Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My First Week as a Published Author

It has been a week now since I first uploaded my book with Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s websites as an eBook.  I took a few extra days off work to set aside time with my boys, as my youngest is starting high school, and also to work out any kinks that might come up with the book.  It’s a good thing I did because I have been too sidetracked with the start of a new school year and my book to even think about work.
For anyone who has ever published an eBook, I’d love to hear about your experiences.  It might seem like a fairly simple process but there are many elements to the whole concept.  From the conversion, to the review, to the approval and once you receive the final document to be uploaded, you hesitate…wondering if the book (or maybe just yourself) really is ready.  After shaking off any doubts, you finally hit the “publish” button to upload the book and wait for it to go live. 

Then you wait.
You receive word that the book is live.

You check out the sites and there, in full color, with your name on it, is your book cover with the blurb along with a preview of a few chapters.  The book is waiting for anyone to “like” it, buy it and rate it.
And so are you.

Then the sales reports come in.  What an exciting feeling to know you are now an author who is earning an income for their work! 
But regardless of what you think of your work as the creator and regardless of the sales reports you receive, what you really want to know is…do others like the story?  Do they like the characters?  Did they enjoy the book as a whole?  Will they look forward to reading more of your work as you continue to write and publish books?

Oh, the anticipation you feel as you wait! 
While you should always write for yourself, and while you cannot please everyone, you are only human as you wait to hear how others will respond to what you have created.  I had not realized just how anxious I was as I waited for the first person to finish the book and tell me what they thought.  If no one really liked the book, would I continue to write?  Sure I would.  I would continue to write what brings out the passion in me as a writer and I would always remember this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

~Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.~
But while I believe writing for yourself is the key to a good book, there is no denying you still want others to enjoy your stories and you hope they continue to want more from you.

And so I waited until someone responded with their thoughts after finishing my book.  I love the book, of course, because I created the story and the characters.  But I am a bit biased, to say the least. 
The wait seemed long to the point of agony but the relief I felt after receiving my first review was pure delight.  If you visit the Amazon website to view my book, you will see a rating and a customer review.  It is wonderful.  Here is a portion of the review:

“Here comes Jorja Matthews…Howell has created a character that is smart, caring and fearless. Her view of small town life is true to form…Her best friend, Taylor, and her best companion, the loveable, if always in the way, Piper, provide some normality to balance the darker souls of her little town.  It is a satisfying read......can't wait for the next book!”
Since that review, I have heard from others who have finished the book or who are still reading it and I have heard more positive feedback.  Not that I need my ego stroked, mind you, but it sure is good to hear that not only have others enjoyed the story and characters I created, but that they are looking forward to reading additional books in the series.  It shows me that my passion has brought out a passion in others and that alone is enough to boost my so-called ego.

Overall my first week as a published author has been satisfying, if a bit emotionally exhausting.  I look forward to what each coming week after this has to offer.

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