Two books. That’s a thing. It doesn’t feel like it right now. I mean, I get that writing, finishing, and publishing two novels is a feat; it’s an accomplishment worthy of advertisement. But I keep seeing the sales as the proof of that accomplishment.
I’m not really selling, but I finished them, right? I did it. Of course, let’s be honest – the first book had some serious flaws. Some grammatical, some flow and story, but I’ve gotten better. I’m getting better. I’m sure the next book will be even better, and the one after that will improve even more so, until I finally smack the bestseller list.
It’s only a matter of time.
“Think of the odds as a challenge.” – Richard Castle (From the TV show, Castle.)
With each book I write my chances get slightly better. They’re still not “good,” but better. If I could get an agent for one book, I could boost my sales and gain some followers. I might land the big deal, too, where my next book is bought before it’s written; probably not, but it’s a dream.
I sent out a query for Gilded Gauntlet. Writer’s Digest sent out a new agent alert, and I sent a query to the agent that represented fantasy with tastes for strong female characters. I’ve got a strong female character and a fantasy novel. That’s doesn’t mean we’re a match. The agent, the story, the writer, and the timing all have to click – like an eclipse. Everything’s got to align just so. There’s no magical catch phrase or enchantment to guarantee success. It’s a crapshoot.
That’s one of the reasons I self-published. I like my book; I’d read it.
Read what you like. Write what you like.
For all those indie writers out there – do you like what you’re writing? Do you enjoy your character’s company? Are you building worlds that you’d like to live in? Is writing an enjoyable pastime for you? Or are you aiming to pump out novels that will sell? One important question to ask yourself is:
What are you writing for?
Are you writing because you want to be the next James Patterson? J. K. Rowling? Write the next international phenomenon turned movie? Do you want a slice of that book success? If that is your main goal; you should stop. J. K. Rowling’s success is less than one in a billion.
But if you’re like me, you’re writing because you like it. It’s a hobby-turned-career, a pastime, a therapy, a way to unleash your creative side without messy paint or weird, high-maintenance high styles. I write because I like the stories I want to tell. I like my characters. I like the worlds. I’m a nerd for words and sentence flow.
If you’re writing to sell, then you’re not putting your all into what you write. A good story has heart, and that heart comes from the writer’s love for the story. Good characters are round and full; they feel like real people. They appear that way because the author can see them as real people.
Getting published traditionally through an agent and then through one of the big publishing houses is a crapshoot at best. Life is a crapshoot, so…it’s not really a big surprise. I mean, the odds of dying on your way home from work are frightening high, but let’s not talk about that.
…so…about those Cardinals? That Piscotty, am I right?