This…will…not…be…easy. I’m going to admit something to you all. I didn’t think it’d be this hard. Call it naivete. Call it optimism. Call it the sheer ridiculousness of thinking, dammit, that what I wrote would take off, like a rocket ship to Planet Lottery Ticket. Anddddd, yeah. Four months after the release of Enemy in Blue, let me give ya some thoughts and insights into what this process entails. The hope is that this will help some understand what’s coming their way if they publish, and help others who have done so realize, “I’m not alone.”
- Writing was the easy part. Huh? I just finished 80k, 90, 120k words! It took me 2 years to write my baby. What you mean that was the easy part? Writing is a joy, in my opinion. I hardly ever had a day where I cussed and wished I was doing something else. And, if those days came along, I just didn’t write. No sense forcing something crappy onto paper. On the other hand, once you’re published (by whatever means), the marketing, sales and promotion begins. And, I can assure you of one thing–once you start those ghastly machines up, they don’t allow breaks. You’ll be tweeting, updating your website, updating your status on Facebook, trying to get signings, trying to get your books on brick and mortar shelves, etc. etc. etc., NONSTOP. Be prepared to work your ass off in the name of promotion.
- This will undoubtedly be a long, strange trip. Do a Wikipedia on your favorite band. Most likely, they spent years toiling in small venues. They pumped out album after album before one hit song took off. Realize that your journey will probably be the same–with the superstar ending, we all hope.
- There are tens of thousands of people trying to do what we’re doing. Okay, not trying to be Captain Downer here, but this post is a small dose of reality, if anything. Look at the sheer number of books on Amazon. Look at all the authors Tweeting about their books on a daily basis. This is a SEA, not a stream. You’ve got to tread water, then build a super attractive yacht for people to hop onto.
- The hard work will make it worth it. Growth does not come through constant success. When you get the first review of your book from someone you don’t know, and it’s a positive review, you will glow. When someone asks you for a signature on their copy of your book, you’ll glow. When you see your book on a bookshelf in a bookstore, you’ll glow. But, each one of those things will take a tremendous amount of effort to achieve.
- Patience is a virtue…and will be key to your sanity. Seemingly, nothing in the book publishing world moves quicker than a snail’s pace. You building your empire of words isn’t gonna be any different. Just like when you wrote your book, do your best to recognize the small steps, otherwise the pace of the whole venture will make you mad!