I’ll admit it. I’m disappointed. No. I am in fact even a little depressed. I did not expect to be an overnight success or even a success at all. I did expect however to sell a reasonable quantity of books and—shame on me for being so naïve—I did expect my publisher to pick up my second book. Not because I thought I am all that as a writer. But because I believed that would make good business sense. First books rarely put a writer on the map. However second and third ones normally do a lot better. So, in my newbie-no-business-sense mind I thought the publisher would not drop me like a hot potato until at least the second book. Wrong! I was dropped like a giant sack of potatoes in flames right after the first one.
It didn’t sell well and I don’t have the monetary resources to hire PAs to do my marketing for me. I have to, just like thousands of other authors, rely on myself and the kindness of other writers to market myself and my book. It’s a full time job on top of the other two full time jobs I have; teacher and writer. Which I would gladly do if I knew I had somewhere to publish the other books I have written in the meantime.
To add to all the disappointment there is also a sense of time running out. Everybody knows that there is a “shelf life” for authors. The longer it takes for them to publish the next book, the less chances they have of good sales (unless of course you accidentally write the next Harry Potter). My first book was published in January and even though I am trying my best to keep it alive (even though it is kind of unconscious right now) while I desperately look for a publisher for my second and third novel, I know that if I do publish in the next year or so I will be pretty much starting from scratch again. And that, my friends, sucks—if you’ll forgive the vernacular.
Anyone out there who was dropped after his/her first book? How did you bounce back? I have no intentions of hanging my writer’s hat. Writing is a bit too important for me and my sanity to drop it like that. However I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do from here on. I am doing the obvious things; submitting to every moving agent and publisher under the sun (minus the ones whose books have the most horrible covers in the market), advertising my first book everywhere I can think of and afford…I am even having some “face time” with two agents next Fall.
Of course, there is always the self-pub option…