2018-02-25

Feelings

The editing of Collision Course is slowly proceeding. I'm making some minor plot changes and a few corrections to how my characters are developed. The ending will also need to be revised. These changes will result in a slightly longer book which is fine by me. I have also received the first pieces of possible artwork to be used for the cover. My cover artist has given me a tough choice this time and once I have a few minor changes made I'm going to be shopping the pictures around to see which one people like the best.

I will be going to the Cleveland Concoction Convention which runs from March 9th until March 11th. All of my books will be on sale and I will be sitting on three panels (all on Friday). When I'm not sitting on a panel, I will be found either wandering around the rest of the convention or parked in the hotel bar getting some writing and editing done. I decided to get a room for the first night since my last panel ends at 9:00 PM and it's about an hour drive home. Now, if someone wants to chat after the last panel, I can do so and not have to worry about the long drive home.

Sales have been okay. Back in 2009, when I self-published my first book, I was thrilled when I sold my first book. That thrill continued for every sale especially when I had more than one in a week. As you can see, I set my expectations pretty low back then. Sales began to pick up until a miracle happened in 2011/2012 and I was selling books so fast I could have updated the counts every hour and seen a change. Sales then began to slowly drop until they've steadied out at their current levels.

When you've had a run where you were selling tens of books an hour, you tend to raise your expectations and lowering them is very difficult. Book sales are what authors live for. It's why we sacrifice the things that others take for granted and spend all our free time writing. It's a rare author who can say they make a living writing. Most of us have other jobs that provide our main family income. When the sales began to drop, so did the thrill of writing. But, for most writers, sales don't always remain high. So, I've lowered my expectations to more realistic numbers and I'm happy again.

Last year at Launch Pad, I met an author who has become very successful in the romance field. She has made enough in her sales to afford to pay for a professional translation of her books into German. I am human and, of course, I envy her sales. But, I am also truly happy for her success. Not everyone can have such success. Ann Leckie, an award-winning science fiction author whom I've also met, recently posted a series of tweets concerning how authors feel about their fellow authors. I can't quote the entire text here (mostly because I can't find it) but the gist is that authors must acknowledge they have feelings and will feel things like envy towards their fellow writers when they are nominated for awards and you are not. It's perfectly natural and part of what it is to be human. But being envious should not prevent one writer from also feeling good about another writer's success. We are complex beings and often have to deal with complex and conflicting emotions. How we deal with them is a reflection of who we are as a person.