I don’t know how I still manage to sucker myself into delusions of grandeur but I do. One little success and my imagination speeds through this fairytale dream life of a writer. Book signings, millions of copies sold, movie deals, meeting famous people, never having to worry about money again, living next to the beach and swimming every day, and being loved all over the globe–or at least my writing being loved all over the globe. I just want people to like me.
Reality set in just a few days after a successful free book promotion. I went from 11th in fantasy in free book sales to all over the place when it cost $3.99. It takes breaking the 10k mark to make it into the top 100 in your genre, I made it all the way up to 28k before my rank plummeted without any sign of returning to better numbers. My mood soared and imagination rampaged through delusionville as my rank improved, and then I fell face-first into depression mode by the time I sank past the 100k mark. I didn’t get it. I’d worked so hard. My book was failing. Writing is my calling so why am I failing again? Why? Why can’t just one thing go right in my life?
After ending my pity party and leaving delusionville, I faced reality. 320 free books aren’t enough to kickstart an author’s career. I did a second free book promo last Sunday and dished out 385 more copies and received a second review from a person I don’t know. The review’s amusing. Adores and slams me at the same time:
Even with the hypocrisy with the wordiness, I catalogued that and the other complaints to apply them to my future projects. The only thing I think is a stylistic preference is the complaints about the fight scenes. I like blow-by-blow descriptions. I like to see what’s going on. Sure, I’m probably overdoing it in a few places but overall I want fight scenes to be as cinematic as possible. I don’t want to write “The duelist crossed swords, and then their weapons sang as they clashed repeatedly.” Too abstract for my taste. My taste. Remember, storytelling so mercilessly subjective.
Anyway, my mood has lightened back up. Last week I felt so helpless as I watched myself slip towards the person I never wanted to be again. Now I have a plan of action to help generate exposure, since that’s a debuting novelist’s greatest challenge. I’ll be posting short *cough* short st– *cough cough* well they’re supposed to be short stories, but good luck with that. I’m a natural novelist. Some people are natural short story writers, but not me. I can turn every short story I attempt to write into a chapter as I find ways to keep the story going. So we’ll see how writing short “chaptories” helps my writing career. Heck, maybe the right people goad me into turning my “chaptory” into a proper novel. But maybe I’m sneaking towards delusionville again. I don’t know. How can you achieve big without thinking big?
One more free book promo is comping up. This one’ll last three days. Putting all the chips on the table, as my ePublisher said. Even though I’m in a calm, content mood, there’s still this ache in my heart I can’t seem to ease. I want to succeed so–maybe I should start saying “fulfill my dreams” instead. I just had a thought: success feels too abstract a concept to chase. My dreams are these concrete visions with specific goals. I want my dreams to be fulfilled so bad. I’ll work as hard as necessary for that. However, I’m in a zone where there’s only so much I can do. I’m at the mercy of opinion and others’ willingness to spread the good word about my books.
I honestly believe I’ve written two great books in what will be a great fantasy trilogy. It must sound so conceited of me to say but I still believe it. I don’t write stories just to write them. Every story I tell has my heart and soul in them, along with themes pertaining to what is universally human that I’ve dealt with. I’m not sure how to explain it well but reading in any genre is magic.