Post Publishing Doldrums

For the last few months putting out this collection of stories was my main goal as a writer. I did some other writing too. I submitted and got rejected for an anthology and worked on a novel idea. But now the book has been released and I feel sort of flat.

What now?

I don’t expect this book will do well. So far I have sold 7 copies, which I have to admit hurts my feelings a lot. I am trying not to let it, but it is hard. I am a big supporter of the arts where I live. I spend more money than I care to calculate right now on plays, local music festival, my friends’ art and their artistic endeavors. I go to art auctions and give donations to local groups. I am not saying I expected these people to support me, not exactly. But I expected some sort of boost. I know, I sound like Earl in “My name is Earl” – “You do good things, and good things happen”. And now I feel sort of stupid for having these expectations.

I am trying not to take this personally, but it is really hard. Sure, lots of people might not like the sort of stuff I write. And that is ok. I give time and money to the thing I do because I like them and think the work they do is good and worthwhile. I wonder how many people think what I am doing is worthwhile?

I need to think about my next moves? Should I start submitting short stories to anyone who will take them? Should I work on a novel? Should I take a break and get a real job? Should I try to save up money and go to a writer’s workshop like Clarion West? I could use the pointers and practice, but I could use the contracts even more?

To the people who read my blog who have some success at selling their work, do you have any advice? How do I get my stories to the people who would enjoy them? What is a good balance between traditional publishing and self-publishing?

This is Cheese-Burger taking a nap. This is about how I feel right now, but that is ok. After he sleeps like this for a few hours he is full of energy, so it must be a restful way to be.

6 thoughts on “Post Publishing Doldrums

  1. Selling 7 copies in 2 days isn’t bad at all. My goal is to sell 5 copies of each title each MONTH. Sometimes I sell 20 a month, sometimes I sell none. As long as I average 5 sales per title a month, I’m happy. Of course, you can’t make a living making $10 a month (if each title is priced at $2.99), but that’s why it’s important to build a large catalog of work. Also, each new title will make you more visible, which will boost sales of past titles.

    Congrats on your new book! Now write your next one :-)

    • I am going to write a short story about zombies in the next day or two, and then I think start working on a novel idea. Writing a novel is a little intimidating. It is only in the last year or so that I have been able to make myself finish stories. Most of my life I would write until I figured out the ending and then stop. Because I was writing for fun and no one other than me was reading it all that mattered was that I got the story.
      I feel better about the 7 books sold now. I will just make more. :-)

      • Awesome! I have yet to write a zombie story, but it sounds fun.

        The thing about novels is you can’t think about how long it’s going to be. It’s like climbing a mountain: one step at a time and you’ll eventually get to the top. Just write a certain amount of words every day and before you know it, you’ll have your novel.

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