After spending several months of researching, writing, editing, and book cover designing, your book is finally published! YOU DID IT! Another story literally in the books!
I'm sure you remember that feeling of euphoria when you held the proof copy in your hands and smiled at how good the cover looked and at how well everything turned out. Sales were great in the initial first few weeks or even for a couple of months. After a while, something funny happens in the industry and the sales start shrinking. Perhaps it's because your book is no longer new, it's not offered for sale, and despite good reviews, it's seemingly ignored or not even considered in literary award contests. Granted, slow sales, a lack of acknowledgment by top critics, and dwindling readers can be very discouraging, but only if you allow it to be. I encourage you not to quit!
This highly competitive publishing industry can be fickle, and sometimes you have to ride the waves. You have to understand and accept that business isn't always going to be good. Readers won't always keep buying your books and critics won't always say good things. Despite other people's opinions or perhaps their own economic challenges that may deter them from buying your books, it does not change the fact that you have a God-given talent. And, whether or not you win an award or lose to another author, it doesn't change the fact that you're a published author. That's an accomplishment in itself! That means when someone researches your name your books will be listed right beside it FOREVER! Your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be able to show everyone that YOU were/are a published author. That's something to feel proud about.
What I come to realize is that there is a need to be balanced, patience, and persistent as we await or “create” opportunities for ourselves to reach our goals. When things slow down, adapt, get creative, make changes in your book promotion, do whatever you can to keep riding the waves, but don't stop sailing until you reach your destination.
Do all you can to meet new readers and boost your book sales, but don't lose yourself in the process. No matter what happens, you can't make someone buy your books or nominate you for an award. Sometimes we as authors need our egos checked. We have to realize we're not the only people in the world who write books, and neither are we the only authors who experience a downward spiral in the publishing industry. So, what can we do?
Truthfully, just stay consistent and be persistent with your writing and promoting. Also, find a good support system where there is an exchange of encouragement and advice, especially amongst other authors who may be experiencing the same thing. For me, writing in itself is therapeutic. It’s my first love. Is it still yours?
Don't abandon the gift that God gave you. You've been dreaming too long and writing too long just to give up. Yes, sometimes things happen in the publishing world that just isn't fair, but that's the world we live in. Always remember, whether you have a handful of readers or hundreds, there is always somebody out there who appreciates what you do. If you don't believe me, go back and read your book reviews. Stay motivated! Keep writing and don't give up!
Selena Haskins chats with Author Letrise Carter of Sistah's Place Magazine for March Madness Authors month.
Author Selena Haskins gives advice on book review tips and responsibilities for book reviewers.
Author Selena Haskins give advice on making characters believable when writing.
Author Selena Haskins discusses why it's important for writers not to take themselves so seriously.