Monday, January 12, 2015

Being Heard: To Be A Shark

My last blog post was: How Not to Suck At Self Publishing.

I sucked.

I worked really hard for a year trying to learn the rhythm and the tricks for success. But it's hard to determine how successful you are when you're in the same pool with hundreds of thousands of other hungry little fishies going after the same piece of phytoplankton.

I didn't always know this. With my first publication, I was damn proud of myself. With my first sale, I was high as a kite thinking "OMG, someone is reading my words!" When positive reviews came my way, I could've been my own lighthouse beacon, beaming from ear to ear.

But I burnt out pretty fast.

The problem is there's too many fish in the sea. The problem is all their crap overshadows the hard work that I've put out there, worked on for months, and had properly edited. Few people see me or hear me. No amount of platform building, tweets, reviews, or connections to other authors can bump me high enough to pull in sales of any dramatic meaning. I'm lucky to sell 3 books a month, which doesn't make me feel successful. It's never been about making money (fewer than 10% of authors can actually make an income off their work, and I don't really expect to be one of them. But a few extra coins my way wouldn't hurt). It's about being heard.

I've never wanted fame or glory. That's for vanity whores. All I've ever wanted was for someone to say, "you're worth reading," or "your work doesn't suck". I want people to read my words and think and enjoy and relax the way that I do when I'm into a good book. I want to provide those stories that linger on in a reader's mind and bring them back to read again later. I want to produce quality, entertaining literary fiction.

But my sea of fishies is too full, too loud, and filled with too many issues.

So I tried traditional publishing... or... I am trying it. I've been testing these other waters. There are sharks here, not just hungry fish. These bitches have teeth and razor sharp fins. I entered contests, anthologies, and submitted to agents and publishers. I've been rejected more times than I can count. The process has been a hit to my ego. But I want to be a shark. I want to be top of the food chain so that my words are recognized, heard, appreciated. I want to be associated with good storytelling.

And now I will be.

A Normal Girl, which I finished writing in fall of 2014, has been accepted for publication by Stiff Rain Press. Yup. A real, bonafide publishing company. My release date is scheduled for sometime in February if everything goes to plan. If I was my own lighthouse before, then now I'm the freakin moon! Over the moon. High as a fucking kite.

Will my words reach more people? I hope so. Will I be known as a good storyteller? I dunno. I'll wait for reviews. All I know is that this is a big deal for me, and it happened because I didn't give up. It happened because I got tired of the shitty, poor examples of erotic fiction polluting up the self publishing pool. I don't know what will happen, but it'll be an adventure. I'll just keep swimming.

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