Doubt is an ugly thing. Most writers probably know this already. We experience it at every stage of writing. The questions come like ants at a picnic. Can I really finish writing a book? Is it good? Will people like it? Do they really like it or are they just being nice? Will it find a home? Will it get good reviews? Will it sell more than a handful of copies? You get the idea, right?
They don’t stop if you get an agent or a publisher, either. I had (emphasis on the past tense, here) both. An agent shopped around my book to a handful of publishers. Literally five or six. No takers. So she said “good luck” and moved on. The following year, after many close calls, I found a publisher on my own. Ghostwriter Publications. Well, we all know how that worked out.
So here I am, going it alone. My book is on Kindle, and the Nook and print versions are coming soon. At first it will only be available online, but I have priced it competetively, given it deep discounts, and made the somewhat crazy decision to make the books returnable in hopes that a few copies will find their way to bookstore shelves. It’s a gamble, that last bit. We’ll see if it pays off.
The final product, if I do say so myself, is pretty nice. One of the great things about doing your own thing is that you are in command. All the decisions are yours. You want your interior to look a certain way? OK. You want your headers in a certain font? Done. Page numbers, chapter headers, graphics, etc. It’s all you. And that is what 33 A.D. is. It is all me. Aside from the cover, which I contracted, I set every single aspect of the book up myself. (NOTE: I am talking about the print version; I had help with the Kindle version. Author Donnie Light) I have painstakingly edited, groomed, edited, revised, edited, formatted, and edited this book until it suffered far too many cuts and slashes and could no longer bleed, hoping I hadn’t killed it.
Of course, that also means that if it fails miserably, I have only myself to blame. Neat how all that works, huh? (In case you missed it…that’s that “doubt” thing again)
I’m not the first person to do this, and I won’t be the last, but it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Marketing, promotion, writing, trying to keep my head on my day job so all this is even possible, etc. So far my head hasn’t exploded, but if it does, I’ll make sure to let everyone know via posthumous text messages. I haven’t figured out how I am going to do that yet, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
Anyway, doubt. That’s what started this whole thread. Doubts are everywhere, especially for an author in my position. The trick is not to succumb to them. I’ve come close more than once, but the bottom line is I believe in my work. It won’t be for everyone, no book is. Some folks will hate it, some will never know it exists, and still others will simply say “M’eh. I’ve seen better.” But some people will like it. Maybe even love it. I believe this so strongly that I put my own money and time on the line to see it happen. Despite any doubts or fears I may have, I have to see this through. How many others in my position have said those words, I wonder? Thousands? Millions? Probably. Some have won. Most have lost, but win or lose, I am going to try.
Because if you let your doubts get the best of you, then you have already lost.