I got my first royalty check today.
Writing is an art, not a science. No one can well predict which book will suddenly become a hit and which one will trudge along unnoticed and unloved. I know that I have only one book out, that I'm a new and untested author, that fewer and fewer people read and that there are many other alternatives to The Junior Inquisitor. Perhaps I'm expecting to much, that I've watched to many episodes of “Castle,” or I know too many successful authors, those who have paid their dues, and have been where I am now; fought on past the doubts to write another book and another until they were successful. I know all of that logically.
But the disappointment lingers.
I marketed the hell out of Junior Inquisitor, I was on a dozen or more different blogs promoting my book. My editor and I came up with excellent seeming promotional materials. I had both a Facebook and Twitter account established before my release or soon there after. There is this blog which can sometimes get decent traffic, my friends and family pitched in, the guys and gals from my Reserve unit helped as well, telling the world that there was a great new story available. My reviews on Amazon are positive, close to thirty 5 star reviews, many of those are from certified buyers, which are apparently more trusted. Despite this, I still have not gotten into the black with my upfront costs. I owe no money to the IRS as I have not yet made a profit, a small blessing I suppose, but that means that I am still a hobbyist; that I am not yet good enough to be considered a professional writer.
So the doubts linger, sticky and cloying. Unwilling to be banished. Did I do something wrong? Is my marketing strategy not working, perhaps my stories are to different, to dark, to find a large audience. Maybe, worst of all: maybe my stories are just not good enough for prime time.
I just don't know. The lack of understanding makes me hesitate. Should I sink even more money and time into The Soulless Monk? How long will my wife put up with me missing out on things to craft a story if no money is coming in from it? How much and for how long am I going to sacrifice on something that does not seem to be working?
I don't know, and that bothers me a great deal.
At the same time I am driven to tell my tales, they must come out. I did not choose to write so much as was cursed by it. There is only one real way past these doubts, and that is to work. Hone my craft and abilities, tell others that there is a great story, soon to be a series of stories, awaiting them. I must continue on until the day arrives when I am a success in my eyes and in the eyes of those I love.
I just pray it is soon.
Want a great story for less than the price of a cup of fancy coffee?
Amazon - http://goo.gl/D6KrbX
Smashwords - http://goo.gl/XsGgAC
Nook - http://goo.gl/MVLXia
Google Play - http://goo.gl/g2kNPa