For many this would seem like a natural progression, I like books, and I write on average four posts a week, so why not combine my two hobbies, and step into the publishing world, right? I know of many bloggers who have done just that, and I have given the idea some serious thought over the years. However, I’m still not sold on the idea. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I respect the heck out of authors because their job isn’t an easy one. I’m sure you’ve all witnessed first hand the attacks on social media, message boards, etc and I can only imagine what readers say to them in private.
I can’t think of any other profession in which your work is so openly criticized. Sure, as an employee I’ve had my fair share of ‘performance reports,’ but they are usually pretty objective, and as a result, easily measurable. For example, let’s say my goal this year was to sell x-number of ad space, well there’s really only two possible outcomes: A) I rocked it or B) I failed. Case closed. Either I get a raise, or I don’t. But, how do you determine a book’s success? By the number of 5-star reviews? Sales? Twitter followers? How many fans line-up in front of your booth at conventions? Did the title make it onto the New York Times / USA Today best sellers list? Writing is a very personal journey, and not every reader is going to love your novels for various reasons, so how do you know when you’ve made it?
Personally, I don’t think I’d have the strength to deal with all of the ups and downs that come with publishing a book. You’re essentially pouring your heart and soul onto the page to the point that it becomes your baby, and then sending it out into the world to either sink or swim. It must be such a rush when it’s skyrocketing up the charts, and the praise is flowing, but on the flip side, it must be incredibly hard not to take every negative review as a personal attack, regardless of how constructive they are. Also, there are so many other factors involved that are completely out of your control that you could write the best story ever, and still come up short. Maybe your publicist hates their job, or perhaps your cover is fugly… I have no desire to ride the emotional roller coaster that comes with being a published author, so for the time being I think I’ll stick with blogging.