… is not as different as I thought it would be from usual, although in some cases, it feels worlds apart.
It’s not so different in that you will still be doing the things you do day-to-day, only you’ll finally see the return of investment from spending the days, weeks, months, or even years of toiling on that novel and seeing people liking the little teaser and wanting more. You’ll still have that open document file while you use the computer or laptop, and of course, you’ll still be doing your dayjob (or, if you don’t have one, you’ll still be working your ass off doing chores or playing video games, whichever!)
It’s different when you get your notice of acceptance from a publisher saying they want your novel. In my case, it filled me with drive and pushed me to write more and more. I became supremely confident in my work (and rightfully so, since it’s going to be published!) and because I have editors who tell me what’s good and what’s bad; how to fix it, what to focus on it and how to change it so that it becomes the best version I think it can be, that even gave me more reason to feel excited, counting down the days until the release of the novel.
Days, or weeks, or months pass. The day of the release draws closer and closer.
For me, it was a great 72 hours before, during, and after the release of my first novel. People were buying it in droves (on the day itself, roughly the same number of people bought a copy as the entire time Rude Awakening went up for preorder, which amazed me) and then came the reviews. The ones who loved it really loved it, and it filled me with hope to see people leaving ratings and reviews. There are people who only thought it was okay or didn’t quite like it, for varying reasons – and that’s alright: different strokes for different folks, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion – though the negative reviews did make me feel a little sad. I learned not to let it get to me because, as people, we all have the capacity to improve, and as always, we can’t please everyone.
I’m so thankful to the number of people – by the hundreds, even! – who bought my novel. Some of you loved it, and I’m glad – I hope you like the second, third, and fourth one, too! It’s going to be a touch more exciting from that point on! – and then there are some of you who didn’t like the novel. These are the people to whom I say, I’m sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea and I’m happy it evoked a response in you enough to leave a review out in the world. It may have hurt me for a moment, but it didn’t kill me, and although we as people don’t usually like to be criticized, I can try to understand where you’re coming from. You just didn’t like the theme of the book, or the characters, or how it was written. We all have our opinions, and yours is just as valid as the rest of the people who liked my book, even loved it.
Life as a newly published author can be tough. It can be lonely (you spend your hours in front of a computer writing down words into a document in the hopes that the people who buy it love it as much as you do, after all, but you don’t really see these people since you’re in your own home, writing) and it can be disheartening (especially when you take a bad review to heart,) but it’s also fulfilling. I love sharing my stories to the world.
I’m not going to cry over my bad reviews, but what I am going to do is thank (profusely!) the ones who loved my story. I’m not going to cry and stress about how hard promoting yourself is and how difficult it can be, but what I am going to do is thank each and every one of you who took the time to shell out some money and support my right to live (Five dollars is a meal at McDonald’s!) I guess all I’m trying to say is that, as with any person’s life, being a newly published author has its highs and lows, and I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of this neck of the woods.
I’m just thankful for each opportunity, each constructive piece of criticism or opinion, each word of praise or thoughtful piece of advice thrown my way. So from the bottom of this newly published author’s heart, thank you. I hope to fill my blog with more words soon. 🙂