Sunday, January 25, 2015

Author pitfalls

One of my Biggest Pitfalls is the same pitfall many people have in daily life. You see the success of someone else and think, "Why can't I have that?"
For an author, it's "Wait a minute. She's selling like hotcakes, how come I'm not?" Or it's "I know I'm as good a writer as he is, so why is he the darling of the press today?"

There's no answer to this, of course. It's like looking at posts on Facebook and thinking somebody else leads the perfect life. The whole author thing could have a variety of causes. Better publicity; better word of mouth; right place, right time.

I remember hearing Jenny Crusie talk once (Google her. She's an author and a damn good one). She likened getting published to standing in the middle of a field with a finished manuscript, holding it up to the sky, and having lightning strike you. I content that "best sellerdom" is similar. It's a lot of luck, right place, right time, and the right kind of promotion.

I have no idea what kind of promotion to do. I'm going to experiment this year with a few things and see if anything makes a difference. And you know what? If it doesn't make a difference, then that's okay, too. I'm working full-time in a pretty stressful day job. There's only so many hours in the day for me to work, write, and relax. Promo has to get wedged in there somewhere. So I'll do what I can, and let the chips fall where they may.

I just have to keep reminding myself that there are no answers to the Big Questions in Publishing, like "how the hell did he sell that many books?" Ask the questions if you will, but there really isn't a good answer...


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