...This week marks my second Thanksgiving as an author, and I feel as soft and squishy as the apples in my pie. I’m so sappy, I barely recognize myself.
Last year, it was a novelty. I had just published my second novel, and I had something like four readers. Well, maybe five including my mom. I participated in a Black Friday sale and started giving away books and gift cards like they grew on trees in my backyard. I strutted into Starbucks over the Holidays proud of my accomplishments and confident the coming year would sprinkle success all over me.
In the past twelve months, I did publish three more books, bringing the grand total to five in my name. To be honest, there were more moments filled with tears than I care to share. Although, the tiny bit of success I found made up for it.
I sold out of books at two signings, started a really active reading group with the most amazing people, and continued to build relationships with individual readers and bloggers. I learned when they were laid off, their kids were sick, and when they found new jobs. I traveled with them to vacations, whether it was my books or our reading group tagged along. We celebrated birthdays and holidays.
I hugged my editor in-real-life and connected with so many incredible authors. This year has been full––despite the ups-and-downs of selling books.
Because make no mistake, just writing a book is only one quarter of what I do.
This year was apparently a much harder year in self-publishing. One author discovered that last week alone, 82,000+ titles were uploaded to Kindle. There are no easy solutions or quick fixes to get books into the hands of readers, let alone devoted ones.
I spend big chunks of my days trying to slip my books into the hands of a blogger or a new reader. It’s called sales, and I abhor it.
When my oldest son was two and his little brother arrived, he would say,
Look at ME!
That’s what I say every day, seven days a week. I say it when I am working at my desk forming ads; I preach it when I take time for multiple takeovers every month; I whisper it in my sleep when I describe my current predicaments to my husband.
It’s taxing and sometimes drawn out and overwhelming, but the end result is always precious. I meet new readers, bloggers, and book lovers.
All of a sudden, it becomes less about the sale and more about the book, and I feel energized to do it all over again.
Why? ~ I am certain you are asking.
An author puts their soul into a book. The words are smeared with my breath and the cover is painted with my heart. The blurb took me hours and the decision to press “upload” is traumatic every, single time.
Nobody else can breathe that energy into the project.
There are no gimmicks when it comes to my work. Just me. Honest to goodness, organic me, and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for accepting my stories and me (complete with my flaws and love of cream-filled pastries).
Thank you all for lending me your ear, allowing me to share the space on your Kindles and Nooks and iPads, and mostly for being lovers of the written word. I know there are so many choices.
As a small side note, Electrified is currently free on iBooks.
I will update as it becomes available on other outlets.