What it means to publish a novel in the age of ebooks

Getting a book published was always the dream. From about the age of 12-13, I wanted nothing else. Or at least, I wanted nothing else more than I wanted that.

Bu then the internet happened. And Amazon got into self-publishing. And everything changed in the landscaping of publishing. When I got published, I was unaware of this.

So when my dream finally became reality, I expected my publisher to market my book. Surely, I thought, they wouldn’t put all the time and effort into editing and proofing and artwork only to let it die straight out of the gate.

Only, it seems they would. Publishers now rely on their authors being savvy marketers of their own work. They expect it. They take it for granted. And they work a numbers game. They rush out tons of books, in the hopes that the ones with savvy authors will sell enough to justify those that fall by the wayside. As long as they are getting the sales, it doesn’t matter if it is for a few books or all the books.

Sadly for me, I am not a savvy marketer. It has always been my greatest weakness, marketing myself. It is why I was never any good at query letters. I am no good at selling myself.

So my book languishes. Oh, it’s still selling, feebly, bouncing back and forth between the 50k author rank and somewhere in the low hundreds every week.. but it isn’t selling enough. It’s just not getting to enough people and I don’t know how to get it out there any better. I’m doing my best, but I’m afraid my best just isn’t good enough.
The sad part for me is that I love my story. The money would be really helpful, there is no denying that, but it’s the fact that hardly anyone is getting to read my story that cuts the deepest.

You see, I love my little story. It’s not great literature. It’s not the next American Classic. It will never win awards. It’s a good, simple, honest story about love, though. A story about the way we delude ourselves. About the ways we yearn and ache and long. It’s about friendship and fear and bravery and hope. It’s The Story of Jax and Dylan and it’s the story of me and of Jay and of things real and things imagined.

And there are just too many people who will never see it.


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