My first novel is about to be available on Amazon and I’m (I want to say crapping myself, but because this is a public blog, I’ll say…) terrified. Up until now it has just been something that is going to happen in the future, at some point, when I feel it’s ready, but now it’s been plucked, preened and polished to within an inch of its life there are no more excuses. But my fear (and I feel I can be frank) is that it will be swallowed up and forgotten in Amazon’s ebook abyss.
I’m sure there’ll be a flutter of excitement to start with from friends who had no idea I’d even written a book, and a few will be downloaded just so they can see whether or not it’s actually worthy of a pat on the back and “I know her”, or whether it’s going to be playground gossip fodder that’ll keep them going until Christmas. But what comes after that? I’m not sure I’m ready to be known as someone who published an ebook once (but don’t talk about it in front of her).
So how do I prepare for this? I don’t suppose there’s a manual outlining the dos and don’ts, with an epilogue at the back listing the seven stages of grief if it doesn’t work out. So once I’ve exhausted the friends and relatives pity pool, and tweeted my handful of long suffering followers, where else can I find a sympathetic audience?
I know I’m not alone in this, there seem to be literally thousands of authors out there desperately plugging their book, boasting five-star ratings that they blatantly borrowed from the pity pool I spoke of earlier, and using every devious and desperate measure they can think of to get attention. The trouble is, I write because I can’t act, or sing (actually, I can, but not in public), or dance, or anything else that calls for public displays of confidence. I write from the safety of my dingy office, from behind my well-worn computer, about other people, with elements of myself buried deep in the pages, never out in the open.
So for me, the thought of releasing my book out into the world is like when your child has a tantrum in public and you walk away tutting and shaking your head as if it’s someone else’s child; suddenly a part of me has wriggled free and is making a spectacle of itself on Amazon, and in order to get it back where it belongs, I have to admit to it being mine