One thing about being a first time self published author (sooo different from being a traditionally published author, as in the past), is how darn difficult it is to get anyone to see your book much less buy it! It takes forever to get anything going in the traditional world and that’s ok with certain books, but this series Sands of Time just wanted to be out there! Even if you plunge your heart and soul into your book, do all the painstaking research on the facts, reread it till your eyes cross to be sure the grammar and spelling are perfect, put it through a grammar/spell checker, reread it again…and again… on and on, till you know it is completely free of errors.
If you can, make a very professional looking cover (having once been a cover designer for ebooks long past, plus a professional photographer, plus having good editing software, all helped).Go through all of this. Get it all perfect…. Then, happily put it up, send out messages on social media that it was there and available….. and then watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean!
If you’re rich, no problem. Just fund the promotion of the book, but most of us are poor and can’t afford much. So, watch it sink farther into the abyss, and cry. Sands of Time got a few excellent reviews from professional reviewers (contact them, send them your book and wait). And of course a few friends will buy it, and perhaps a couple family members.
Sands of Time is considered a “groundbreaking” series, not because it was written by yours truly, but because of where it is on the “vampire fiction time chain.” First, we had our Penny Dreadful novels, vampires from the 1700’s, those old first books. Then Bram Stoker brought the vampire into the limelight with Dracula (1898)!
It took awhile, but then Anne Rice broke ground with her Vampire Chronicles, making the undead into a sympathize-able character, not necessarily a monster. There have been many movies and TV shows based on these undead creatures. The Sookie Stackhouse novels became a very cool TV show. Not groundbreaking, but mighty entertaining! And different in many ways. And, of course we’ve had all of our other cool but not groundbreaking vampires in the media; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Forever Knight, Angel, and many others. Some sank, some swam for a bit, others just faded but are still topics of conversation. None were groundbreaking.
Then, just within the last decade, came (sorry vampire lovers), Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight! Twilight was a groundbreaker. The fact it was Young Adult didn’t seem to matter. Those sparkling, no-fanged, odd-eyed vampires broke ground.
So, why is Sands of Time: Fate of the True Vampires the next groundbreaking vampire series? Ok, it is written well enough to be a traditionally published book, (again, not my words), many have said it would make a great movie series. That still does not make it a ground breaking series. What does? Like the other ground breaking vampires before them, this one is different enough to carry a lot of weight and change the rules. Read the book, you’ll understand.
And yet, it sinks with little sales. And the problem is twofold.
- There are SO many gosh darned self published “authors” out there, any self pubbed book without good backing gets lost in the mix, and often drowns. It doesn’t matter how good your book is, how good your writing is. It just gets lost. If no one takes a chance and picks it up, it can’t go anywhere.
- Unfortunately, most of the self published works out there are amateurish at best (and their authors do not realize it. No one realizes how amateurish their first attempts at fiction are until they hone the craft for years and learn. Sending to agents and editors, going to writer’s conferences, etc. is a good way to get feedback). Because it is so easy to toss a book up on Amazon for free, it’s easy to hire someone to make you a super nice cover (more than ever today, the saying you can’t tell a book by its cover has never been more true) anyone can do it. Even in the “old” days, self published writers were taboo to traditional agents/publishers. Now, there are so many of these “less than average” authors out there, who are also submitting to agents and editors, that the top dogs have become more biased than they were 20 years ago! Also, their job has gotten harder… the market gets over saturated as soon as any groundbreaker comes up (because of Twilight, vampire markets swarm, so no one but the biggest die-hards read vampire books, especially Twilight haters). They avoid them now, even though Sands of Time is adult, not YA, as Twilight is.
An example of one of Sands of Times reviews:
It thankfully lacks the teen angst of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series and has much better writing than what I’ve read in those and related supernatural romance books about vampires.
So, here sits the “next era of groundbreaking vampire fiction” due to the above causes. If you can find it within your heart, please get the word out and around that there really IS this great new era of vampires that everyone MUST experience (read the book first, please). And, if you have the next groundbreaker in whatever genre your book is, how do you get it out if it is self published?