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Dec 19, 2010

Conmergence (print version) and Reflections on Self-Publishing

I thank all of you who have patiently waited for the print version of Conmegence. After numerous delays, all of my own accidental and unwanted contrivance, I have finally managed to approve the print version for sale. It should be up on Amazon's site in about a week.

I will also be selling autographed copies, if anyone wants one. These won't be available before Christmas. (I know this will disappoint the vast hoards of people wishing to give autographed copies of my book as gifts, but just think, you could buy it in January and avoid the rush next year.) You can put in an order now, and not pay until it is ready to ship in mid-January. Just let me know, in a comment or a private email to: tara@taramayastales.com

It's taken me awhile to work out all the kinks of this self-publishing business. It's not that hard; it's not that easy, either. It's been worth, and a lot of fun, but given the hiccups I've experienced, I'm glad I eased in with my anthology, Conmergence, which I felt less nervous about "ruining." I now know that even if it takes me a while to get things out there, even if my schedule is not as fast-paced and coordinated as I would like, it's still worth doing. And I've reached the conclusion it's worth doing again, which is why I will be bringing my fantasy epic, The Unfinished Song, out as well. As with Conmergence, I will bring the ebook out first, and the print version will be available a few weeks later..

The hardest thing about being an indie is the fact that since you CAN check your sales day by day, or minute by minute, it's very hard NOT to. If there is a day, or even an hour, that I don't make a sale, I feel very depressed. Joe Konrath has said one shouldn't compare oneself to other writers, but of course he says this because as writers we compare ourselves to other writers all the time. Most of the time, comparison makes me feel quite despondent, because I can list, with a fair amount of certainty, indie writers who are doing much better than me. Other times, it reassures me, because they've written about how slow things started out in the beginning, and built up slowly.

It's winter and it's cold and wet, the baby has a cold and so do I, the baby was up all night and so was I, and I can get gloomy. I feel that no one will ever want to read my books, even if I publish my whole fantasy series. I will be compulsively checking my sales page, and see no change hour after hour. Then I remind myself that after all, even if that should come to pass, I will have lost nothing. I will not be worse off than I was before. I will be writing, which I always knew was in my hands, but sometimes lost sight of. I will be publishing, publishing, which I always thought was in someone else's hands, but now need not be.

I have had trouble in another area of my life because, I was told, my interests are too wide ranging. I try too much, and often cannot chew all that I bite. I feel frustrated because I don't have the time I'd like for writing, and publicizing, and I wonder how I'll ever build up my sales if I don't have time to let people know about this book or the ones to come.

But on the other hand, when I look over what I am doing with my life, there is nothing that I would excise. Not my children--I don't care what anyone says, I don't think I have too many--not my soul mate, not my academic career, not my love of travel, or social activism, not my curiosity about a million things that have no obvious purpose. If I cannot do as well at any one thing as I would like, at least I am glad because I tried too much--and loved too much--and not too little.

7 comments:

Heidi C. Vlach said...

Good on you for giving life your all, Tara. Hope Conmergence pays you back for all the work.

Burritoclock said...

I'm definitely down for a signed copy, I'll also be getting at least one unsigned print copy as well, so I can give it to a few of my friends and let them know they could have read it on kindle quite awhile ago.

C. N. Nevets said...

Also easy for Konrath to say that as he is, more often than that, on the compare-to side of the equation.

A bit like Guns'n'Roses saying, in 1989, "Best advice we can give to other musicians to to not compare your own success to other musicians."

scott g.f.bailey said...

There are always paths not taken, and there is never time for everything. But you're taking cool paths and doing cool things.

And Conmergence in print! Finally, I say. Finally!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I for sure want a signed copy, please. In fact, I may want two so I can do a giveaway for one of them on my blog when I do my review.

I agree with Nevets. Konrath is usually almost always on the compare-to side of the equation. Easy for him to say, not so easy for others to follow.

Self-publishing is hard, and I agree that checking sales is a huge downside to it all unless you're making 10 sales an hour or something insane like that. *off I go to check my sales again*

I've gone weeks with very, very few sales, or no sales at all on Cinders. I think even traditionally published books go through this.

Derek J. Canyon said...

Congrats, Tara! I'm sure all that hard work will pay off. I'd be interested in a detailed post about how the process went.
Yep, I fall prey to checking my sales numbers far too frequently. And, don't sweat the slow days. My sales of Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds actually went down in November, but are now double that in December. Probably because I released my second ebook, Dead Dwarves Don't Dance, in late November. I'm selling just over 1 copy a day, but some days I don't sell any. Those are annoying days.
My blog: Adventures in ePublishing

Domey Malasarn said...

I'm excited about the print version coming out! Yay!

This was a great post, Tara Maya.