It’s funny how I can know that something is true, truly know in my mind and heart and soul, and yet a little unexpected experience will drive home that truth in a whole new way. I know, as we all do, for instance, that there are millions of books out there currently for sale. Millions upon millions. And I know that my little book that is coming out soon, Her Very Own Demon, will be but one tiny, itsy, bitsy blip, if that, among those millions. Lost among the stacks, both virtual and literal. I know this to be true. I have not the faintest doubt. And then I walked into Barnes & Noble the other day. And bam, it hit me in such a visceral way.
I was killing time, waiting for my sweetie who had an appointment, and decided to visit B&N in the interim. I walked among the shelves, back and forth, idly scanning titles and author names on spines packed together. And the sheer number of anonymous books was stunning. As in, stunned me speechless. So many anonymous books, unknown by me and most others, forgotten as soon as I walked past them, never to be thought of again. And those books are just a tiny percentage of all the books out there. AND they are the lucky ones who made it into a retail store. They have backing from real publishers, a distribution budget, even resources devoted to advertising. And yet they are mostly anonymous. If books in B&N have little chance of succeeding, then what chance does one little self-published book have amongst the millions? None, really. I know this to be true. I truly understand and believe it. But seeing those rows and rows of books in B&N was like a kick in the gut, a wave of cold water. What is the point of writing if no one will ever read? But that question belongs in another post for another day 🙂