This is supply and demand. We have an over-educated populace that's addicted to pop-culture, and in this new century, everyone wants to play. Social media makes it seem possible and immediate, and even if your book is lousy, the industry would still like to find some way to make money from you, which is why they're trying to sell you a dream and some services to go along with it.
I get it. I just don't want to be part of it. I also don't feel like spending half my time on a snipe-hunt looking for the one girl in America who's willing to represent my book. As a forty-one-year-old West Point graduate, I don't want to go hat-in-hand to some twenty-four-year-old Vassar grad in the hopes that maybe she'll like my book. My book is what it is. Like it, lump it. That's fine. Everybody's got an opinion. I don't personally think my book is great literature or anything. It tells a story that has some resonance for me. That's enough.
I aspire to write paperback genre fantasy for kids because, truthfully, those are the kinds of books that I love and because I have kids, and I find them an easy and convenient target audience for my writing. Having now written a book, I'd like to share it with people, but I'm not looking to start a small business around it, nor do I want to invest thousands of dollars in one of my hobbies, albeit my favorite hobby. I already have an expensive hobby in triathlon, but that one at least keeps me fit. In my head, it feels like I have to choose between a new road bike and spending money trying to whip my book into shape and then find an agent for it, and I'm telling you, the road bike seems like a better value. At least the road bike gives me something tangible--plus hours of enjoyment spent out on the road. With the book, the best part is already over. The thing is done. Cutting it up for a commercial audience might make it more saleable, but it won't be fun.
I've been telling myself for months to at least give this thing a chance, to put it out there and do something with it. Most of what I've written has gone straight into a drawer or the burn pile. I want to do that with this, too, but it's a waste. You can't succeed if you don't try; that's just plain science. But this pay-to-play system that has developed turns my stomach. You can pay to hire a book doctor and self-publish, or you can pay to find an agent, pray a lot, and maybe wind up going a more traditional route. Either way, you pay up-front because that's the way the market is right now. There are more writers than readers, to the point where a substantial part of the profitability has moved to the writer's side of the equation.
If I put my book up here two-chapters-per-week, will you read it? I'm thinking of publishing a chapter every Tuesday and Thursday. Will that work for you?