The world of writing and publishing and actually making money at it is…a slow moving machine (as I’m coming to find out). I have had high hopes for my debut novel. And, while it certainly has been a crash course, a serious learning process, I have frankly gained more in knowledge than anything else. But I don’t count that a loss. Knowledge is much more valuable than all that other stuff. Knowledge, as they say, is power. Knowledge can help me better plot the course for my next book, and the ones after that. Knowledge can help me as I write successive books. What is this newfound knowledge you ask?
Increased knowledge of the market. There isn’t always going to be an automatic audience for you. This was a mistake I made. How do you go about getting people to buy your book? Because I strongly believe that people who enjoy clean, meaningful romances in a historical setting will enjoy “The Lady Bornekova“. But how do they find my book among the masses? The market, as I’ve come to discover, is saturated with books with the rise of the indie publisher and self-published author. It’s not so easy for people to discover your book and make that decision to buy it. There are just so many choices out there.
Increased knowledge of the craft. This is perhaps the most valuable knowledge of all…this will help my writing, which will help me write better books, which will make them more appealing, which can only help in the end. It’s not as if I was ignorant of the things of the craft of writing before, but I have definitely grown in my understanding of the nuances of deep point of view, show-don’t-tell, dark moment story, plotting and outlining, among so many other things.
But what happens when you get dealt a bit of discouragement? Like a piece of rejection? A pitch that didn’t go so well? A bad review? The number one thing in this business that I’ve found is that you have to believe in yourself. You cannot make it very far with thin skin and a lack of confidence in your art. Surround yourself with people who support you, encourage you, and believe in you, too. I have an amazingly supportive husband, a mentor, a critique group, my beta readers, as well as a whole host of friends and family who are at the ready to offer a kind word of encouragement when I seem to need it the most. But I know that this is not the case for everyone. So, examine your work, examine yourself…do you believe in your own work? Your own ability to do this? If you do, I do. Because you can.