In my rather short time as a published author, I’ve now reached three truly milestone moments. I consider those moments to be the three times I’ve pressed the buttons stating that my books shall be for sale. (honestly…as you’ll see before the end of this article…they aren’t really all that much of a milestone at all).
Releasing a book is a pretty big deal…or at least it should be, right? I mean, if I were releasing anything else, there would probably be some sort of event tied to it. A CD release usually involves a concert, a movie release usually involves a screening, heck, there’s event art showings for those of the purely visual mediums…but with a book, I really just have the option to throw a party that has very little to do with the book at all, outside of existing because I released the book.
I’ve chosen to stay away from such things, as I don’t like pretending I should be the center of attention.
No, with me, my family barely knows that I’ve got books even out there. In fact, when having dinner with my grandmother last night, she asked me if my second book had been released yet, to which I responded, actually, my third was released today…with a fourth to be released in the next month.
She gave me a modest amount of slack jawed amazement before being distracted by other conversations. Which is okay, I don’t have much to say about my book releases…probably why they go by rather quietly.
However, all the same, it’s not that they go by completely unnoticed. Yesterday my book worked its way up the rankings to be #35 of short story horror books. It may have even risen higher than that…I was busy sleeping shortly after I saw that rank. I mean, Daddy of the Dead was just a couple places behind a big Poe anthology. Once the Goths get a hold of it, who knows what could happen…. 😉
Obviously I told my facebook friends, purchased my own copy, and a host of other things to help it along the way, but in the end, it was a rather quiet release…and here’s where that causes me some slight mental anguish.
There’s very few moments in which an author can truly feel a sense of accomplishing something. Once you write the first draft, you immediately need to look toward the editing; each draft causes you to once again think about editing; then you get it finely honed to something you feel proud about, only to send it out to beta readers and sit behind a keyboard biting your fingernails to see if they like it (and question whether they’re being truly honest with you about it) before finally going back in and doing yet more edits based on their notes before, ultimately, releasing it. Once you release a book, you’re basically stating, “I’ve done as much as I can with this sucker”. But you’re really not done. Then the marketing begins. Trying to make sure people know you even wrote a book (you know, like over dinner with your grandma). That process never ends. Well, I suppose once you actually reach a level of success with a book that you feel that it’s run its course, then maybe….I don’t think that’s coming for quite some time for me on any of my titles.
Of course, none of that counts the fact that you’re probably already working on another book.
So, the closest I get to a sense of actual accomplishment is that moment when the book appears up on Amazon and I put the folder containing all of its info into my Completed Works folder.
But it comes quietly. And it seems to end rather quickly.
I’m not looking for anything here. I’m not trying to say I wish it were different. In fact, there’s a certain kismet to how quietly a book release can go (obviously, authors who are better at marketing and the like don’t have quite so quiet a release process). The book writing process itself is a rather quiet one…why shouldn’t the release be?
And I have to admit, those little moments where someone shouts in the crowd that they liked the book, that barely audible yell in your direction stating that they connected with what you put on the paper, whether through a review placed on one of the many sites available for it, an e-mail, phone call, or whatever…those are pretty darn awesome.
No, those are downright amazing.
It’s what makes an author feel like they should keep doing what they are doing…much more than watching those numbers rise, showing them how close they are getting to the top of the pile (although those are pretty cool too). Those numbers fall off quickly. I’m currently at #52 for short story horrors. But that feeling that you connected with someone through your writing, that sticks with you. It motivates you.
I’m not so much on the book release process, but I’m a huge fan of when people finish reading my books. That’s when I actually get that sense of accomplishment.
That’s when I start getting the ideas on what I can put to paper next.