I crowdfunded (failed) and self-published a poetry book because I believed in the process and I wanted to get my work out there. I knew there was very little money in poetry so I did it for the experience. I don’t regret this.
But I probably should have learned my lesson then and there.
A year or two later, I finished my YA werewolf novel that I had been working on for years. Years. I was so exalted, exhilarated that I immediately sought to publish. I bought a pre-made cover (I will admit that I still love it) and put it up on CreateSpace. I failed. I haven’t sold enough copies to even cover the pre-made design.
I’m sure falling off the face of the planet a few months later with my previous site and pen name didn’t help the situation, but I am sure that my incompetence in marketing contributed mostly to the failure. When you self-publish you do everything yourself. In all honesty, I just suck at marketing. My levels of anxiety make it impossible for me to sell myself. I also don’t have the pretty cash to invest in ads, stacks of my own book, materials, conventions and the travel costs of conventions. I need a team. I need someone to do all of this in the background while I blog and write obliviously away.
So I’m disappointed in myself. I jumped the gun.
I’ve written time and time again that I’m not in this gig for the money. Writing doesn’t really make money anymore unless you’re going to be an RR Martin. But, yes, I’d like to supplement my husband’s income and help us to be able to travel. (Not to mention my unhealthy addiction to geeky clothes at Torrid and designer jewelry.) I at least would have liked to break even on the whole ordeal.
But what bothers me more is that my words aren’t getting out to people. That’s what’s important to me. And I think it’s a good story. I’m still rather fond of it. I think it could have been a great story with an editor and at least one more draft. Im considering coming back to it. I’m considering revising it and querying agents but for now I don’t want to lose the momentum on my current project.
And I will seek traditional publishing with my WIP. I just want to be able to walk into a bookstore someday and see my name on a spine.