Great news, my new book is accepted for publication! And so it is on the way to editing, cover design and all the necessary steps it takes before landing in the reader’s lap. As a new author, getting published is like climbing Mount Everest, but getting to the top of a lesser mountain can be just as exhilarating. I’d only gotten ‘thanks but no thanks’ from agents who told me my genre wasn’t marketable right now. ‘Try back in a few years.’ I should live so long.
I mean REALLY, I’m 70 freaking years old now, the same age my father and both of my grandfathers died. Sure, I’m still healthy, trying to follow the usual recommendations of eating right, exercising, getting more sleep than I was able before my semi-retirement, but even so, my cholesterol remains higher than it should be. The obits of friends and classmates keep reminding me of our common mortality. Time’s a wasting.
Sending queries direct to the big name publishers got similar ‘sorry’ responses, but I kept at it, sending my words to small and far distant publishers, even offshore. Then success at last. Or was it? I almost didn’t believe it. Maybe it’s a scam. I’d been getting so many of those, promising book and even blockbuster movie deals, but at a steep cost. They almost hooked me too, because flattering interest is a beguiling oasis to one crawling across the hot desert floor of rejection.
It is a small press but legit and we all have to start somewhere. New hurdles arise. Marketing is an ogre, even by a bigger publisher it may not be enough to get your book noticed. The market is ruled by the same invisible economic hand that moves the consumer of other goods. You can become lost in a swirling sea of ‘social media’ attempting to plug your book, even finding an audience–on the media. That doesn’t always mean they will shell out to PAY for your book. Don’t expect to get rich or even break even until by some lucky stroke, a typo of fate, perhaps a love affair with a celebrity, you become the next Steven King. That may come posthumously, so don’t hold your breath.
Maybe you are like me, a struggling writer, balancing work and family, with a nagging goal to craft a message that should withstand the passing of ages, a legacy for future generations! Maybe you too have read and studied under writing coaches who applauded your efforts. You have re-written, honed your literary effort as best you can without losing the message you need to convey. You are ready. Do not give up hope. Persevere. March or die across the vast Sahara. You are doing it for love of your tempestuous muse. Some flesh clothed reader in this harried world will appreciate it. Write on!