Lemons and Lemonade: The Reality of Publishing


Creative Commons License: Mike Mozart, photographer

The one consistent in today’s world is change–especially if that world involves the reality of publishing.

A few things have happened lately that have made it necessary for me to adjust how I’m approaching my writing career. No matter where you are in your publishing journey, it always pays to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Some of the questions to ask:

Is now the time to …

  • Get an agent?
  • Self-Publish?
  • Go to a conference and pitch to a small press?

Answers depend on what you want from your writing career and how much time and effort you are willing to put into it.

Recently, a book I expected to easily sell, didn’t. It’s been a difficult road for this particular book. Was it me? The industry? My publisher?

I took a week off and decided it was a combination of all. The world of romance is in a bit of an upheaval right now as people try to decide what is permissible and what isn’t. (The industry) My book was at the edge of that. On top of that, I had a character problem that many people had mentioned, but to whom I stubbornly clung. (Um … me) As for my publisher … more about that in a minute.

So … lots of lemons. I’m a firm believer in starting with the things that you can control. I took a week and decided to take a break to write a short novella–totally different from what I’ve done before. I also cracked open a writing book and took serious notes. In the process, I think I’ve figured out how to fix the original problem, but I’m leaving it on the back burner for now.

Meanwhile, several short books I have self-published in a totally different genre are doing quite nicely, with monthly upticks in sales. So I need to focus a bit more on those.

When things don’t go your way (lemons), you can grouse, or you can pick yourself up and change course. Or … maybe a little bit of both. It’s all up to you.

Have your writing and publishing dreams taken a hit lately? Look at the three areas: you, your publisher (even if its yourself), and the industry. Where does the problem lie? Need a sounding board? Happy to spend ten minutes on the phone with you. Just contact me at caseydawes AT gmail.com.

As for my publisher? They shut their doors today.

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Man with Monopoly Game, Photo by Mike Mozart

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