Figuring out where to actually start in this journey has been the single most frustrating thing I have ever done. The natural assumption is to write a book. Okay: check. In fact, make that seven checks. Now what? I want to be published somewhere somehow. But that’s the struggle. Let me lay out some of this drama for you.
Traditional: Firstly, I have no idea how to even with this. Google is awash with information, none of which seems to answer any of my questions and only further complicates things. Secondly, for the big five publishing houses, you need a literary agent. Great. Where the heck do I find one of those? I’m starting to believe that the internet is making this harder than it has be.
Indie/Self-Publishing: Click-and-Play. Right? Nope. This too is not as easy as it would first appear. Of course, it is entirely possible I am over-thinking the whole process. The most straightforward I’ve understood is to literally set up an author profile with Kindle and upload the manuscript. Is it really that easy? Nope again. There is formatting to contend with, click thrus, lower-than-low prices, and did I mention the literally millions of other books making up this sea of competition. Want to rise above or even float for a little while? That’s gonna take some major mullah.
I recognize that promoting my works is important, but in today’s world it is nearly impossible to stand out amidst the clutter. Unless of course, you have a major marketing budget. Every time I think about this, I’m reminded of the very true marketing joke:
I know that half of my advertising is working. I just don’t know which half.
And it’s true! People throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, Google promos, BookHub spotlights, and so many more without any promise of a return. For the record, I do not have that kind of a budget. I am just a lowly author who wants to share their stories. I don’t have delusions of grandeur or expect to become the next J.K. Rowling, but I do think my books are great. Now whether that is pure bias or legitimately earned, I’ll let you decide…when I finally publish something.