The thing to realize is that getting published is not, nor has it ever been the finish line. Many publishers just allocate a pool of marketing funds for your book and, if it doesn’t take off, it is left to wallow. The reality is that the marketplace (largely the internet) has changed and is changing so perpetually that publishing houses don’t have much of a clue as to how to efficiently CYBER-market a book. When asked how they will cyber-market, they tend to be evasive. So now the publishing company owns a piece of your book and it is YOUR responsibility to sally forth marketing. Of course, we authors don’t have a clue how to do this and often are not armed with the character type inclined to do so. Personally, I find it a bit depressing. Of course, what we do individually with the angst we experience from the vicissitudes of life makes all the difference!
And let’s remember who cares the most about your success: YOU. When looking to write a blurb for the back cover of my novel I began grabbing books and flipping them over. My conclusion: awful. Uninspiring, vapid, hackney, lackluster tripe. Even for popular books. Obviously written by a publishing house intern who either didn’t read, doesn’t care or is too drunk to kludge coherent prose together. I mean this is your chance to grab a reader! The blurb should captivate.
And here is what should really grind you: You were led to believe you should find a publisher first which is, in essence, finding another person who will champion your book to a bunch of other people. Good luck. If I don’t believe in my own book some days, how easy is it going to be to find someone else who does? And quite simply, this is a massive delay and constant assault on your ego. Why would you search for a door when there are no more walls?
So the answer for a shrewd, renaissance man or woman is to self-publish. THIS DOES NOT MEAN UPLOADING A TEXT DOC TO AMAZON AND DONE. Professional self-publishing has costs: copy editing, content editing, artwork, and marketing, at a minimum. Printing can cost nothing since its all print-on-demand now.
In the end, paying $1000 to $3000 to have your book edited is a huge benefit to your writing. I had mine edited twice and the content advice I got was wonderful. (I didn’t have someone close to me to do it for free.) In retrospect, it gives me tremendous peace of mind to know that all of the copy was proofed by a professional.
In short, here’s how I did it: My cousin is a freelance editor, so he did my copy and content editing (~$2000). I hired an artist off of eLance who had done many book covers (<$500). I wish I could tell you how to market, but I am still figuring that out. I hired a company to help me get things going amarketingexpert.com (~$3500).
Finally, I just want to share that on the day my book went live, there was no explosion. It’s been a slow drip and could be for a long time. I love my book, however, and I’ve gotten enough affirmation via reviews and feedback to know it will do well, if put in front of people. And we creatives have to market more. We hate it … we want to be discovered in our caves, but I know that fully 50% of our time must be spent socializing our cool stuff.
I am with you. I am one of you. Long live the fighters!