Around this time sixteen years ago, I began writing what would become my first finished novel. Back then, I did it all myself. All the writing, the editing, the research - for the writing and for the submitting, the querying, the crying...
Last week, I celebrated the 5th anniversary of the first novel I published and sent out into the world. I still did most of it myself, but I realized I needed other people. I needed a cover artist and an editor. Which meant I needed money. And Hubs willingly agreed to spend some of our savings to get my books out into the world.
I had expected for this venture to start paying for itself within the first year. It didn't. I had great hopes for the next year. Not then either. None of them have. But I got tired of sucking off the savings tit, so I started funding this myself and stopped dipping into our nest egg.
With this in mind, I do most of the covers myself and what I couldn't do myself went to a less expensive artist. And when it came time to edit, I still paid someone.
As sales have dwindled and the money dried up, I was faced with a decision - stop trying to publish and watch my career swirl the drain, or stop paying an editor. (I have two covers I've already paid for, so I'm set there for now.)
It's a scary thing, thinking about flying solo. For the past 13 books, I've had an editor. One gal did the first two books. Since then, I've had AWE (Awesome Wonderful Editor) as my co-pilot. (She also walked in and saved my second book, which was really helpful.) Taking off on my own without her in a seat beside me scares the crap out of me.
But she's been super-supportive of my flying alone. She's praised me for my clean drafts before and now tells me I can do this. With her blessing.
Still, super scary.
However, stopping publishing anything, which last year meant not writing either, is a scarier idea. (It's close as to which is scarier, but not writing wins by a hair.) Since it's scary, it's been super hard to move forward with the idea. To think that maybe next month or the month after, I will put a book into the world without my AWE... :shudder:
What if I get bad reviews? What if I actually can't do this by myself?
It's enough to make a gal crawl back into her hole and pull the dirt in over her.
But it's time. I can do this. I can edit on my own. I know people who do it, so why shouldn't I be able to do it, too? I can and I will. And I will make every effort to insure my readers get the same quality manuscripts they've always gotten.
I hope you'll stick with me. There's no co-pilot on this flight, but I promise not to crash and burn.