This is all pretty terrifying to me. I’m an outgoing person, but I’m NOT the type who goes around selling things. I’ve been asked to sell oils, makeup, weight loss, whatever else, and my answer is always no, because Debbie doesn’t sell. I just can’t get in front of people and say “Here I am! Buy stuff from me, please!”
Books aren’t quite the same as selling mascara or time shares, mind you, but it’s similar in that I have to convince people to read my product. This aint easy when there’s approximately ten gazillion books out there, all with authors who are also trying to do their thing and sell their book. If you’re a nobody like me, then it’s especially hard. Dang, is it hard. I have no fans. I have no entourage. It’s just me and my kids, and some friends who are telling me to go for it.
I started out trying to do it the traditional way. I queried agents, and got rejections. The first ¾ of those rejections were absolutely justified, because the material just wasn’t great. Not that I really understood that at the time, though. A few agents told me straight-up that they do not take on new, unknown authors, period. Why? Because publishers are more wary of people like that. My frustration level skyrocketed after getting a few of those letters.
When an agent requested some material from me for my other YA sci fi series, I decided to self publish World 4. Although I consider the material to be good enough for traditional publication (of course I do, what kind of author would I be if I didn’t?), I wanted to get right into some kind of publishing while still pursuing traditional avenues.
I chose World 4 to self publish while keeping the other series back. It’s a very dear story to me and I wanted to have full control over it. I also wanted to get into the groove of websites, formatting, advertising, blah blah and everything you can imagine associated with it. It will be good to have that experience that I can present to agents and/or publishers, maybe make me look less dumb and more reputable. It would nice to be able to sit back and do nothing while my books sell like crazy, but I know that it won’t happen, not even a little bit. Whether someone self-publishes or does it traditionally, they are going to have to be involved in blogging, marketing, etc. It’s a lot of hard work. But I’m doing it, because dang it — I can’t stop myself.