I don’t yet have a release date for When Stars Die, but that doesn’t keep me from being nervous about its re-release. I’m both excited and terrified, excited because my trilogy is getting another chance, and terrified because I’m worried about how successful it’s going to be the second time through. Here are some of my top fears:
- Sales. How are the sales going to be for my book? Are they going to be worse? Better? I want this book to be so much more successful than its initial release.
- Reception. Is the book going to be well-received? There are going to be new readers who will jump on board, and I’m nervous about whether or not it’s still going to receive good reviews and ratings. I know it’s such a shallow thing to concern myself with, but how the first book does will determine the course of the rest of my trilogy.
- Platform. Is my platform better built to help engage new readers? I know it could be better. I know I should be regularly blogging at least three times a week on WordPress and at least once on Tumblr–even though I have been uploading picture teasers on Tumblr almost daily. You always feel like you could do better, of course.
- Spikes. Will my book have any moments when there is going to be a sudden spike in sales? WSD unfortunately did not have that opportunity with my last publisher, but I’m hoping with my new one, it’ll see spikes in sales throughout the year. Some months your book does bad, and other months it picks up. Seeing a dramatic spike in sales from time to time is encouraging.
- Events. My publisher actually attends events and brings its books along. Will my book do well at events? Will it attract new readers? How’s the traffic going to be for each one? If I’ve learned anything from my job as a marketer, it takes really good foot traffic to get even one sale. And bravery.
- Excitement. Am I going to be able to drum up more excitement this time around? It may seem like I’m just after the sales, but I want the sales because I want people to read my book, to be able to enjoy it, to be able to take something from it. We authors don’t write for the money. We can’t. We do it for the love of the craft and the warmth we feel when a reader has enjoyed our work, wants to interact with us, and wants to become a fan. I truly want my book to change readers’ lives in some way.
- I’m writing a short story called “The Treacherous Flame” that I plan to publish on Amazon and hopefully Smashwords. It’s going to take place in the Stars universe so that way you can get a general idea of what to expect for The Stars Trilogy.
- I plan to blog three times a week: one post talking about my writing life, chatting about my favorite books, and a critique of anything I find in the world of writing. I can’t set any days, as I have to blog around my work and ballet schedules.
I don’t know if there are many authors out there who have written what they hate about being an author. Don’t get the wrong idea. I love being an author. I truly do. Yet, there are parts about it that I hate.
- Reviews. Yeah, you’ve got a book published, it’s selling, and that’s probably all that matters to you. At the same time, readers’ opinions are probably more important than anything else. If your book flops as far as ratings/reviews are concerned, readers might not be as inclined to buy the next book, especially if this book is in a trilogy. Luckily for me, When Stars Die has 91 ratings with a 4.31 star rating. That’s pretty darn good.
- Publication. Just because you’ve got one book published doesn’t mean you’ll easily get another one published. Take my book, for example. Since being orphaned due to the closing of my publisher, it hasn’t found a home yet since I started searching in January. Granted, it did land a contract I’m still sitting on, and the full is with another house whose owner said they’ll get to my manuscript this month–and hopefully a contract. Thus, published authors are in the same boat as those not published. The only difference is people are actually reading their sweat-blood-and-tears books and making some money from it, but that’s it, really.
- Publishers Folding. This sucks badly. When AEC folded, I saw it as an opportunity for my novel to start anew. I have to think this way so I don’t succumb to despair. It is true that it’s a fresh start, but what’s also true is that it sucks that AEC folded. AEC didn’t fold due to monetary reasons, but that doesn’t make it any less sucky. After all, the sequel to my novel was almost ready to be made into an ARC that I could send out to readers for ratings/reviews. It had the cover and everything. I was just a few chapters shy of completing final proofreads. But this is the risk authors take when they decide to not get published by a Big 5 house. Even then, those published by the Big 5 are in danger of losing their jobs, too, especially if their agent decides to quit and can’t hand you over to another one. Or their editor decides to quit and the others don’t want your book.
- Not Finding a Publisher. Okay, so this doesn’t have anything to do with me, as I don’t have a literary agent, but I do know a few authors who once had literary agents. Those agents could not find a single publisher to take on their book. In the end, one decided to self-publish the rejected novel, and the other few dropped their agents altogether to start self-publishing their titles–with some success, of course.
- Sales. This is probably the aspect I hate the most. My novel did somewhat okay in regards to sales, but it’s still nail-biting torture when you receive your monthly statements. Some authors, even with good small presses, may not sell any books at all during a single month. This is incredibly disheartening, as we authors want people to read what we’ve written. We didn’t get published so we could finally call ourselves authors. We wanted our books to be published so we could share our stories to those interested in the types of stories we’ve written. So it’s no fun when you’ve had a bad month of sales–and you WILL have at least one bad month, which is subjective depending on previous sales’ records.
- Cover Art. Okay, so both of my novels have gorgeous, gorgeous covers. It was exciting to know what my cover artist could come up with. Even so, it’s a process I both loved and hated. What if I hated the cover? What if the publisher and I couldn’t come to a compromise on the cover? What if readers don’t buy your book because the cover is so obviously crap? What if it doesn’t even have anything to do with your book? Authors with smaller presses tend to have more say, but that doesn’t mean your options aren’t limited. But feel bad for the authors with the big guys. They don’t have a say at all. Some don’t want a say. But there are horrendous book covers out there because the authors didn’t have a say.
- Blurbs. Once your book has been accepted for publication, you still have to write the back cover blurb. This is a process I hate, as I’m not great with them. You think it’d be easy after writing a query letter and synopsis, but the blurb is something completely different. Query letters and synopses entice agents and editors to take on your book. Blurbs entice readers to buy your book; thus, the blurb has to be different because it’s about reeling in readers.
- Being Stranded. When the house folds, you’re stranded again. There aren’t many publishers out there willing to take on a previously published book. Thankfully, there are some presses out there that will. Nonetheless, having that book previously published will not give you a leg up. Having great sales and even reviews doesn’t give you a leg up. If the editor doesn’t like what they’re reading, no amount of sales or great reviews are going to change that editor’s mind.
These are a few things I hate about being an author. It doesn’t get any easier when you’re published. In fact, it only gets harder. Regardless, I love it. I can share my story with the world. I can show off my baby through platforming, like reviews, interviews, maintaining social media, ect. I can proudly say I’m an author, and people will think that’s awesome. I can have book signings. I get to have physical copies of my book to give away. My book could potentially be in bookstores. Librarians will buy my book with interest from just one person. Local bookstores will definitely stock my book. I get to have cover reveals, interviews with blogs and online radio shows, create picture quotes, tug on the excitement of readers with teasers, have a book trailer, and sit back and realize how remarkable it is that all the months or years it took me to write that book finally paid off.
There are more things about being an author that I love than hate. Right now, I’m simply an author on pause.