I have good news! I have just signed a contract with a new publishing company, Variance, that will be getting my book out into bookstores. Say hurray! A part of me is excited about this big step up and another part of me is worried – of course. There’s always a catch, you see. I am going to be getting what’s called a limited release. You know those movies that are only shown in certain theaters – the ones that nobody ever hears much about? Well, that’s my situation. Here’s another worrisome part: My book really has to sell well so that I can get it into an even wider venue…possibly even go hard cover (as opposed to under cover), which would be totally fragadelic. Otherwise, who knows what will happen? There’s a good possibility that I will be dropped like a used kleenex and then burned at the stake, with marshmallows thrown in for free.
Being somewhat of a pessimist, I’m not real hopeful about my odds.
During my Mother’s Day Weekend off, I spent some time wandering around a bookstore and it hit me how many books are out there begging for someone to give them a good home. How is my one little book going to get noticed? As it is, I’m doing everything I can, short of pole dancing, to get attention for it. I might even resort to having my book do the pole dancing itself. Hmmm… That just might work.
I’m really trying to stay positive about this whole publishing business, but there are times when I feel like Charlie Brown and the world is Lucy. I get my hopes up and Bam! I end up flat on my back, staring up at the sky, wondering, what the heck just happened to me? Have you ever had days like that? Yeah, me too. Too many.
This should be a momentous occasion, yet I worry. I should be happy that this is happening, yet I fret. What’s my problem, Dr. Freud? Well, I know what my problem is. I didn’t take all those Psychology classes for nothing. I am simply preparing myself for the worst so that if (when) it does happen, it won’t hit me so hard. My worst moments come from events that I didn’t see coming. It’s also kind of a hoodoo voodoo method of avoiding disaster. If I think about it, it won’t happen. I do this all the time. Unfortunately, I can’t always think of all the bad things that could happen. I could get hit by a flying chicken while walking down the street. It could happen, but am I really going to be prepared for it? Well, I am now, but before this blog, totally not.
On the other hand, I’m an optimist of the worst kind. Like Charlie Brown, I keep trying to kick that football. Unlike poor old Chuck, I sometimes actually connect. Why do I keep trying? Stupidity? Insanity? Nope. It’s a little something called intermittent reinforcement (more psychology). People are more likely to keep trying if they are reinforced intermittently (you get good stuff like chocolate chips in response to your attempts, but only once in a while and at random times). If you are not reinforced, you will stop. If you are reinforced every time, after only a couple failures, you will stop. Since I have not stopped, those good, kind words of yours must be keeping me going. So keep them coming, but only at intermittent and random times, like today.
Sorry this has been kind of a downer blog – I’m usually so upbeat! Ha, ha. But I figure it won’t hurt newbies to be prepared to face the inevitable downside to being in this business. Writing a book is wonderful, publishing it feels great. Selling it…not so fun. Of course, if you’re like me, you won’t believe bad stuff will happen to you, until is does, that is. I thought I’d write a book and the world would just come knocking at my door. Sadly, the world isn’t knocking. More like tapping once in a while, and usually when I’m in the bathroom.
Anyhoo, I’m giving up that fantasy and returning to the life I’ve always led, which involves experiencing lots of miserable failures for a long time, and then, eventually achieving success. Though I think the only reason I finally succeed is that I’m too stupid to give up. I’m hoping that happens this time, too. It could. I’m not asking for much. I don’t crave great success, just enough so that I can share my writing with people who like it. That’s all I’m asking for.
That, and to make enough moola to buy a castle.