I "completed" my first novel roughly two years ago. I then spent a year sending querry ltters and hoping for some kind of positive response. I tighted up the querry. I reviewed the synopsis. I looked up agents who had represented similar work. And I waited. I was so patient. Each querry was met met with the same "maybe this will be the one who wants it". I even got a response, a request for the first 3 chapters. I sent them. I never heard back.
So I self published. I gave it another round of editing. I got cover art. I uplooaded it. I did it all. I put it on Amazon. I worked to get it on BnN. Smashwords? Check. I did give aways. I sent out copies through Good Reads. I even tried to get active in Good Reads hoping that maybe showing off that I'm a pretty nice guy would bleed into people liking me enough to consider buying my quirky little tale.
I was positive. I smiled. I was nice to people. I never once said a negative thing.
And now... a year later.. .I'm so sick of being positive. I'm so sick of smiling at people as they tell me I'm not good enough.
My local library? I can't even get a chance to TALK to the person in charge of aquisitions. She won't even respond to my emails, let alone put my book on a shelf. Local BnN store? Oh they were SOOOO excited to meet me in person. I walked out the door so pleased that they had Promised me a seat at a book fair this fall. Then apparently they had their phone and internet cut off as I never heard from any of them again. Calls to check in went to voice mails that never got answered. Email addresses they gave me bounced back as "non-existant".
And since officially it's a print on Demand, they can't even put it on the shelf. The one and ONLY store you can walk into and buy a copy of my novel is a comic book shop owned by a former student who at least is willing to keep me on a shelf there. He sells ... zero copies, but they're great conversation pieces. He talks about it about once a month. Hasn't sold any.
Why finally snap? Because today I got a rejection letter from an indepenent publisher who says I'm "Doing just fine on my own" and that she wants to focus on people who take writing and promoting "seriously as full time jobs". I'm sorry... I though the whole point of a publisher was to take care of the promoting.
I'd love to go to book signings and book fairs and publicity events. I'd love to give talks at libraries about the process, about how I managed to get a book done, and how to keep charaters fresh. I'd love a chance just tell people about the joy of writing. Only thing is no one takes me seriously because I'm not part of a publishign company. I can't even get a small indy press to help me by making the bookings.
Oh she said she loved the premise and the samples. Oh she said she thought it sounded like a great project. Oh, and she wants to be my Friend and maybe swap emails from time to time about how to market.
If I had had a PINCH of success marketing do you think I'd be happy to sign 50% of my sales over to somoene else? I'm faiiling. I'm ~A~ failure.
It's been a year. I've given away over 500 copies of FantastiCon in ebook form through Amazon give aways. I've given away almost 50 copies of it in print form through prayerful mailings, and Goodreads. I've bought ads on GR and Facebook. I've smiled and been positive and said "just one more promotion; just one more give away.; Just one more... THING." And in that year. I've sold less then 25 copies. I say I'm self published but the truth is that it's just a vanity press. It's just a hole to pour money into and watch it burn up as printers, artists, and editors, and everything else I've poured money into.
I'm willing to do the work of promotion, but I don't have the energy any more to keep trying to *Learn* any more. I don't have the contacts and I'm out of energy to keep trying to make them. I just want someone to say "let me make some calls and get you a table" or "Let me take 75% of your sales and I'll get you on the library shelves". I want to do the work but I don't have the contacts or apparently the skills or even the credibility.
And I'm so sick of being positive about it. It's been a solid year of Smiling, and Hoping, and Trying. I'm Done.
I'm just... Done.