Learn About The First Book I Ever Published...And Just How BAD It Was.
I have always been a writer. I can not recall a time where I didn’t wish to trade a day with friends for an afternoon of writing. I much preferred the days of writing in my black and white notebook, lying against a tree in the park enjoying my solitude.
Over the years, I began to enjoy reading and writing poetry and fiction. Even though I knew little to the syntactical structure that was expected of the genres at the time, I never stopped writing. Over the last decade or so, I slowly began to expand my knowledge of the craft and soon decided to take my hobby a step further.
After obtaining a rather small but satisfying collection of poems, I decided to compile them into a book for sale.
I published the book, then titled The Broken: A Collection of Poetry, in the late Fall of 2018. I decided to create and format the book myself, and was fortunate enough to publish my project with the help of the direct print and publish website Lulu.com. I did this after learning more about the AuthorTube community on YouTube that I was exposed to earlier that year. The platform continues to be saturated with many self and traditionally published authors explaining different paths and parts of the publishing process. By then, I was inspired to write and publish my first work as an author and begin pursuing my new career and passion.
The book itself wasn’t particularly good, however, I will say due to the amazing support of my loving community, I did manage to sell two copies. I have since then chosen to acknowledge those two sales as a success rather than a failure, as I did not end the year with $0 in revenue, but rather $8. In any mathematical sense, I will say that looking at 8 > 0 as a success for my first publishing attempt. In 2019, after I found that I was not happy with the results of the number of sales and the overall quality of my work, I decided to rescind my work to better hone my craft for another edition for the future. By the beginning of 2020, I chose a new form of creative expression for my poems in the form of RedBubble artwork and Instagram posts. Today, I find that I enjoy this option more than the physical anthology of my work as a whole. I continue to create new expressive forms of my work and enjoy the creation of the work more than the sales of which would have occurred from the book itself. This offers me a more creative and flexible option that is not simply limited to the bindings of a short paperback.
I feel that in the future I may again try to publish a new anthology, however, until then, I feel the lesson most evident is the following: art and passionate projects are not something artists should make light of nor publish for mass consumption before personal satisfaction is met. The opportunity for increased income or praise, nor the fear of rejection or failure should stop an artist from honing their craft to a level of comfort that will inevitably be met with scrutiny anyway. Art is meant to be subjective and flawed as nothing in this life is perfect, however, an artist should know when to stop and when to continue.