A few days ago I pushed the ‘publish’ button and my novel, Girl Behind Glass, was available to the world. It was a fantastic feeling to finally have it ready. The days leading up to its release were filled with proof reading and editing, self-doubt and endless worrying, so much so that I couldn’t enjoy reading anything else. All I would see was the punctuation, and I absorbed little of the actual storyline. This was extremely disappointing because I had just bought the last book in the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire. I re-read the prologue a couple of times before giving up. I could easily tell you that Cassandra Clare is an author who loves her punctuation, but as for the storyline, I could not give it the undivided attention and respect it deserved. So I put it down so I could read it later. It is one of my favourite YA series after all, and I wanted to relish it.
But I’m getting off subject . . .
I pushed the publish button and I was elated. I had done it. I had finally published my book.
This feeling lasted all of a few hours before I came crashing back down. It seemed I was guilty of the same thing that the majority of new Indie authors are. Now that I had the book available for purchase, how was I going to get people to read it?
I knew that in the great, big world of ebook publishing, my book was sitting as the equivalent of a few copies on the shelf behind many others, in a local bookstore. I could tell friends and family about it, and a few of them may even call in and pick up a copy and hopefully tell their friends, but basically that was it. (I’m very so grateful to the friends and family that did!)
I had been told by a local indie author and friend of mine, that promotion before publishing the book was the most important thing, but I lacked the confidence to sing the praises for my book without it even being published. I was filled with self-doubt and could imagine people laughing at me. ‘Look at her,’ I could hear them say in my mind, ‘she thinks she can write!’
All those fears left when I hit the publish button, not because I was filled with a great confidence regarding my writing skills, but because there was no point in worrying anymore. It was out there. And apart from un-publishing, there was very little I could do to affect the way people thought.
So I turned to the one thing that I always turn to in times of uncertainty, Google.
I typed in the search engine and began my discovery of self-publishing and indie authors. I had done all this before of course, but my mind was on getting my book finished. ‘Just get it done and worry about that that stuff later,’ I would tell myself.
Well, later had come. I read blogs and articles. I came across countless of other authors in the same boat as me, and much of the advice was along similar lines.
Promotion BEFORE you release your book – Too late
Social Media – Facebook, tick. Twitter, tick. (Although I do feel a little like I’m yelling into a room with a million other people yelling at the same time. I still haven’t got a handle on that one!) Instagram, tick. Blog, tick. Goodreads, tick.
But the number one advice? Write another book.
It had taken me months to pluck up the courage to publish my first, and now it seemed the best thing to do was get straight onto my next.
But that still left the problem of promoting, Girl Behind Glass.
So over the next few months I am going to try to get my book ‘out there’ wherever ‘there’ is. It may not work, my book may be destined to sit hidden, and loved only by a select few, shoved behind the millions of other books in the digital world.
But then again it may not.