My first novel's been out for a couple months, and it's safe to say: the honeymoon's over. Following an initial burst of activity, Kindle sales have shrunk to an e-trickle. I only have so many friends and family to market to, after all. The rest of the world still has no idea who I am.
I find myself back in the mindset of the yet-to-be accomplished. Sure, my book is out there, but it's floating unnoticed among all the other self-published books--over 500,000 this past year, alone. I've gotten a few copies into local bookstores, offered a Goodreads giveaway, landed an interview in a weekly newspaper, and done a signing at the public library, but these are, admittedly, small vanity tokens. Nothing short of a hopped-up, super-caffeinated luck-bolt will get my book noticed in the real world.
I honestly expected this. But expectations verses experiences are as lopsided as dreams verses reality. Reality is settling in.
Because yes, I dishonestly expected otherwise. Subconsciously, I suffered from Andy Weir Syndrome, riding that slim blade of hope that I'd be the ONE self-published book that actually took off this year. Because it can happen. It does happen. People do, in fact, win the lottery.
Perhaps Jim Carey put it best in Dumb and Dumber after hearing that his odds of sleeping with his love interest were one in a million: "So you're telling me... there's a chance?"
After spending more money on the production of my book than I've recouped in sales, one may think it's time for me to relinquish this dream and move on to a different one. It makes no financial sense to invest in a second job that ends me in the red. But writers have never been known for having great financial sense.
Reality has indeed set in: I'll never be a writer because of the number of books I sell. I'm a writer because I write. The process is not a means to an end; the process is a means to a lifestyle. To give up writing would be the equivalent of a self-inflicted emotional lobotomy. I'm not about to kill myself. So it's on to the next book.
Besides, who knows? Maybe the next one will be the winning ticket.
I'm telling you... there's a chance.