[Morning Reflections, (c) Christine B. ]
When you are an author you will find the you will be least popular among your family and friends. That can be very disconcerting at times, but you must not let that deflate your drive to keep on writing. I have often wondered about this and have tried not to let this affect my ego too much. One would think that your family and friends would be your most avid fans, but it turns out, they aren't.
I think this might be because they have known you for years and so they cannot believe you are capable of being able to accomplish what it takes to put a novel together or to even put a decent poem together. They think of you as the goofball who shows up at their family gatherings and parties. I have had my children tell me that they cannot read one of my novels because they hear me talking while they are reading it. I'm not sure how that matters, but for them, it apparently makes it impossible for them to read my books.
So as an author, I have learned to get over this and just keep on writing. Another thing I have learned to get over is the many rejection letters I have received from literary agents who have said they don't want to work with me. I understand that one has to be a Stephen King or a Dean Koonz in order to be picked up by a good literary agent because they are in the business of making money and a new, unknown author for them is a colossal waste of their time and efforts.
I attended a author's seminar held in Sacramento in 2007 that changed my view of literary agents and large publishing houses. At the seminar, there were many speakers, one of which was an editor who worked for a large publishing house. The woman point blank told us in her speech that we should be self-publishing our own books for several reasons.
1)The large publishing houses do not give you full editing license over your own book. If they want it edited a certain way, you must edit it the way they want it done, or it won't get published.
2)It would take up to two years to get your book published once you sign a contract with a large publishing house. If you self-publish, your book is available to the buying public within hours.
3) Large publishing house no longer give up-front royalty advances.
4) When you publish with a large publishing house they give your book six months to make a certain sales quota. If your book doesn't do well, they take it off the market and burn all the books they had already printed. When you self-publish your book,it is available FOREVER.
5)When you self-publish, you set the price of your book and you set what your royalty payment will be. When you sign with a publishing house you will usually make less than $2.00 per book.
6) Large publishing houses no longer do any advertising of your book, so you will still have to do your own marketing, either way.
7) When you self-publish, your book will be available on Amazon.com ALL OVER THE WORLD, not merely at bookstores.
8) When you sign with a large publishing house they have full control over the cover. When self-publishing, you have control over what the cover of your book will look like. This is a big one as far as I'm concerned. A good cover sells a book.
9) NO LITERARY AGENTS TO DEAL WITH.
Needless to say, the next week after attending that seminar, I stopped sending out query letters to literary agents and I self-published my first three novels. I now have nine books published. I have not made a fortune on my royalties on the sales of my books up until now, but I just keep on writing. I am sure someday, Steven Speilburg is going to pick one of my books up and want to make a movie of it. After that, I will still, keep on writing. Because that's what I do.