I canceled the pre-order for The Billionaire’s Heiress. All of you know that by now. Some of you have emailed me about it and I appreciate your understanding.
The book wasn’t ready. The words were all wrong. I hated the characters. And I hated the circles I’d written, revised, edited, and re-written myself into. I wouldn’t put out a book that I hated.
There are penalties, of course. Loss of readers who might have wanted to try my work. The loss of pre-order privilege at Amazon for a year. Both hurt. Both I can do nothing about.
I scrapped the book and started over. It’s different, but the same. It’ll be more what I wanted it to be in the first place before I lost my way.
I tried to fix it. I couldn’t. I was in tears when I finally accepted the mess and disappointment and failure. I can on fix what I feel something for and I felt nothing for the book as it was. I had expectations that hadn’t been met. And you, my readers had expectations I couldn’t meet. Not your fault. Mine.
Self publishing is a hard thing and filled with realizations that I am just recently coming to understand. It’s harder now to be found, to be seen. It’s harder to up the ante and harder not to compare my lack of sales and income against those racking it all up in the thousands to ten thousands each month.
There’s the expectation to show work, to talk about it, to be on, to share, to giveaway, to create huge buzz… And that’s not me. Before this phase of my publishing career, I didn’t talk or share the books I worked on. It killed the love affair I had with the characters, the story to share it, to talk about it before it was done.
But it’s expected now, necessary even to make the reader salivate and push the buy button.
I set up pre-orders because there was an imposed deadline to meet and it would help me get to the end and offer buffer after the book was finished to start creating that buzz. It didn’t work this time.
I know how I work and I know it’s not going to turn out well when I deviate from it. Even if it is what I’m supposed to do now to get my name out there and start getting my books noticed by readers. Even if it is what everyone else is doing. Even if it is what I should be doing.
The thing is, I want to say those other things work for me. I want to say being on social media and talking about my book a lot works for me. I want to say all the buzz works. I want it so badly. But the truth is, we don’t all work the same and while we all say embrace your individuality, all we’re really doing is creating more boxes to try and fit ourselves or each other in. There dozens of ‘this worked for me and it can work for you too for only 9 payments of $90 courses’. Dozens of tips and tricks and just do it this way guides. The self publishing arm of the publishing industry is becoming a way for people to make money off those struggling to figure it out. It’s the next ‘just follow this one diet and you’ll lose 20lbs in 3 days’ fad. I see it in the newsletters I’m subscribed to, the books, the webinars. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
But the truth of the matter is, I work one way and it’s the way I wrote so many books in so little time, books that readers loved. And every now and then, I need a kick in the ass to be reminded of it.
I’m trying to be different by being the same, by wanting to be the same, do the same as those who are successful at this rather than spinning their wheels like I’m doing.
I wanted the Billionaire to be great and I tried too hard, so hard that I broke the book. We all had expectations of me and I failed.
I know what works for me and it’s not the same as what works for others. I know what works for me to finish a book I like and am proud of and it’s not what works for others.
And, that’s where I am now.