My Horny Hump Day post is here.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of every month, and gives participants an opportunity to vent, share struggles and triumphs, and just commiserate in general.
Suffice it to say I’ve been really disappointed to check my sales and discover my recent release hasn’t sold very well at all. I thought I’d have at least 10-20 sales, but apparently I’m not well-known enough, don’t write in a hot, trendy, commercial genre, and failed at generating buzz, marketing myself, and connecting with other bloggers to promote my launch. I just don’t have the connections to get 20-30 people to reveal my cover, help me with a launch party or giveaway, or host me for a virtual book tour.
There are certain bloggers I’ve tried to network with in the writing/book blogosphere, but they’ve never reciprocated my numerous visits and comments. I’ve kind of stopped visiting these blogs so frequently, since they clearly won’t make the effort to network back.
I cancelled a scheduled three-day free promotion, because I was just getting too uncomfortable by what I read about them. I’m not yet in a realistic position to do that successfully, and don’t want to give my hard work away for free. I’m sticking to my guns with pricing it at $4.99, given the length (128,o00 words plus some back matter) and all the research which went into it. Little Ragdoll will be $7.99 as an ebook, since it’s 360,000 words plus the appendices.
I plan to use Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for at least one of my books, so hopefully I’ll pick up more exposure that way.
Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that you don’t always get famous the first time you put yourself out there, as in the case of the record above. It says nothing about your talent or appeal, just that you didn’t market yourself enough, not enough people know about you, or it’s the wrong product at the wrong time. After you make a bigger splash, your new fans will happily go back and buy your début.
This is probably a moot worry now, given my complete lack of success, but if certain people read Little Ragdoll, I’m sure they’ll be very censor-happy. There’s a strong theme about how the other half lives, and the stark differences between the classes. What’s normal and respectable for a poor or working-class person is considered indecent or shocking for a middle- or upper-class person. As Allen reflects:
….All he knows is the lot of them aren’t the types of people polite society want to be associated with or even acknowledge the existence of. Young people from their world would never be portrayed in a movie, television show, or book. The anti-vice societies would jump all over that, as though their real lives are an offense against decency.
It’s not like a book comes with a list of what potentially offensive things happen on what pages. Mrs. Troy uses a number of racial and religious slurs. Ernestine and Deirdre (née Girl) make comments critical about a certain denomination. There are numerous scenes where Mrs. Troy, Allen, and Carlos use drugs, though Allen later quits cold turkey after a huge scare. And of course, the turn Ernestine and Deirdre’s relationship eventually takes.
I’m also worried of what my pro-science, skeptic friends might think if they read it. Homebirth is featured very positively, both on and off the pages, and Gemma, Mrs. Doyle, and Mrs. van Niftrik are very unhappy with the hospital birth experience of the era. But I’d like to think the message is ultimately about choices in childbirth, not a one size fits all model. It’s a condemnation of the horrific, abusive practices of the twilight sleep era, not hospital birth itself. Gemma chooses a hospital for her second birth in 1973, in her second marriage, with more modern, humane drugs, and is very happy about it. Lucine has a drug-free hospital birth in 1972, with her husband in attendance, and is also happy with it.
And of course, it’s extremely anti-Vietnam War, though it’s against the war, not the servicemen. The big plot twist in Part IV is when Ricky is drafted. Why would I depict that war positively when the overwhelming American attitude was against the war, and when I myself agree we had no business over there for so long?