Somebody asked me if I planned to participate in NaNoWriMo again. I’ve signed up on their site before, but in recent years I try to go along with the plan but I don’t officially register. Fall is usually the time I seriously settle in to write another book, unless I see a call with a deadline. This year it pains me to admit that my heart just isn’t into NaNo, or writing in general.
I’m supposed to have a novella out in early 2015 with a publisher. It’s my hope the book will see the light of day, but rumors run rampant about the company and many predict their implosion by the end of the year. I don’t know. They could surprise us and rally, and to be honest I don’t want to see any publishers fold, especially this one. Even if I didn’t have a dog in the fight, I’d want them to recover because I know many of the authors and I’ve read their books for years.
It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened, but a closure could mean one of the following for me:
- I get my rights back to the story, leaving me to figure out what to do with it. It’s a sweet romance and short, so I’d probably have to lengthen it to attract the interest of a reputable house. I could also self-publish and hope for the best.
- Should the company file for bankruptcy, my work becomes an asset to liquidate. I may get it back or my contract may go to somebody else and I’ll have to wait and see what that party wants to do. Could be the same result, only I wait longer for it.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t expected to set the world on fire with this book but I had hoped to use this experience as a ladder rung and move up to better things in my writing. As it is, I’ve been spinning my wheels for twenty years. I write, people say I write well, but that’s about it. This self-publishing boom has swelled online retailers – everybody has a book out, and everybody’s voice joins in a huge cacophony. Who can hear me? Once upon a time we viewed agents and publishers as gatekeepers who determined what went to press. Now we via for attention from daily bargain newsletters, and many of them won’t touch you unless your book already has dozens of five-star reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.
How do I get those reviews unless I advertise? If you won’t take my money because I don’t already have public approval, what’s the point? I could tweet and Facebook all day, but those sites are gatekeepers now. If I want the reach I have to pay for it. Ged, it makes my head spin.
Some days I want to quit I can taste it. Maybe I can write Quantum Leap fan fiction going forward and interest somebody in funding a reboot of the show. Maybe I can take up crochet and sell plush Daleks at comic cons. I wouldn’t be happy, though. I’m happy when I’m telling a story.
Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to write the third book in the Lerxst Johnston series. Sales are not good, and I’m wondering if a third book is a losing proposition. Do I invest time in it for one last at bat, or do I risk it on something new? Is mystery even a viable genre for me anymore? Should I try another romance, which has a bigger audience, or horror which – while not large – has a solid following?
I honestly don’t know what to do. Radio silence at all corners hasn’t helped. Would be nice for an angel to fly down in a flaming pie and set me straight.