The hard part where I have to beg for reviews and then wait for them to be posted online, inspiring strangers to take a chance on my book. I’d forgotten this was the hard part mostly because it’s been a few years since I put something out that didn’t immediately sell.
That’s right, my new novel, Pen & Xander, has not been a runaway success. It has not sold thousands of copies in its first week. It hasn’t even sold 10. And it kills me to write that. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying and, frankly, quite embarrassing.
I scheduled a blog tour with over 100 blogs committed to posting about the book. I sent a few email blasts to my newsletter subscribers. I’ve been emailing reviewers directly and tweeting about my new book and blogging about my new book and adding excerpts and purchase links to my backlist…and it’s been *crickets*.
I didn’t think I was still invisible. After half a million people have downloaded at least one of my books I was pretty sure I was at least semi-visible. Maybe only to a small fraction of the internet that actually read all four books in my paranormal series and enjoyed them. But that’s still more than 10, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I am still completely and utterly grateful for the success I’ve had so far. This is not a post about me shaming or blaming anyone. This post is about me being really really confused. And therefore worried that this whole writing thing is not going to be as lucrative in the long-term as I thought it was going to be. That scares me because I love this writing thing. On November 1st I started my next book. Another upper YA contemporary romance and now I’m second-guessing every single word like maybe people don’t want contemporary romance from me. Maybe genre-hopping is a bad idea. Maybe I’m letting people down. Maybe I should have queried this MS instead. Or maybe people just don’t care.
Maybe I should come to terms with that. Because I’ve come face to face with this kind of rejection, this kind of failure before. When my first 3 books didn’t find an audience I didn’t let that stop me. I kept writing and what came next changed my life. And even though it feels like I’m back at square one the truth is I’ve come a long way. And if I’ve still got miles to go…in the dark…all alone…I can keep going. I have to. I will.