I’m scared. I can admit this to myself, and possibly, to my cat. Why? Because I’m nearing my self-induced deadline to self-publish my novel. For those not in the know, end of the summer is my deadline.
I really should have put this book out 3 years ago after my last set of critiques. I haven’t touched the book since the end of 2011 or early 2012. I put it in a drawer and wrote two other books, so it wasn’t like I didn’t do anything.
That’s what this latest string of crit partners is about, getting some fresh eyes on my book before I throw it into the world and that scares me. Not because It’s going to be read by all of four people and barely make enough money for a mochaccino. That doesn’t concern me all that much.
My fear is twofold. I’ve had over 150 rejections for this book. 95% of which never even asked for pages, despite the agents telling me in workshops that the query is really good. Hell, I even sat down with Harpercollins and talked to one of their editors who agreed my first ten pages, synopsis, and query were outstanding. (She even told me to send her the book, which I never did because I lost her business card and couldn’t find her contact information anywhere)
Tragic, yeah, because I’m an idiot.
Still, I keep wondering, what if I queried just one more time, would I have an agent four months from now who might deign to accept a whole manuscript or 50 pages, whichever is less? Then 3 years from now, I might get to sell my work, my characters, tv rights, everything for a $5k advance?
I keep wondering if I could be a “published” author instead of a self-published author. I keep wondering why I care because let’s be real. Those publishers are chasing two customers: Joe Average who buys one book a year at an airport by Tom Clancy or Stephen King or James Patterson and Annie Teenie-bopper who is going to buy whatever the hottest, latest, thing all the other tweens are buying. They are looking for huge wins.
My book won’t be those, sorry, it won’t. I know that. But if I self-publish, the chances of getting published are even slimmer for this series… and I don’t know why I care.
My other fear is that it does get read. That someone picks up my book and just hates it. I know that’s going to happen. Hell, I really like pizza and ice cream and, half the time, I get pizza and ice cream I don’t enjoy. It makes me want to give a money back guarantee. I mean, someone spent hard earned money for something to enjoy. Granted it took my 5,000 hours to write it, but that’s not the point.
Someone is giving me their time. Taking their time, which they can’t get back, and handing it to me. That is a huge responsibility. Life is too short to do things you don’t want to do. It’s way too short to read stuff that you think is bad. When you put it like that, a money-back guarantee seems almost like a cop out.
I’m going to go invent a time machine. “Back away from the buy now button sir. You’re going to waste twenty minutes of your life. Oh by the way, call me The Doctor.”