I wanted to talk about something a little close to home: Post publishing depression. For those who don't know, publishing a book is stressful and for Newbie authors, the payout isn’t equal to what you’ve invested in time, money, and sometimes even sanity. Thinking about that deficit between the input and the output leads many authors to Post Publishing Depression which some never recover from.
The work that goes in…
You work hard. You write your first draft, edit it, show it to your alpha readers, send it to your editor, get the edits back and put them all in, you get a cover ready, post it all over social media, talk about it to your friends and family…
Your first book may even sell two-hundred copies, though this is quite rare with the average only selling about ten-twenty copies in the first year. Even if you do sell that many, only ten to twenty people read it within the year they buy it, of those only a handful review it, and the only ones that share it to their social media, or with their friends are your family and some amazing friends, because they’re proud of you, they enjoy your books, and they want to help you succeed, but not many who see that will interact.
Disclaimer and clarification:
We’re grateful, We’re happy that they do share, talk about them, and even buy them for their friends and family, but that doesn’t change the feelings. We still have this deep feeling of failure, of inadequacy, or that our books are bad, and everyone is simply lying to us.
Because numbers are tangible. They don’t lie. For me personally, every time I publish a book, even if I don’t go in with any expectations of numbers for pre-orders, publishing day purchases, or reviews, I always feel depressed when I check the stats. No matter how much I try to anticipate and prepare for the low, there’s always an influx of unpredictable anomalies that I can’t fix which affect the numbers.
There are so many things that cannot be planned for. For example, views and interactions on social media, price changes, social and political changes, someone's financial situation due to a global pandemic that forces people to stay home, crashes the economy, and a war breaking out across the world which impacts prices globally.
Too real for you? Well, it’s the truth and like my characters,
I will no longer sugar coat it.
things happen, and you might not be able to afford a $22 signed paperback, a $50 book box (even though you may want all the cool things that come in it), or even a $3 eBook. At the end of the day, no matter what the reasoning, even if it's not about me personally or my books, I still feel like I either haven't done enough, have failed because it hasn’t sold as much, or my writing is terrible. When, in reality, the algorithm hasn’t pushed the posts, people haven’t been interacting, or sadly, others have clicked “Show less” or the browser has refreshed, and I get pushed into the corner.
Being an overthinker…
These factors depress me, especially because I’m doing all that I can. I am making promos, writing blogs, keeping up a website, posting to social media, interacting with the community, and even telling people in person, which is way out of my comfort zone as an introvert with social anxiety. Despite all of this, there is one thing that I must remember:
I'm still a Newbie Author
My second anniversary of being a published Indie Author is coming up on Halloween. I have four books out currently, with the fifth coming in July, a sixth in October and the seventh in December, And most authors sadly don’t start hitting the bigger numbers until after ten books.
I could be doing everything right, and it’s still going to feel like I’m failing because I do not have the presence, the the fan base, or the reach that others do. But I’m not going to stop. I will keep writing, editing, promoting, and publishing my books while focusing on the positive voices and NOT looking at the numbers, because if I do… I’m not sure what will happen.
~ Thank you for coming to another Ted Talk.
~ Jenn A. Morales, aka Born Angel Author.
Follow me on social media... I swear, I'm usually a loveable Gothic ray of sunshine.