When I was a young mother, potty training was THE big task. All the books said I should have my son trained by the time he was two. Well, he was three and a half when he was finally trained AND I'm pretty sure I still owe him M &M's and toys given all the pleading and promising I did. When my daughter was born, everyone around me said, "Oh your second child, especially a girl will TRAIN HERSELF. You'll be out of diapers in no time now!"
My daughter was three and a half when she was finally trained and yes, I owe her plenty of toys and candy as well. Self train? HAH!
I'm starting to think it's the same with selling that second book.
Two years ago I sold my first book. Dream in Color. It was a magical moment and some folks around me said that now that I was published things were really going to move for me. When Dream in Color came out in March of this year, that same sentiment was echoed.
That has not really been the case. My second novel, "Lies in Chance" is making the rejection rounds and I'm in the process, (And I've mentioned before) of formatting it for e-publishing. (I was hoping to have that done by now, but it's the holidays and I AM NOT A FAILURE for not even thinking about writing in November and December! NO! I'm NOT!) Even my publisher, the lovely folks at Wild Rose Press, rejected it because, well, it's not strictly a romance, and that's what they do.
So is it bad writing? I don't think so. My beta reader said this one is better than "Dream." (High praise, since she loved Dream.) I've work shopped this book beyond reason. It's so clean you could eat off it. (Okay, that was something my mom used to say!)
So why? Why is the second book as hard or harder to publish?
Because, like everything in publishing today, it's no longer about how many times you're published. It's how much you sell. Traditional publishers simply are not taking chances on anything that's unknown. You can't blame them really. There's a huge financial layout for books, and with no promise of return, it's a gamble in the best of times. With hard cover sales dropping like flies on a window sill, publishing someone like me, a virtual unknown, with something as simple as a fictional story, well, that just isn't going to happen.
No worries, says I! After gathering enough rejections to paper my office, I'm going to e-pub "Lies." (Yes, I am...I AM NOT A FAILURE for not writing in November and December!)
So if you're past the glow of your first book and can't understand why your second one isn't falling in line quickly, just remember: Selling books, like potty training, is different for each child...or book. It will eventually happen. But there's no such thing as a child that potty trains him or herself and there's no such thing as a book that sells and publishes itself.
Now, go forth and write! (But if you don't...you're NOT A FAILURE!)