“Wow, you wrote a book? Cool! I could never do that!”
You get the rock star moments of people asking for your autograph and posing for pictures with you. And getting a glowing review online is an ego boost. (You want to frame them) the pans are not as much fun, but you hope there’s a nugget of wisdom i there to help you become a better write rather than just, “This book sucked balls” or “Why is a fat woman writing about skinny people? She should stick to what she knows.” (So help me God, this is a paraphrase of an actual review that another author got. Kind of makes me want to slap the reviewer into a PET scan machine and see what’s in her brain pan, if anything)
You get to do things like this:
Or you get a moment like this:
(I don’t know if Mrs. Obama read them, but I sent copies to the White House)
Listen, I wrote my book(s. I took one and divided it) back in 2001. Zuckerberg hadn’t dropped out of Harvard. Or even been accepted. Twitter hadn’t hatched. E books were not a thing. At that point, you got an agent and/or a publisher. Self publishing was through companies like Xlibris and pretty expensive. Books coming through vanity presses like Xlibris got no respect. Reviews were only available through newspapers and magazines by established critics.
The world has changed. One can self-publish for free through Createspace (Amazon. Jeff Bezos doesn’t miss a trick). Self-published authors are making New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon best seller lists. Readers, rather than a small group of critics, post reviews through Amazon, Goodreads, the online sites for Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.
Sounds like one just pushes a button and sits back, sort of like the Jetsons, right?
The ease of publication has made it possible for anyone to publish. And they do. Millions of titles, including dinosaur bestiality porn (I kid you not).
Getting your works noticed is like. Horton Hears a Who.”
You’ve got to make yourself heard.
So far, I’ve done signing events, a blog tour (you pay someone to line up book review blogs to feature you and your babies for a day), sales, learning how to make teasers to post on Twitter, like this:
Yeah, I’ve got a sale going on. Go buy e books. And leave a review.
I’ve even learned how to make shortened links on bit.ly so they’ll fit on Twitter.
There is Authorgraph?, where you can get a personalized message from me on your Kindle! (Or Nook! Kobo! You get the idea) (go make a request)
I have learned terms like “ARC (Advanced Reading Copy)”, “street team,” “beta reader,” and “fucking pirate sites.” (Now we have algorithms pulling titles and books from Amazon to offer for free or just as a tease to download malware onto greedy and unsuspecting computers). I’ve also heard of software like Scrivenr (it’s writing software. If you let it, it posts your word count on Facebook) and promotional items are called swag.
I don’t have any of those things (except the swag. I have some swag). I have a beta reader in my editor, who’s a friend from college. I am my street team. As for ARCs, given the Facebook posts about getting watermarks and trying to secure the copies to prevent them being up,order to pirate sites (or getting the watermark so one can identify the fucker who uploads it), ain’t nobody getting advanced copies except the editor. It’s her job.
The fact that writing the book isn’t the end of the process has been a huge wake up call. Is writing novels (and other material for publication) how I want to support myself? Absolutely.
It’s still a learning process.
And just a reminder: WE ARE HERE! An author’s an author, no matter how small (the sales).