Well, this is it for my Kindle Scout campaign: It ends on Saturday, November 5th, but as far as I’m concerned it’s over already. If I had any idea of what kind of farce it would be, I never would have entered in the first place. But it was a kind of experiment, after all. And though I know the ultimate outcome—like when the doctor goes to rip off your bandage and says, ‘It’ll only hurt for a second…’ I know that sting of rejection still has to come, made all the more humiliating by the fact that everyone who nominated you will be informed as well by email. I intend to move past it all as quickly as possible, and begin to just get the thing published and out there.
But I’ve learned a lot from this experience—or maybe you could say I have finally woken up to the hard reality of publishing a book in 2016. Any way you look at it—traditional publishing, self-pubbing, hybrid—it’s pretty much impossible. Has nothing to do with talent or ability or a great cover or even dumb luck, it’s just too many damn books out there, and too few readers. I suppose I’m contributing to the overall glut. But there’s been a terrible surge in the number of people writing simply to cash in, not for the art of it, and those folks deserve their own special circle in Hell as far as I’m concerned.
And I don’t think it’s going to get any better soon. But I’m not throwing in the towel, because I can’t. It’s true that I am writing more short non-fiction articles these days. But like the crazy mother who endures a horrific childbirth then turns around and gets knocked up again…I have started a new novel, appropriately enough during National Novel Writing Month. It is COMPLETELY different than anything I’ve ever written before. And yet…it’s not. (No, it’s not Erotica!!) And that’s all I’m going to say about it right now.
And what the hell: Here’s my Kindle Scout link one last time: Go ahead, click it: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2FG91Y0LS2F58
If you nominated my book, you will learn shortly via email its fate. So I won’t need to post the results here. And for the benefit of my fellow writers, it may seem contradictory, but here’s my advice: If you’re thinking of entering, go for it! Won’t cost you a cent, maybe just a smidgen of self-respect. But you may do well, especially if you write genre fiction, although I will warn that you can’t get away with the same-old storylines; it seems the editors are looking for something very different and original. Don’t pay money for specialized marketing—it’s just not worth it. Let your book stand on its own merits. Keep up your blog. But have a good cover—that seems to have been my downfall. Go to the Kindleboards Kindle Scout threads and participate; get onto their nominating list. And don’t badger people to nominate you; just send out links to your campaign page. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up on Hot & Trending. But that’s not really the badge of honor you think it is…
And this whole venture wouldn’t be quite so depressing, were it not for the BIG election following on its heels next week. So there are more important things to worry about than not selling one’s books.