To better describe my reaction, let me introduce two of the many voices in my head: Boldly Optimistic (or BOP) and Cautiously Pessimistic (or CAP).
BOP: Wow! This is so cool! My first published book!
CAP: Really? The magazine's readership is small. They don't have a big advertising budget, so you know what that means.
BOP: No problem! I'll hire a copy-editor! And a cover artist!
CAP: That's the easy part. What about marketing?
BOP: Oh. That.
CAP: Yeah, that. Is marketing what you want to spend your time on right now?
BOP: Hmm. I was hoping to dive into research for a new novel. I'm also querying agents for a finished novel.
CAP: About that. What would an agent think of an e-book with 5 sales and zip for reviews?
BOP: Well, you've got to start somewhere. It would be great practice. A learning experience!
CAP: But is this the right book to publish (virtually self-publish)? Few traditional publishers would touch a short story collection with a ten-foot pole (especially by an unknown newbie) and you, with no experience, think you can market such an animal? Seriously?
BOP: Umm. (Shuffles feet).
CAP: You should wait. See if an agent bites on the current novel. See if you can publish a short story in a more widely read publication.
BOP: You're just chicken. Sooner or later, every author has to learn to market their work.
CAP: What's the rush?
BOP: It's an opportunity!
CAP: It could be a mistake.
Okay, those two need a time out.
Self-publishers, what made you take the plunge? Those of you pursuing the traditional route: how do you keep pushing when the odds of success are so small?