I don’t want to make a huge deal of this or anything (although…you know…I’m devoting a whole blog article to it…) but today marks a pretty big milestone for me…at least in my mind. Today, as can be seen by the image here to the right, I got featured!
I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been featured before. Volume One (local arts magazine) has done several pieces on my creative works over the years, I’ve have a few moments being quoted in the Leader Telegram (local newspaper), and I’ve been on countless other author sites and the like. I mean, I’ve been featured so much that it’s pretty easy to find my face on the internet with a simple google search. Of course…it’s pretty easy to do that with just about anyone nowadays anyways.
But today’s feature is something different. I didn’t come across it because I live in a specific region and the local journalists like to showcase local artists. I didn’t get it because of the friends I’ve made in my pursuit of publication. I made it, quite simply, because of my craft.
I use the term craft as a rather vague option because I realize there could be several different reasons that my book could have been featured outside of the actual writing inside.
You see, the site I’m featured on is a new site, still in beta mode, managed by Amazon. It’s got a rather open-ended concept behind it which basically seems to come down to connecting people who love to read and/or write. There’s still a lot of work to be done, in my opinion, before it does that all effectively, but it’s already an incredibly solid site, one where I can see a great deal of optimism among the authors (as opposed to other similar sites I’ve been on where the authors seem to have become completely annoyed with the world) and the folks running things are still appearing to be greatly involved in the day to day. In fact, I’ve come across profiles for several folks who work for the site and they all seem to have something up that they’ve written. They want the site to work and they’re putting the time in.
Of course, when I decided to put a few chapters of The Long Chron up on the site as a precursor to testing the waters, I definitely didn’t expect to start seeing responses quite so quickly. Within hours I was already able to see that people were actually reading the book and I had my first comment even. Now, the book’s been up for about 5 days and hasn’t exploded or anything, but what I found most interesting, right off the bat, was that one of the first people to hit the like button on the book was someone who, in their profile, designated themselves as one of the employees of the site.
After a while, a second came through.
And a third.
This isn’t exactly something special just about my book. Looking at the profiles for any of these folks, I saw that they were hitting like on many books that come through. They were keeping an eye on the fresh content coming in and making sure to let people know that their presence was appreciated. It’s actually a really nice feeling to put yourself out in the wild like that and get a notification that someone likes it…heck, even if you question the legitimacy of the like, those few moments immediately following the notification are great.
So is the moment where they tell you they’d like to feature you.
Now, I can’t say for certain that they have read anything more than the blurb and maybe a portion of the opening chapter…it’s possible that some combination of the very high level concept of the book and my rather simple cover design might have caused them to latch on to it as an easy sell…perhaps they were just running on a deadline for picking a new book to feature and mine was the first they saw…who knows.
All I know is that it feels pretty damned good…even if there’s that guy in the back of my mind that keeps wanting to repeat the words, “you know it doesn’t really mean anything, right?”
I know the road to success is still a long one from here, but its the little things like this, the moments where I’m allowed to feel slightly validated as an author, that make the trip that much easier to bear. Sure, I can’t imagine I’ll be seeing any crazy influx of new readers because of the spotlight. (A man can dream, but honestly, sites like this are mostly authors looking for readers, not the other way around. Authors, although typically voracious readers themselves, aren’t generally looking for new books to read…at least not on sites like this.) But the truth of the matter is, sometimes a little validation, just purely for the sake of validation, is okay with me.
And today, I’m king of a very small castle. I’ll totally take that.
Got a ton of writing/editing to do (Long Chron edits are back), so I’m out.
Have fun out there!