I know I am not the only one who gets frustrated by the business aspects of being a writer. But I do try to curtail those frustrations. My close friends know them, but I don’t blare them out publicly. After all, people (okay, not a lot of people, but some people) are reading stories I made up. Do you realize how cool that is?
My latest self-published romance, Gaming the System, came out a couple of weeks ago. Is it selling like hotcakes? Nope. It’s selling better than my first self-pubbed romance did, though. But I am working harder at selling this one, too. Once you have more than one in a series, you can play with promotional ideas. At the moment, the first book is free everywhere except Amazon–I’m still waiting for them to price-match. I’m also madly writing for several blogs, and I will be reading at Lady Jane’s Salon on July 21, the eve of the big Romance Writers of America conference in NYC.
It’s a lot of work. And it takes away from my time editing Mind Games, the Penguin romantic suspense that comes out in November, and writing the book after that.
And that’s frustrating. Not just spending time on those blog posts and readings and promotional strategies, but spending energy and money on them, too. Hire a publicist? $$$. Do all the things she tells you to do? Time and energy sucked away. Why should I do any of that stuff when everyone tells me that all that matters is writing a good book?
Well, I should do it because I want people to read my stories and order for them to want to read them, they have to know about them.
I hear a lot of complaints from the writing community. A LOT. Sometimes, I feel like just leaving the community altogether because I can’t believe how much people whine.
I have had people complain to me because their publisher isn’t picking up their next book. Publishers are businesses. If you’re not making as much money for them as the guy next to you is, why should they keep you?
Lately, people are screaming bloody murder because Amazon changed their policy about what they pay for books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited. Again…Amazon is a business. They’re not your fairy godmother. And no one said you had to put your books in KU — if you don’t like the policy, take your books out!
I had someone tell me that she drew the line at spending money to publish her books. Well, okay, but understand that if you say that my response will be “then don’t complain to me that your books aren’t published.” Because if you want your book out there and you don’t have a traditional publisher, you will have to pay for editing, and more editing, and covers, and—unless you want to learn to do it—formatting.
If you really want your books published and you really want them to be the best they can be and you really want people to read them…all those things are possible. You just have to make up your mind, set your priorities. It’s up to you to make it happen.
We all have days where we wish we could “just write.” But if that’s your priority, understand that you may not find readers. If you want to be read, you have to do more.