My book has been out for a whole month! Yay! So, now what?
I’m not sure.
Since the release of If You Only Knew, I’ve felt increasingly…lost.
It’s really not a secret that publishing has a hard on for debuts. It’s all about boosting new deals, focusing on all the shiny. Meanwhile the rest of us, the ones that aren’t instant bestsellers, are left floundering. The “mid-list” as we’re called, have to rely on either one another, or ourselves to boost our own books. It’s up to us to find bloggers, to set up appearances, and it’s also on our dime. Which, honestly, isn’t sustainable for a lot of us.
When I look around me, the authors that used to be here a few years ago, the ones that were mid-list, are suddenly disappearing. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but the one that stands out to me is the fact that publishing simply doesn’t care about us enough to keep us around. Publishing is, at the end of the day, a business. And if you’re not helping bring in the money, then, well, you’re out.
Which makes me sad. So many talented authors are no longer given chances to prove themselves when they never really stood a chance to do so in the first place. Books that teens need and crave will never be published and the focus will continue to remain on the shiny, the glitter, the new and even those aren’t guaranteed second chances.
The climb to getting published is long, difficult, completely uphill, and the fall fast and sharp.
So how do we fix this? How do we continue to promote ourselves and each other after we’ve debuted? I’m not sure. I keep trying to think of new and innovative ways to boost authors, but it’s all trial and error. And it can be mentally taxing. We’re already scrambling to get our second books finished, to create a brand that keeps readers interested, we’re working full-time jobs, or raising our families.
I think the only thing we can do is continue to write. It’s the only thing we can control. We can’t control sales. We can’t control the amount likes or followers we gain. We can’t control much of anything honestly, so it all comes down to our work and what we’re putting out there.
I understand if you can’t anymore. If writing is not something that brings you joy anymore; publishing has this way of sucking it away. I just hope that if it is something that you still feel passionate about that you will try again. Because readers need you. The community needs you. And even if publishing is unwilling to admit it, they need you, too.
I hope I haven’t scared off any debuts. There are some really great moments in the whole debut ordeal. Enjoy those moments, hold them tight. Treasure them. And then go write that book that won’t stop prodding at your head. Boost some authors. Go do some promo for yourself. And then take deep, long breath and keep going.