I hope this post doesn't come off sounding too whiney or complain-y. I'm just in a bit of a weird spot right now, and want to process through writing. Take this as an expression of my thoughts and feelings, but please give me good advice if you have it.
I'm stuck. I don't know what to do or how to proceed.
I have my book. I'm happy that I published it. Now, I need to figure out how to sell it. I spent two years trying to get agents to look at it, but to no avail, which is why I went the indie route in the first place. As I told someone yesterday, publishing is easy. Selling is hard. This is why there is big bucks in marketing. But now what do I do? I'm sure all of my family and friends are tired of hearing me talk about my book. I've sent it out for reviews. Two have come back very favorable, but I only sold a handful of books from it (although any is better than none!). I'm waiting on a few more reviews. One, I think may never happen. The other will happen, but it may take up to a year. However, that blog has over 22,000 followers, so that could literally make or break me. But now, I sit and wait. But I'm not so patient, you see. I want the instant, overnight success that Colleen Hoover (who is totally awesome, BTW) and E.L. James have had. I want to wake up one morning and have sold hundreds of books in a day. I want to be invited to author events and hold book signings. I want to be an author.
I don't know how to get there, though. I get emails from various sites who will market my book. Are they legit? How do I know what is a worthwhile expenditure? How do I know if I'm just getting ripped off? Should I pay for a Kirkus review? Should I send to agents again? Do I drop the price of my e-books in hopes of selling lots more? Why are there terrible books out there that have sold thousands of copies but I've only sold 89?
And then, there is the second book. As I may have mentioned, I was about 65,000 words in (more than 75% from my goal) when my computer died. I have about 75% of it backed up, but haven't tried re-creating it, because I'm hoping my hard drive can be recovered. The hubs ordered something to do that (insert computer-geek-speak here), so hopefully I will know soon. I just got my new computer three days ago, so writing was seriously derailed for most of August.
Even without that roadblock, I'm a little stuck. This new book is totally different. It is darker and heavier, and lacks the humor that Good Intentions has. It is a departure for me, partially reflecting my mood and partially me wanting to stretch and grow as a writer. Since I have no formal training as a writer, I pretty much write by the seat of my pants (which makes me a "pantser" rather than a "plotter"). With Good Intentions, I didn't know where the story was going. I didn't know who she was going to end up with. Once I figured it out, I went back and manipulated the story to better support the outcome. With the new book, I have a better idea about where it is going, but I'm at a point that I don't know how to get there.
A lot of times, while writing, I go back, review what I've written, edit and change things and then am able to continue writing the story. Right now, I don't have the last 4+ chapters that I wrote, so I don't really know where I was. I finally started writing again today, and when I get the rest of my material back, I'll bridge it together if it doesn't already fit.
I think the difficulty with writing has deterred me from writing more, if that makes any sense. I worked a lot more this summer than I had planned, so I didn't have as much free time (or energy) to spend on this project as I had hoped. For a while, I was very excited about what I was writing, feeling that it was stronger than my first novel, but that energy has somewhat waned.
Thanks to a warped sense of humor and a very good friend, I was inspired last night for my next novel. And then, when talking about it today, ideas kept flying at me. And I got excited again.
My excitement was short-lived however. Still looming over me is how to sell Good Intentions, and how to remain inspired over work #2. I jotted down my ideas for #3 so I don't forget them. But I want to work on that project. However, I've come too far with #2 to abandon it though. I need to push forward.
I need to remain optimistic, and not let myself become dejected. Originally, I had hoped to sell 100 books. I'm 11 away from that goal. I think it will happen. That goal is within reach. But now that I'm that close, I want to sell 1,000 or 10,000. I need to keep focused and be patient. Easier said than done.
Thanks all for listening, and letting me have my outlet. Writing is my therapy, whether it is novel or blog form. Any advice would be appreciated, if anyone out there has it.
And for my local peeps, you can check out two of my friends who have made it, Eric Devine and Dennis Mahoney at Troy Author Day on October 9, 2013. I was lucky to know both of these guys in high school, and am utterly impressed at what wonderful writers they have become. My goal is to one day be considered in the same breath, and maybe, just maybe, have a signing with them as well.