Tag Archive | publishing

The Truth About Publishing

I’ve talked to a lot of people lately- at craft shows, book signings, and online- and when I meet a fellow writer, I hear the same sentence over and over again:

“I love to write, but I’m afraid to publish.”

After listening to their experiences, I’ve come to learn that it’s not so much the process of publishing that scares them (they don’t mind the writing, editing, or marketing), it’s the thought of having their work out there.  In the public.  On the web.  Out and about where everyone in the world can now see.

Take it from someone who was once a non-published author before: putting your work out there is a scary task!

Because when you publish, you open yourself to critique, or better yet, troll-infused criticism.  You risk the possibility that your dream of living off of your book’s royalties may not come to pass.  You just might have to come to terms with the fact that even though your work is brilliant and great, there is a chance that it’ll get lost in the endless supply of books being published daily online, and only a select few will ever come to appreciate it.

Those are fears that are a reality to a lot of published authors, and it’s a reality that many people will never understand.

So I’ll be honest- publishing is scary.  The risk is high, the rewards are sometimes scanty, and even if you do have good sales the first time around, they aren’t guaranteed to last.

But I’d be lying if I said publishing still isn’t worth it.

Because the truth is, despite the trolls, despite the roller-coaster sales, despite the risk that your books may only ever be read by a few people on Goodreads who somehow found you, publishing is still worth it.  Amidst the trolls, there’s readers who will read your book and love it.  Despite the low sales and having to still work that nine to five job, you can say (unlike many others), that you’ve got to live your dream.  And even if your story gets lost in the shuffle, it’s still in that pile, and even if people don’t read it today, there’s always the chance that after a time of digging, they’ll read it tomorrow.

None of us know what the future holds.  It may be bad, it may be bland.  But there’s also a chance it can be good.  But unless we take that first step into the unknown and actually try, we’ll never know.

So if you’re unsure of whether to publish or not, I’ll tell you what I tell the other writers I talk to:

If you want to publish, then publish.  If you don’t, don’t.  Only you can make the decision on what to do with your writing, and you’re the one who knows best.  But if you’re still unsure, don’t let worry or fear get the best of you.  You’re a writer.  Whether you’ve got a book for sale on Kindle or a dusty old journal on your nightstand, you’re a writer.  And no matter what, as long as those words are on paper (or in digital space), you’ve already accomplished what most people could only dream of.

And that, my friend, is something to be proud of.

I’m a Published Author (and I’m Terrified!)

I have to admit that when I first saw my book on Amazon last night, I had a mixture of emotions.

I was happy that ten years of hard work (yes, writing is hard and it’s work) was finally a finished product.  I was joyful, ecstatic, and jumping up and down like a teenager meeting her favorite boy band.

And yet as I sat there, staring at my book, I felt terrified.

Because now my book is out there, ready to be judged and viewed by people I’ve never met before.  What would their reaction be?  Would they like it?  Hate it?  Think it was just okay?  And then thoughts of the future started to plague me.  What if the book doesn’t sell well?  All that hard work and money would be for nothing.  And what if it is successful?  Will I be able to keep up the demand for new books and stories that are just as good or better than what I had before?  What if I let everyone down?

It took a few minutes to put everything into perspective, and as I sat there, looking at the cover, I was reminded of why I wrote the book in the first place.

I wanted to tell a story.

It’s not about popularity.  It’s not about the pride in being an author.  It’s not about good reviews or five star ratings or a chance to find my picture in the newspaper for publishing a new series.  It’s about the chance of sharing what’s in my heart with the world, and hopefully somewhere, out there is a reader who can connect with what I have to say.

The story I published is entitled “The Ripple Affair.”  I admit the title may seem a little…not discreet…but the purpose of the story wasn’t just about telling the tale of a guy who had an affair on his fiancee.  The story’s purpose was to show how a single event or choice-like having an affair-can have a direct impact on everyone else.  Hence the title name, “The Ripple Affair”-the affair didn’t just affect the guy and girl.  It affected everyone else around them.

