As people say this to me they seem very impressed. I will agree that writing a book is certainly an accomplishment. To set out on the road with an idea and some sketchy characters in your head and end up someplace holding an entire book in your hand, is a wonder. I think the most wonderful thing is that no matter what you plan, the final result is a surprise. Somehow, in your head, the characters take on a life of their own and do their own bidding. Your friends, family, and early readers weigh in and things change. But once the writing is finished, which may be well after you expect it to be, a totally new and arduous journey begins. You have to get it published take it to market.
Finding a publisher, deciding to go it alone, or something in between is much harder than the creating. The publishing industry is in transition and seems to chase the next new thing only from known writers. They are not willing or financially able to take a chance on a newbie with a story that maybe doesn’t quite fit any genre label and is written by a name no one knows. If you do succeed in getting published you can hardly stand at the pinnacle with pride yet.
Your precious words are now a product and must be sold to have any value. The artistic temperament is often not very compatible with sales. It feels a little like selling a child. Yes, you think it is beautiful because it is part of you, but will anyone else like it? Even if you have written the best of all possible books, you have to post, tweet, and blog your ass off. Not to mention read, and sign, and beg. I happen to be depraved enough to think this part is fun. It is not at all easy, though. A book that no one reads can be the saddest story of all. Thankfully, A little magic may happen when you get a good review. Someone with impeccable good taste may rave about your creation and for a moment your spirit soars. Just for a minute and then you trek on. The truth is the good reviews are not why you do it. They are just gravy on the stale and crusty biscuit of hard work. You write because you have to write. You publish and sell because, once you write it, you have to share it. You share it so someone can look you in the eye and say,”So you wrote a book.”