I have to admit I've been in a funk (That's F-U-N-K, for all you wisenhimers out there) for the past couple of months. My finances have been in the toilet lately, which is like worse than just tight. I'm now (husband included, bc we both work at same place) are laid off for 2 weeks. Christmas is not gonna happen in this house. It has been years since we put up a tree. Usually we've waited until the after Chirstmas sales to buy anything. Not this year.
Before I get someone to play the violin and get a weeping clown in here, I don't want anyone to leave a "you poor schmuck" message. This was going to be an up-beat post. And it will be. I promise. Just indulge me a little further if you will, this has a happy ending... sorta.
For the longest time I thought agents were human and come to find out they are not. I tried to get one for maybe a dozen years. Each time I wound up crying for about 4 days and then I quit querying all together. You can't keep on getting your face bashed in and like it and want to do it all over again. (and sure they say it's not personal, but seriously, it feels personal).
And this was me for aprox. 30 years of trying to get somewhere. I eventually began publishing in a small market, and I mean small, but I got paid $10 or so for things I sent in to a sweet lady editor of what was known as Weeds Corner magazine. It helped me get over the feeling I was a lousy writer. I had my first poem published with them, and everything I sent to them after that for 4 years.
I have been writing novels for my whole adult life--let's go with more than 35 years. That's a long time to keep trying to sell a novel--to ANYONE. I've seen publishers fade. I've known other writers around me being published and thought one day I'd be scooping up a book deal.
When I finished my first novel in the Sabrina Strong Series--yet again--I began looking around. I thought I had a publisher, only to find out they were going to charge an arm, leg, my left eye and my first born to edit it. I said no thank you (scumbag). I went to an ebook publisher which I won't name, and thought they were interested only to have the editor give me the runaround as to whether she wanted the rest of the book or not (for 3 months). At this point my Internet went out, and I never did find out if she ever answered my last email... I'm pretty sure she didn't.
Then I posted my first chapter on an author site I used to belong to, and someone responded. This someone happened to be a publisher. And ta-da, he became my present publisher, Wlfired Voss of Copperhill Media. I didn't know how this would play out. I mean I read their contract and could find nothing in it that gave me pause, and so I signed. I didn't get an advance, this is not one of your BIG 6... or 8 or whatever it was in 2009-2010. They were small, but they would take care of everything, right down to the cover and edits.
By this time I had already self-published my Spell of the Black Unicorn book. I'd paid $400, but couldn't go through that again just to get something else published (for what those other creeps were going to charge, I could have had five books published by them). At this time we didn't see a lot of people putting any faith in those people who'd self-published (wow has times changed). Only a lucky few got "discovered" by agents or publishers. Well, that didn't happen to me, and it really doesn't happen to a whole lot of people either.
But I did find out that people loved what I wrote. I got a taste of what it was like to have a book signing, have my very first physical copy of my own book in my hands and got to snot all over myself with happy tears. I did what I had been trying to do all my life, and I should not shove that all under the rug like it doesn't matter. It matters, and I have to remember how it felt before the publisher, and after.
To me having my work out there, I realized just yesterday, was something I had wanted for a very, VERY long time. I would have sold my soul to the same devil that Steve Jobs did, but he never did show up at my door. So, here I was sitting at my computer working on the edits of my 5th novel in series, waiting for the edits from my publisher, knowing that at some point next year I would have a third book out and had to plunk myself in the head and say "You stupid dummy! Look at where you were and where you are now!"
The Good News:
I'm working on the next two novels, have at least three out, and have 3 short stories out and hope to turn SOTBU into an ebook so that more people can enjoy it, because I had a lot of fun writing it. Ten years ago I couldn't say that. I can now. I can also say I DID NOT GIVE UP! That says a lot about the character of someone who had a dream, and didn't give up no matter how impossible it looked.
So, I'm not exactly rolling in the bucks having three novels out right now, but I have three novels out right now with the third in my series pending. Am I happy? Sure. I'm happy where I am. Do I want more. Damn tooten I do. But I should just keep on taking baby steps.
Just as a side note, I don't work the Internet like a goon until my fingers fall off and bug everyone to buy-buy-buy my books, because that's annoying as hell to me, so I'm sure it is to eveyone else. I really don't have time to toot my horn all that much. I've got writing to do and my publisher wants me to work on the novels instead of trying to push the book like a hopped up car salesman on a commercial.
So, I've had to realize that I have no control over people buying or not buying my books. I do know that when the 3rd one comes out the sales will jump. That's enough to make me smile and feel a sense of accomplishment, aside from all the stuff I've mentioned.
Until next time, my pretties!