Good afternoon! Hope everyone had a great holiday!
2016 is on us, like it or not. Typically, it’s a time to reflect on accomplishments, set goals for the year ahead of us. This is important for authors in a few ways.
We constantly have to evaluate how we present ourselves to our readers, our publisher. If you truly feel your publisher is hiding royalties/sales from you, then you need to find a way to gracefully get out of your contract without burning bridges.
Most publishers are not in the business to cheat authors. A few are, yes. And those bad apples are why you need to read your contract and research a house before you sign.
If you’re with a traditional publisher, don’t get bent out of shape if they choose to list your book on a site you didn’t approve of. Why? Because most contracts state that sales venues are under the publisher’s control. Not the authors. Oh, did you forget to read that part of your contract? What about the one where they get final say on your cover art?
Glossing over your contract before you sign it is NOT an excuse. You haven’t earned the right to complain six months after your book goes up for sale that you expected it to be on WXT.com and demand it get put up immediately.
Publishing has changed. It’s no longer old school editor and agent lunches or drinks. There is no guarantee you’ll be retiring to the Bahamas in three months. You can’t sit back and expect the world to discover your book if you can’t even bother to spend five minutes on FB telling anyone you have one up for sale!
The stark reality is that there’s no magic formula for sales. It takes time. It takes dedication. It takes patience. It takes reviews (Amazon, as I understand it, won’t help promote books by putting them in email recommendations, etc, unless they have at least 25 reviews. Shameless plug to please go review a title or three of mine if you’ve read it, because I need those reviews badly!).
It takes not whining in public, to readers, your publisher, fellow authors, about how bad your sales are. Readers don’t care if you only sold 2 copies last month. Your publisher will remember your attitude when your book is up for renewal. And inevitably there’s another author who would DIE to get half of what you got in sales that month.
So, suck it up buttercup. You don’t deserve to complain if you didn’t bother to check the rules out before you started the game. You don’t deserve to be treated like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling with your first book. And it’s not necessarily your publisher’s fault.
If that was your attitude in 2015, I hope you rethink it. Or you’ll be just as disappointed with 2016.