struggled with whether or not I could do it for way too long (my self esteem was through the floor when I started) and therefore suffered long lapses in my writing cycles( That's how you wind up with 5 books in progress and only 1 complete for years folks. If you don't believe in your work you're your own worst enemy!). With all of that lost time on my writing career I have to do a hell of a lot of make up work and in order to get myself motivated I decided to self-pub ELBF, the book that had been holding me back.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for everything my readers, the folks who added my book to their tbr shelves and Facebook fans have been doing to help me out, I'm just feeling a little worn thin. I don't expect to sell a ton of copies (nor should you feel bad if you're not interested or you can't afford one. As a fellow reader who'd love to help out tons of her favorite authors, I understand). I am a rational person and I get that first books don't always do well and that they're even less likely to do so in the indie market. I even get that many indie writers fail miserably and not all of them for lack of good or even great writing. Nor do I think I'll throw all of my books into the indie fire for that very reason (some of my better contenders will be getting submitted the old fashioned way) but if I could see some future in this writing gig I'd feel a hell of a lot better than I've been feeling the last couple of weeks and I wouldn't be so tempted to drop it all.