No, it isn’t my obsession with everything Guardians of the Galaxy. Or my over-zealous eyebrow tweezing.
It’s book sales. Or rather, the difficulty I’ve found trying to sell books which don’t really fit into any fad genre clogging the best-seller charts.
First thing, I’m not bitter over anyone’s success. I knew out the gate, especially with Enslaved, that pitching the idea to a publisher wouldn’t be an issue. It’s readers who I cannot, for the life of me, convince to give the book a chance . . . even after they read it.
Conversations generally go like this:
Me: “Guys, I wrote a thing! Please buy it.”
Reader: “Nah. I’m gonna buy this overpriced iced coffee. Decaf. Non-fat. No whip.”
Me (Thinking, “What’s the point in that?”): “I said, please. There’s hot guys.”
Reader: “I don’t know . . . .”
Me: “Hot guys who have a lot of sex–incubi!”
Reader: “Maybe . . . .”
Me (Thinking, “Please buy so I can feed my cats.”): “It’s really a good book.”
Reader: “Fine.” (Wanders off to read.)
Five Days Later . . . .
Reader: “There’s not enough sex!”
Me: “But, meaningful plot!”
Me (sigh): “Character development?”
Reader: “MORE SEX NOW.”
Me: “Okay. Fine. If you’ll buy the sequel, I’ll put in all the sex you can handle.”
Reader: “But what about plot development?”
It never ends. I spend more time justifying (if only in my head) writing decisions than actually writing or promoting the books I’ve already published so new readers can enjoy the worlds I’ve created. It’s confusing. A publisher says they love it. Ditto the editor, proof reader, and beta readers. But once that literary baby’s umbilical cord is cut, suddenly everything is wrong. No one likes it.
Writers can’t please everyone. That’d be impossible with so many variables lurking amongst genre fans. But, damn, can we please at least enough readers to make a book feel like an accomplishment and not a total failure? Publishing a book should be celebrated. Instead writers work hard for, sometimes, years on a book and in the end, nothing but reader abuse.
Wouldn’t kill anyone to include ONE nice thing with their reviews. Take that from someone who reviews TV shows and movies professionally. A little sugar makes that medicine go down easier.
Enough bitching. I have people to kill.