This was the story I wanted to tell in the book (and sequels, as it’s a series.)  Showing how events and choices connect people and lives over time was a topic that fascinated me and opened my eyes as to how everything we do-even minor things-have a consequence (positive or negative).  So in the end, yes-publishing is exciting and terrifying and a mixture of emotions to make me think I need nothing but a bucket of chocolate for comfort.  But more important than my feelings is the fact that I’m sharing a story with the world that can connect with readers.

I hope they like my story.  I hope they rate it high and review it well.  And I’m not going to lie-I really hope this thing sells well (because let’s be honest, we all have bills to pay.)  But more than all of that, I hope they connect with the characters and the journey they are about to embark on.  There’s love, drama, laughter, and pain (and probably a billion other emotions that may or may not require a bucket of chocolate for comfort.)  But behind all of that is a dream finally coming true for a writer who wanted to tell a story.

If you get a chance, check out the “Books” tab on this site for more information on my book.  It’s available on Amazon right now and a Kindle version is being developed.  Book Two of “The Ripple Affair” series is also in it’s final editing stages, so be on the lookout for an announcement on that soon!  🙂

Thank you, dear readers, for your support and encouragement over the past year.  I appreciate it so very much and hope you will continue to walk on the writer’s journey with me in the years to come!  Keep watching the site for more blog posts and book news!  🙂

A Reason for Rejection

There’s a lot of things I like about writing.  One of the things I don’t like, however, are rejection letters.

When I was new to the writing scene and finished my first novel, I researched certain publishing companies I thought my story would fit into and did what many writers who don’t have an agent do: I sent a query letter (or query email, for companies who went paperless.)  I was so excited when I typed the letter up, explaining why my book was awesome for their company.  I cheered and prayed when I stuck it in the mail, dreaming of the day I’d get the call of the company representative saying, “Yeah!  We like your book and will publish it.  Here’s your first check!”

Six weeks later, however, I got an email with a simple reply: Thanks for your interest, but we won’t publish your book.

I was disappointed at first.  Rejection wasn’t really something I was expecting, being the optimistic new author I was.  I shrugged my shoulders, trying to make the best of it.  No matter, I thought as I deleted the email with a frown.  Most authors are rejected with their first proposal.  This is to be expected and isn’t anything new.  

But after more queries were sent out, and most didn’t even bother with a response for the rejection, I began to wonder just how long of a road I was going to travel just to be published.

There are countless stories of authors who’ve experienced the rejection of a publishing company multiple times (in some cases, even up to thousands of times), but when it’s actually you, and your story, that’s being rejected, it does’t exactly feel the greatest.  For me, it made me question everything I was doing.  Was my letter not good enough?  Maybe my story really was a dud.  Was I being overlooked for not having an agent?  With so many other writers trying to be published, maybe I was just getting lost in the shuffle?

For years I remained quiet, the queries no longer being sent and writing in my story becoming a thing to do whenever I felt like it.  But after discovering the avenue of self-publishing, and after finding confidence in my writing skill, I decided to start over.

I’d take the novel I had finished, edit it, and self-publish.  Publishing a book myself would be better than just leaving it on my computer, right?

But as I started editing, I noticed my writing style had changed.  Over the years I had been writing more and refined my skill.  I learned more about voice and grammar and how to create interesting dialogue.  I also had better practice with creating stories.  What started out as a simple edit for grammar turned into a complete re-write of the story as new ideas (and a few new characters) suddenly came to life.

That first query was sent about seven years ago.  Back then, I thought my book was ready.  But now after doing the re-write, I find myself feeling glad I wasn’t published.  My story (seven years ago) was good, but not great.  Had it been published, I would’ve premiered a mediocre story with a predictable plot line and boring characters.  But after getting that rejection letter, and taking time to think and learn more about the process of writing, I found myself happier with the revised version.  Had it not been for that rejection, the story I have now would never have existed.

I know a lot of people say “everything happens for a reason.”  Whether that’s true or not is up to your own personal beliefs, but in this case, for me, I can’t help but think the rejection letter I received all those years ago was meant to happen.  My novel’s rejection allowed me to create a better story in the long run and helped me gain experience that I didn’t have before.  Though the rejection hurt when I received it, in the end, it helped me by giving me a better story.  And for that reason alone, the rejection was worth it.