After two six-month royalty periods, I had to face the fact that I had spent more than I had earned. Did I mention that a portion of each of my books benefits a charity and that this organization ran an article to this effect in their nationwide newsletter?
Since my chosen beneficiary is one catering to animal welfare, I also contacted various animal-related sites and magazines, making them aware of my books and the tie-in to a charity. Finally, I placed an ad in a national magazine for animal lovers, at a cost of $45.00.
I paid a visit to my local paper, handing over a copy of each book to a seemingly interested features editor I had contacted in advance, yet to date, she has not reviewed the books- I live in “arty” New Mexico, where local writers are not exactly news.
I left another copy with the manager of my local bookstore, followed up on my visit, all to no avail. I dropped one at the library nearly a near ago and it still isn’t in the system, although no one can say why. Meanwhile, my beloved father practically peddles my books from his trunk.
By now I am running out of ideas, not to mention money. And I did not even celebrate when my publisher recently sent notification that they were eager to publish yet another of my novels.
By now, all I could see are dollar signs. And the dollars aren’t coming in, they are going out.
So it is a hopeless endeavor? Should I forget about promoting my work or even forget entirely about trying to publish my books? Can I afford to continue trying to carve out a tiny place for my work in the vast and ever-growing world of literature?
I can’t say whether I’m wasting my time and my money chasing a dream. Who can tell which authors will be among the lucky ones? Who can say how many books it may take until “the one” that appeals to a wide audience, if indeed that audience knows of its existence? But I will keep trying, within reason, meaning if I can do so without forfeiting my home or my car in my efforts.
Otherwise I’ll never know if I might have been one of the select few and worse, I’ll know that I didn’t do my part to find out. Thinking up stories, sitting down and writing the books-no problem.
That part is simple. It’s this other thing, the dreaded “P” word that threatens to do me in. And I don’t mean “POD.”
Conny Bryceland is a native New Yorker living in Albuquerque. She is the author of Accidental Rewards, Reverse Bonding and Past Imperfections. All of her books benefit “ARF” (Animal Rescue Foundation) in Walnut Creek, CA.