One of the things I feel like isn’t talked about a lot among writers is publishing fears. I’m pretty busy, so I don’t actually have a lot of time to sit and wonder about my book and how it’s doing out in the big submission world, and that’s probably how it is for a lot of writers. But these past couple of weeks I’ve had some serious insomnia and the only thing I can think about while in bed, staring at my ceiling, is things that freak me out about publishing.
Never publishing that first book
I know a lot of writers whose book that won them an agent also scored them a book deal. And then I know a few writers who had to write another book after their first one didn’t sell. And that is one of my greatest fears about this whole publishing journey. I know in my head I’d take it in stride, because you can’t make any editor love your book. But I’ve put all my blood, sweat, and tears into Still Breathing (or as I call it, Drew) that I can’t imagine it NOT going somewhere.
Publishing that book and having everyone hate it
I’m not talking about a few bad reviews. Even the big bestsellers have a ton of one-star reviews on them. I’m talking about those books that EVERYONE LITERALLY HATES. The ones that are constantly made fun of and no one ever has anything nice to say about it. This is like very, very rare, I know. But just the thought of it freaks me out.
Not earning out an advance
I’m nowhere near close to believing I’ll get a huge advance for my book, but it freaks me out to think that I might even get a low or mid-figure one and I won’t be able to earn it out.
Publishing that book and never publishing another
I read this story once about a writer who had a really popular first book, and then he couldn’t get another house to buy his next books. Or magazines to buy his articles or essays. The major reason why this one really freaks me out is because I love to write. And I can’t really imagine doing anything else with my life.
The book signing where no one shows up
So this is like a really, really long way off and not every publishing company deals in book signings. But the thought of having one and just sitting at that table for a couple of hours where no one shows up REALLY makes me cringe. There was a scene like this on a show that aired a few years ago, One Tree Hill, and I felt second-hand embarrassment for that character.
I know I’m not the only one, I’ve spoken with other writers and even one of my CPs about publishing fears. If you have any that I didn’t mention, comment below or join a discussion with me on Twitter at @judi__Lauren. I’d love to hear from you!