Words From the Bottom of the Dung Heap
This is inspired by/a response to the wonderful post by Joanne Phillips’ recent publication on her blog about the journey of being a writer, “Is Epublishing Worth Our Time and Effort?”. Please, please do read it as it is very thought-provoking and very truthful, and most certainly something I worried about overly much while writing my recently epublished book. And there were many times I felt like I was sinking to the bottom of No-One-Cares-Sea.
Back to the question: Is epublishing worth our time and effort?
The short answer is, “It depends.”
If you’re in it for the financial benefits, you may as well buy a ship and offer cruises. You’d at least have a boat to sell, or to go on island cruises with. If you’re in it to get rich quick, you’ll most likely come out disappointed.
However, if you are in it because it has been a life goal and you live to write and you will find utter bliss to sell even one copy, then it might be worth it.
I fall into the second category, but to be honest I fell into writing again largely because I have nothing to lose by doing so. I have finished classes and graduated to the loving embrace of a job market as hard to break into as the arctic ice. Writing became an escape to break up the mind numbing monotony of sending in a resume, then re-typing what was on the resume five times over, then answering 150 questions, and maybe receiving an automated e-mail acknowledging that they received your application. There is nothing more soulless than doing that days on end and not having a single inquiry or phone interview, even months later. Applying for jobs while having no income is much worse than the fear of bad reviews, no book sales, or being bottom on the list.
And I am. Rock bottom.
Joanne Phillips said she didn’t know which book was at the bottom of the list, number 418,067. I don’t know what book that is, either, but my book right now is sitting at #527,940. That’s quite a bit lower than the number cited before. I can’t say I am terribly proud of this, but I think that every person has to earn their way to the top. I haven’t been putting enough (read: hardly any) time into promoting, making a better cover, and getting the word out about it. (Also, if you happen to stumble across a post on a good way to do this, please do drop me a note, I will be most grateful.)
The reason I’m not horribly scarred about being the lowest ranking book I have yet seen, is I know I will not remain there. I have to be optimistic and believe in myself and in the future. Because if I don’t believe that my future will be fantastic, abundant, and much better than I could have imagined it to be, then I must know that my future is to be destitute, jobless, a spiral of misery and hopelessness. That doesn’t sound much like me, does it? Why, my optimistic/cute/fun facebook “stories” feed small town salons, parlors, and conversations across several states.
When writing becomes about sales and rankings and if you have the money to drop on cover art and editors, perhaps it becomes time for a writer to re-evaluate exactly why it is they are writing.