Friends and family are amazing! They will hype you up until you believe that you should run for political office, become a comedian, start a lifestyle brand, or become an influencer…
They will tell you to publish that book!
Why in the world did I listen?
My book is live. You can find it on Amazon.com right now. Granted, unless you know how to spell my name and I have given you the link to the book, it may be challenging to find. But regardless, it is out there for the world to see.
I have spent the last three days waiting for Amazon to update the sales report, and today it finally showed that one person had purchased my book. Party time. I know there have been more purchases, but it takes a while for the statistics to compute. I wasn’t nervous until now.
Why am I nervous?
Because I just read multiple posts where fellow authors talked about taking TWO years to edit their books. They have sent their book to all their friends and family members to read and comment on it. They have changed the format, the plot, the characters, and the foundation of their books. These authors shelved their books for a time and then returned to them to ensure they still gave them joy. They have 3-4 notebooks filled with notes, thousands of Twitter followers, t-shirts, stickers, coffee mugs, and small movies made for promotion.
I did not take two years. Although the entire process took about two years, the point of book completion and publication lasted only a few months.
I allowed my mother to read it. She gave it a glowing review. But that might be because she is in the acknowledgments.
I gave it to my editor. She gave it back and told me she never plans on editing another book again.
I sent it to three other people (non-friends or family), and they never got back to me.
Not looking very promising for the home team.
Then I read another post where multiple people said that a self-published book was not an actual book. They claim that only professionals with degrees can accurately determine if a book is good enough. According to them, I needed to spend at least $3,000.00-$5,000.00 on an editor, $700.00 on a book cover, and $3,000.00 on a promotion team. Do you know how long it would take to pay back a publishing company that much money?
I don’t think I owe that much on my truck!
Then, I read other posts where authors have spent two to three years sending their books to publishing companies and agents. These authors hope a professional team will buy into their novels based on a one-page introduction and 5-10 pages of the first chapter. Each letter needs to be personalized to the agent/publishing company you are addressing, and it must be able to encompass 300-400 pages of writing into three paragraphs. That is almost more work than writing the damn novel.
To those who have been able to do it, my hats off to you! Well done!
I decided not to follow that route for the time being. Why? Because each time interest was shown in my work, I was required to put in the same amount of effort for self-promotion and editing as I have done with self-publishing.
I took a leap of faith and am falling off the cliff now.
I am falling because now comes the part where my book will be in the hands of those friends and family members who have supported me. What if I misspell a word? What if they hate the plot? What if they think the characters are based on them and are upset?
There is a point after the grind of creating your art that everything starts moving in slow motion. All the celebrations, dinners, wine, and gourmet coffee that you were dreaming about- that doesn’t happen. Instead, you clean your carpets and your baseboards. You make dinner and get into arguments with your spouse and have to listen to your children complain about mean teachers.
All this while in the back of your mind, you are freaking out about your book and the feedback that you are going to get.
I guess this is the true test of being an author… am I willing to read what others write about me?
God, I hope reviews are good….