Whines and the Whining Whiners Who . . . oh, never mind.
A few folks have asked me if the writers I have communicated with regarding POD/self-pubbing were a bunch of "whining losers because they cannot get published" and I kind of laughed at first, but the truth is very few have been whiners--or even complained at all. The large majority of these PODers, if you will, are wonderful folks with happy hearts and souls full of hope and creativity. I mean, sure, a lot of the PA folks are jaded, but the rest are pretty nice people.
My published peers, on the other hand? Also good people, but boy do they know how to whine. They write good books (for the most part) but if they don't sell, it is always someone else's fault. And I'd be lying if I didn't include myself in this category, at least occasionally. Keep in mind that PODers have done it all themselves, from writing the book to editing the book (please pass the salt) to marketing the book. Having other people do some of these things for you apparently just creates misery.
In case any of you frustrated Random or Warner authors can't think of someone to blame for your horrible sales, feel free to pull from the resources of my friends.
Sources of whinery for the published author:
- The cover sucks, in general
- The cover sucks because my name is too small
- The cover sucks because my name is in some illegible font
- The cover sucks because there is not enough breast showing
- The cover sucks because it is a *insert book title* knockoff
- My editor sucks, in general
- My editor didn't bring my writing into focus
- My editor is more interested in the success of *insert better-selling author* instead of nurturing my career
- My editor has it in for me
- My editor has no pull with the publisher
- My publisher sucks, in general
- My publisher didn't market my title (say this to yourself and/or everyone around you ten times, then spit on the ground)
- My publisher couldn't garner reviews
- My publisher released my title just after the holidays (why is everyone staring at me?)
- My publisher didn't target the right audience
- My publisher is letting my previous titles go out of print
- My publicist sucks, in general
- My publicist is incompetent
- My publicist is a liar
- My agent sucks, in general
- My agent didn't command a large enough advance to mandate heavy marketing
- My agent sold to the wrong house/editor
- My agent only cares about closing the deal and not advancing my career
- My agent won't let me borrow anymore money or let me sleep on the floor of his/her Tribeca loft
- My agent hates me
- The bookstores aren't stocking my book
- The bookstores are stocking my book but only in the designated section, spine out
- The bookstores are stocking my book but only in the designated section, cover out
- The bookstores are stocking my book but only leaving it on the front table for a few days
- The bookstores are not handselling my book
- The bookstores will not let me sign copy/ do a live signing
- I am a lousy writer. How did I get here?
Most POD folks cannot say these things, and boy am I thankful. The truth is that getting published is not going to solve all your problems. In fact, should you be so blessed, you will likely utter at least 5 - 7 of the items listed above--and they will be true. Just do your part (writing a wonderful book) and let the chips fall where they may. My books have sold fairly well, but I could never live on the income. It's been fun no matter what. The grass isn't much greener in the yard of the published, even if it is better fertilized.