An impersonal rejection

I've been sick the last three days. Fortunately, the fever broke around four in the morning on Friday, but it was too late to get to work (I feel uncomfortable being around people within 12 hours of a fever, just trying to be nice). My throat has been sore the entire time though, but I'm hoping I'll be better. I miss work.

But, this week has been a rather continous series of downward trends. It started with Sunday morning (01:30) with a phone call. The Caller ID said "University IA Hospital". This is never a good call this early in the morning.

Fluffy's father had trouble breathing and called 911. I guess he wasn't conscious when they answered and he was on a ventilator when Fluffy could come in. He had a heart attack and/or pnemonia, but they weren't sure which one. Sadly, for what would follow, that would be the best news they had. I'm not going to go into details, but needless to say, Fluffy is a wreck and her father is... well, let's say he's not in a good place.

It pretty much came to a head on Friday and today Fluffy is dealing with the fallout. She's in a hotel right now, not willing to face anyone. I can understand it and I don't mind the single parent thing.

I've been taking care of EDM while I was sick. Not entirely the best of conditions, but as GS would say, "it's part of being a parent." He's a good kid for the most part but it is really hard to get anything done because I'm playing with him in various forms. And when he's taking a nap, so am I. :)

So, everyone is emotionally fragile and on the edge. You know what the best thing to do? If you said "check to see if I got a response for Flight in my mailbox?" you're right! And it was there, sitting next to a donation for my other byline.

It was a rejection. Impersonal except for a "re: Flight of the Scions" hand-written on it. I know I won't get a good response from anything resembling a Big 6 publisher, but I was surprised how non-upset I was. It just was.

I had a different problem. My plan was to try for a few years to get published, then go the self-published route. There were a few reasons for that, but the main one is: I suck at self-promotion. I think between the pieces I have out there, I have made a grand total of $12. If you count the last five years (and exclude commissions), I think I'm up to a whopping $75. I could give specifics, I have a spreadsheet, but you get the idea.

If I put Flight out, it probably won't sell. I have never had anything make more than $60 and that one thing was over eight years. If you exclude that, I haven't made over $15 in any story or novel ever.

I haven't figured out how I can get hundreds of compliments and comments on a story, reviews across multiple sites, fan art and fan fiction, all for stuff that I give away free, but somehow I can't write something sellable.

Commissions are decent for me, but that business model doesn't scale. I can only write so many 10k commissions through word of mouth and that's been steadily declining for a few years now.

So, I don't have enough to make Flight succeed. It probably isn't good enough for selling without editing. And I know that I need about $8-10k for a proper edit, which is something that isn't an option right now. I can keep on submitting, but am I wasting publisher's time? There is that doubt that Flight just flat out sucks and no one will tell me. I know people tell me its good, but I will always have that fear.

This isn't going to be answered in the next few days, but something I need to figure out.