… at least not for long.
Sigh. Just received notification that I was not selected as a winner in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book contest. I entered “Finding Family,” my contemporary novel about a family coming together. Didn’t even make honorable mention. I tell myself winning would have been a miracle given there were more than 2,600 entires. It doesn’t help. It still stings.
No, I wasn’t among the select few. What does it take to get the attention of judges in these types of contests? I wish I knew. Actually, I do know. It takes being a cut above, working hard, and creating a book that has appeal. Too whom and in what way? That is the mystery and one I have yet to figure out.
The truth is I don’t even know how to sell my books beyond the few hundred I’ve already sold. I see books on Amazon by unknown authors with more than 500 Amazon reviews. Really? How does that happen? I don’t think I have 500 readers collectively who have read the four books I’ve written, and less than five (meaning as few as two) reviews on Amazon. Does it matter? Hell if I know. It is admittedly a measure of the number of people who have read the book being reviewed, otherwise they wouldn’t comment, right?
So what am I not good at, folks? Writing or marketing? Or both. Egads! I don’t know if I want an answer to that.
Either way I appreciate the “There Are No Rules” October platform building challenge for today. Build a Time Management Plan, Robert Brewer tells stalwart participants. Why does it matter to my fragile writing ego? Because one of the tasks I need to include in my Time Mangement PLan is learning how to market my work. This is extrememly hard for me. I can sell just about anything to anybody, but I’m hesitant and perhaps a wee bit fearful about selling my work. I’ve read way too many bad self-published e-books. On the other hand, I’ve read some really good ones. I count my books among the good ones… except for those darned errors overlooked in editing and the other little imperfections that drive me nuts after the fact.
Success at anything and time management are kissing cousins. Knowing what you are going to do and when are key elements for being productive. My problem is believing I can do more and consequently over scheduling. What I have learned is the importance of doing less more effectively. Better to do three things well than ten things haphazardly or with guilt-ridden not at all. Today’s challenge is a good exercise about writing with intention, and building a marketing strategy with intention. Now to do it.
But I need to go to the store, and post office, and there’s that luncheon I need to attend, and later I think I’ll clean my closet, and then I’ll…
The pain of rejection is the self-doubt it inflects, even if for a little while. It taints my energy and makes me want to do anything but write, which is why I sat down and made myself write this post. Getting back on the horse, as the cliché says. I don’t know if I will ever write another book of ficiton, but I have lots of other writing to do. So onward and upward with a smile and hope, the Band-Aids to a wounded writing spirit.