I've spent the last several days reading up on just what it takes to be a published author. Let me tell you, it's not easy. Then again, you knew that already, didn't you?
There are a lot of things that one needs to consider, not the least of which is "HOW do you want to be published?" Do you want to go through a traditional publisher? Would you prefer a smaller one? Want to crowd-source your novel? Print-by-demand and do all the work yourself?
The trouble I see with ALL of these approaches is the same: fat chance.
Fat chance getting the eye of an agent.
Fat chance getting selected by the publisher.
Fat chance that the publisher will give your novel more than 90 seconds to sell it to a distributor.
Fat chance the publisher will do very much to promote your book.
Fat chance that a smaller publisher will give you the audience you want.
Fat chance that you'll be able to find a large enough audience to successfully crowd-source your novel.
Fat chance that you'll be able to get your novel into any stores if you do it all yourself.
And no matter which route you take, fat chance you'll make any money at it.
Of course, fat chance is better than no chance. If you don't try it, you have no chance at succeeding. And, of course, you can increase your chances by doing the right work. Make a blog. Use twitter. Read the work of others. Write short stories to promote yourself. Learn how to write a synopsis, query letter, outline, etc., then DO IT. Learn how to brand yourself.
Take the time.
But most importantly, don't despair.
Despairing is what I'm struggling against right now. I just came off the high of having finished my novel and now I see that the chance that my work of the last 6 years will succeed is low. What have I been doing with my time? And I've never HAD to brand myself, so I don't really know how. More research is needed. I'm going to need to learn how to adjust my time between being a stay-at-home dad, a writer, and a promoter. It's hard enough just finding the time to WRITE while watching the kids. I've had to surrender most TV and some time with my wife. Now I have some major decisions I will have to make. It is a lot of work.
I just want to make sure that it is worth it.