I’m undergoing another phase where I think I may as well give up on writing, or at least publishing.
I’ve tried submitting a couple of things over the past few months through the more traditional (or modern versions thereof) methods.
Self-publishing probably requires someone more comfortable with selling themselves to achieve success, which isn’t me. Marketing my books will be a waste of time and/or money without a number of reviews on them to encourage visitors to try them, and reviews are hard to get.
It’s only been a couple of months since I applied my latest book to a few dozen reviewers, so it’s probably still too early to expect much. A few replied to say their lists are too long, or they’re not interested, and a few to say they were interested. But getting reviews seems such a long process without a recognised brand.
The self-publishing route seems to basically boil down to hoping against all reason that your work will get noticed, or being the type of personality who can get their work noticed.
So I’ve tried a few other avenues, in hopes of finding other ways to draw attention to my work.
Those rejections feel more concrete than the general ignorance with which my self-published work is greeted. I can always hold out hope of them being noticed later, but a rejection is more tangible. Even bad reviews can be ignored, when they offer nothing constructive, as just someone disinclined to like my work.
But an actual rejection from someone whose job it is to read such things feels somehow different (and having two in one day doesn’t help). Even if it could just be a matter of taste. None actually say my writing stinks, but is that just politeness?
As with most of my work, they’re of awkward lengths for the traditional channels: there are few venues for novellas, and the novel (by certain classifications) is way too short for publishers to consider.
There are a growing number of independent publishers starting to take advantage of the possibilities eBooks offer to consider wider ranges of material, and it was mainly those I tried. They still have a large number of submissions though, so maybe I’m just not standing out.
I’m left with a couple of novellas and a short novel that are probably in publishable form, but I can’t find the enthusiasm to put them out there. Without some other factor in the mix, there’s no reason to think they’ll have any more luck finding an audience than my previous stuff.
And I’m also having trouble writing new stuff, everything feeling so bland and lifeless as soon as I start the actual writing.
Hopefully the phase will pass. But I’m increasingly certain my work will never really be read anyway, so I may as well give up the extra work of publishing it.