Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Too Tired to Fight

I used to be proud of my persistence. I knew when I started my publishing adventure that I would have to be thick skinned and pig headed. I knew that I would get a lot more rejections than I would acceptances. And I was ready for it. Sure, the Nos wore me down every once in a while, made me question why I was doing what I was doing, shook my self-confidence, but I carried on.

Even when I fell prey to a malevolent publisher who plagiarized, stole artwork for covers, and didn’t pay royalties to the authors he published, I didn’t let it get me down. I learned from my mistake and moved on.

When I had to deal with a publisher that didn’t return emails or send royalty statements or pay in a timely fashion, I still didn’t let it get me down. I remained persistent and reminded her over and over and over again that she needed to get me that information, and I would eventually get it.

And do you know why I persisted? Because through all this bad, I was able to accomplish some amazing things.

I found readers, friends, and fans who enjoyed my work. And that is the #1 reason I write.

I was able to publish an academic book with a prestigious publisher without having ties to a university. That’s pretty amazing.

Life After the Undead ranked in the top 100 for paid Kindle books for almost 3 months.

I grabbed on to the positive and let the negative slip away. It was still there, lurking in the background, but I ignored it.

Sadly, I can’t ignore it any longer.

Last Friday, I received word that Booktrope would be closing its doors at the end of May. It broke my heart. After everything I’d been through, they were a breath of fresh air. They cared about their authors. They made sure we had statements every month and that we got paid in a timely fashion. They helped promote my books and found opportunities for my work to get in front of new readers.

I have no idea why they’ve closed, and I’m sure they didn’t come to the decision lightly. All of us were shocked and blindsided by the decision. And things have taken a turn for the worst. I’m not going to get into how here, but it’s made me rethink a lot of things.

I write because it’s compulsion. Most of the time, I enjoy doing it. It’s fun. But lately, it hasn’t been fun. It’s been a lot of heartache.

I never expected to make a lot of money on my books. I dreamed about it, hoped it would happen. I would entertain fantasies of getting a movie deal and being propelled into fame. I hoped that my books would start selling like hotcakes. But as the years have gone by and things have slowly spiraled downward, I’ve let go of those dreams.

Sure, there’s always a chance. There’s still plenty of time left. But only if those books are in the world. Only if people can read them and find them.

I know I still have a lot options. I know I can self-publish or try to find another publisher, but I’m tired. I can’t deal with the rejection, uncertainty, and difficulties.

A strong person would see this as a bump in the road; an obstacle that must be navigated to get to the prize at the end of the road. Back in the day, I probably would have been that strong person. I would have thrown my shoulders back and pushed forward. But right now, I don’t have it in me. I don’t even know what the prize is anymore.

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