I chose to self-publish because I didn’t want to wait for weeks (or months) to hear back from a publisher and be faced with another rejection. Most times, I wouldn’t hear back at all. With self-publishing I maintain control, which is better, right?
“Better” isn’t the right word for it. I control how the word gets out about my books, but the rejection remains, in the form of limited (or no) sales and reviews. A publisher battles this every day. When a writer is with a publisher, they don’t see all that stuff. They get an advance, and go on to write the next book. Now that I am writer and publisher, I see it all. There’s no way to avoid the rejection, unless my work never sees the light of day. And I don’t want that.
I switched careers with eyes wide open. Luckily, I’m used to rejection. I think playing both roles requires an even thicker skin than playing just the writer role. I think I’m developing a hide of titanium, which is a good thing. The hard part is ignoring it. When playing just the writer role, it’s a lot easier to continue on. It’s true in this case that ignorance is bliss. In my case, the writing is the bliss, because it takes me away to another world just for a while, where none of this matters. Small excursions like that help me ignore the negative parts.
But I’m in it for the long haul. I’ll check in at a year and see how I’m doing. If I stay on course (and I will), I’ll have three books out by then.
(By the way, I loved Tales from the Darkside. “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But… there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit… a Darkside.” I used to record them on VHS cassettes.)
Photo by Irina Slutsky