You have dreamed of being a published novelist? Have you imagined how it’ll feel when your book is finally released? Have you been living for that day, through rejection notes, rewrites and disappointments? I know how you feel. I was hopeful, diffident, frightened and over the moon that it was finally going to happen. My first book, “The Fencing Master’s Daughter” was really going to be published. I lived through disillusionment, disagreements with a proof reader and a delay in publishing with my emotions swinging a very large pendulum.
Do you really want to know how it feels at the time it is happening. Not weeks, months or years later? Because yesterday “The Fencing Master’s Daughter,” my first Regency Romance was published by Front Porch Romance as an Ebook on a number of sites. Blogs packed with my answers to questions that I’d been filling in for weeks had started being posted introducing my book. The release date was set by my publisher but they are American so there are time differences and the book went live a little early.
So suddenly I was a published novelist and I didn’t feel much at all. Then the blogs and author interview pieces that friends and acquaintances had been writing filtered through on line. As I shared one blog to a few sites, the next was ready. My family hadn’t been that interested in my writing or eager to read my latest efforts. But as the blogs went out they liked the posts, sharing them to their friends. I realised how many friends I’d acquired among the writing community as I got offers of being included on other blogs. I said yes, thank you very much to everything.
The day went on and requests for further information multiplied Pulse racing, I felt light headed as if I’d been drinking which I hadn’t. People gave me compliments, telling me I deserved to be successful as I tried to keep up with everything. I’d tried to take on board all the promotion advice about getting on blogs, but as one went out I was offered another. Some offered further visits to keep the book in front of the buying public’s minds. I was overwhelmed by love.
I was asked for an article, I had begun one to post on my own page and I offered it to the seeker after I’d cut and reshaped it. So I hacked it about, reducing it by about 400 unnecessary words. It read better and was pithier. I entitled it Panic as it was about how I felt before the book went out and why I started writing. Unusually I worried whether the article would please the gentleman who’d asked for it. Adrenaline raced as I sent it. The blogger replied promptly saying it was excellent and didn’t need any changes and I glowed in the distant praise.
Then I thanked the Lord above for my stint working writing and sub-editing for a tiny now defunct weekly local paper. It certainly helped knowing even if criticism was levelled at my novel writing style then at least I could write good plain English. There was little the matter with my basic grammar and sentence construction. It is amazing how under pressure you doubt the simplest of skills. But no sooner had I supplied one article and set of answers than I got another request. I carried on processing as a sense of unreality began to waft around me. Was all this really happening? Was I still dreaming, I was beginning to confuse separating fact from hope.
I’d been given one fairly good review in advance but was dreading being slated by critics when I first got read. Then I got my first review, the lady emailed me with some criticisms so I was really dreading what she would publish about me. But when her review arrived, she had been very kind. It was not all hyperbole as she added a couple of criticisms, which I’ll take on board during the proof-reading stage of my next book. But it was a relief it was better than I’d feared. So I floated on trying to post and share the blogs and do the next set of questions in between people asking me for more information. At the end of the day I had requests for two more articles and a further two sets of questions.
But then as I was beginning to come back to normality, I got my next review. This lady had gone to town; she loved it, writing reams, revealing some of the plot but who cares. A reader loved my book! Even if no one else likes it, that it was all that had ever mattered to me. Yes sales and some money would be nice but I’d been well warned how little new authors make on their debut books. Even if I got no more reviews or they were dreadful. One person loved my book.
I wrote another article shorter than this first thing this morning. It was entitled “Why not Regency” and I finished another set of questions. It is half past five and I’ve been working since 7.30 am. I still feel drugged, elated and exhausted. When I finish this I’ve only one more article and another author set of questions to do. Maybe I’ll make progress by tomorrow, clearing the decks so I might even be able to write a little of my WIP.
What does it feel like! Wonderful, weird, elating euphoric. Not knowing whether or when you’ll come down, it’s an experience I won’t ever forget. This is the first day or so, what it will really feel like if my book is a howling best-seller? I refuse to picture it. This is more than good enough.
So you want some advice, get well prepared before you publish. Write some articles on spec as well as doing all the blog tours. Believe me writing the book was the easy bit.