Thursday, November 29, 2012

State of the CW...again

Yeah, I know. It's a little early to be doing YET. ANOTHER. ONE. OF THESE.

But I want to. First, I want to talk about numbers. I like numbers. I don't like adding numbers, but I like playing with them. When I'm playing video games and/or selling books I like watching the numbers go up. The one nice thing about KDP is, I get a little screen that I can refresh as often as I want to, so I can know with a couple hours delay exactly how many books I have sold. I have a stat addiction. Sometimes I feel like huddling under the sink with a box of cheetoes and my knitting row counter, counting how many times I can click the little red button.

If everything goes right/well/same as it's been for the last two months? I'll have sold 100 books by the end of the year.

Yes. I know this is not a ground breaking thing. I know that a *real* writer would have sold that the first month her book was published. That doesn't even mean real money. But's a number. It's a pretty cool number. I would like to see that number happen. Buy things in December, you know, if you want to, and make that number happen. It would make me very happy. Think of it as my christmas present or something. :D

As ya'll know...well, you SHOULD know, given how much time I spend talking about them around here, I have three series going. Exiles, which nobody really cares much about, Gray Prince, which definately nobody cares about (Which is sad. I'm VERY proud of that book) and Starbleached. Oh, ho ho ho, Starbleached.

Ready for numbers, boys and girls?

As of today, this minute, I have sold a grand total of 84 books.

45 of them are copies of Starbleached. Yes. The sci-fi story that I basicially wrote over the course of three days in the desperate hopes that the story itself would go away and let me get back to writing books that nobody cares about. Now, since then I've understood the story better and I really like it. A lot. And I like where I want to take it, otherwise I'd be taking it somewhere else.

But for the first time? Guys?

I'm scared.

This self publishing thing is not my attempt to be successful as a writer. I gave up on that back in April. And that giving up? Was hard. But it was a combination of realizing just how unlikely my being really published was, and understanding just how truely fucked in the head the attempt had made me...and it was really more the latter issue than the former that drove me to throw in the towel and go with KDP. I figured that after six months or so of utter failure, I'd publish the goddamn novels Exiles are leading up to, and that would be that. You know that line from Toy Story? "We're not flying! We're falling. WITH STYLE!" That's kind of how I wanted this to go.

And then things started going well. Not the kind of great numbers that lead to publishing deals but the kind that give me a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end of a shitty day. My life outside of writing is suddenly something I like, which is not something I could say back when I was trying and failing at being a real writer. I could sit in the glow of nice, expectationless numbers and be kind of happy. I was--hell, as far as I know, I still am--falling with style.

But a couple nights ago it hit me: You guys like that story. I mean, really, really like that story. You don't give a flying flip about the other two series, far as I can tell, but that one? You like that one. And now I have to release the sequel in a month. Which I've been looking forward to, because I really, really like this story too. Only...ya'll hate the other two series, close as I can tell. So what if I fuck this one up? Don't do it right. What if it was like that one fluke, and now...yeah, kids. It's stage fright. The pressure is on.

It makes me think that that's all professional success is. That there isn't one moment where you get to sit back and go "I did this, I am cool, I am awesome, go me" and that instead it's a mountain of work, followed by a mountain of work, followed by another mountain of work, with breif pauses for you to eat, sleep and get drunk in .That the anxiety I felt when I was trying to be published is the way I'm gonna feel this time next year when it's time to assess how this project's really going, because I'm always going to be scared of fucking it up. I'm not that good, boys and girls. If I were that good, I'd be a real writer with real books and stuff.

IDK. Maybe it is just stage fright.

Alright, signing off. Planet Bob ETA 32 days and counting. We're gonna do it. I can't swear that you'll like it--the story arch as I have planned isn't going to be the prettiest thing in the universe--but damn if I'm not going to try.

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