I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Friday, February 8, 2013
Last night, I uploaded the fourth title in my series, a book I hope will live up to the expectations of kind readers who've let me know they were looking forward to its release. For the first time, I admit to feeling a little pressure. I've never had a readership before, and the last thing I'd ever want to do is disappoint any one of them. I think this is a book I can be proud of. I poured a great deal of myself into it. So finally getting it to this point qualifies as a big moment in my admittedly brief publishing career.
When I went to bed at midnight, the book was not yet "live" on Kindle, but when I got up at around 2am, there it was! I think the cover looks beautiful in thumbnail form, everything on the product page seems in order. Now all I need to do is let my friends know it's there and pray that others will somehow find their way to it as well. So I'm on Facebook and emailing for a good thirty minutes. Then back to bed.
At 4am, I'm back at the computer just to check on things. No one's seen my posts. (Did I really think anyone else was up at that hour? There's always a chance some other insomniac is surfing, as I so often am.) I spam a little more, check in here at the blog, look at the obits in some of my old stomping grounds, and try going back to bed.
By six, I'm at it again. This time, a couple of my FB readers have "liked" my posts. At least the thing is working! One even lets me know she's downloaded her copy. My first sale! Who can sleep after a thing like that?
But I can only check reports so many times before my hand does start to go to sleep. It took an hour and a half for that first sale to report, during which time I contemplated the pointless possibility of emailing KDP and whining that my sales weren't reporting. (This is a chronic complaint among Indies, shared at great length on the aforementioned forums.)
Now there are two sales showing, my Christmas novella is # 90 on the Free Contemporary Fiction Best Seller list, and I'm going back to bed. Will I sleep? Probably not for long. The lure of that third sale and beyond will no doubt have me back at the computer in an hour or so.
I suppose cool is a thing I'll never be when it comes to my books. Much like sending my children off for their first day of kindergarten. I experienced the same anxiety at the beginning of every one of their years in school, when they started their first part-time jobs and every job since, and at every other milestone in their lives. Now it's Stani and Emily I stand at the door and wave farewell to. I want them to succeed, to bring something to the lives of those they meet, and represent themselves well in the world. Maybe the writer in me is really just the mother in me with a new brood to nurture.