On December 1st my first novel was published. This was a dream come true. As in, a life-long childhood dream. This was a long-term goal achieved. As in, I wrote the rough draft of the book seven years ago. This was a resolution met. As in, I’ve been taking my writing seriously and making earnest effort for two and a half years.
So, now I’ve finally done it and instead of feeling like I can check something off the proverbial bucket list, I find myself asking, “Now what?”
One of the first steps I took was to attend a writer’s conference. That was eye-opening, a bit overwhelming and totally challenging. Thankfully there are two conferences in Alabama that I have been able to attend several times and in case you’re wondering, yes, that is a very good place to start. You will likely, like me, catch your first glimpse of the writing world which is far more than telling a good story.
My second big decision was to attempt self-publishing and to do so through Create-Space. However, I was determined to do so with excellence and therefore, asked my computer savvy husband and my grammar proficient friend to help with the technical part and editing.
I took notes, I picked brains, I asked questions, I attended workshops, I revised, rewrote, reviewed and even added thousands of words to the original draft. I even decided to include chapter devotionals at the back of the book. And, just last month had two paid articles published in a magazine and periodical. Progress.
We designed a cover, was assigned an official ISBN number, made a FB devotional page, and faithfully blogged for over two years. So, on December 1st when I saw my book, my hard labor, my dream come true right there in living color and for sale in paper-back and kindle-download , I was thrilled. And, lots of caring friends, loving family and Internet buddies were just as thrilled for me.
Almost immediately, before I could really relish this wonderful moment I was asking, “Now, what?”
In a sense I felt just as lost and slightly overwhelmed as at that first writer’s conference. Now I needed to understand more new things. Marketing strategies, royalty charts, promotional plans.
So, I have begun again on the next part of this apparently never ending journey. In the last few days I have created a FB author page, an Amazon author page that is linked to this blog. And, I have scheduled my first book signing.
Here’s what I’ve decided, having a new book is a lot like having a new baby. You’ll need lots of support, you’ll have to coddle and encourage. You’ll have to provide plenty of consistent discipline and opportunity to grow. You’ll have to overlook and even expect a few stumbles and disappointments. You’ll have a few dirty diapers along the way (think scornful reviews) and there will be some days, maybe quite a few that you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. But in the end, you’ll be glad, so glad for all the trouble, proud you didn’t quit or give up and full of hope for a future full of possibilities.
“Now what?” Well, now I’m hoping I have a good turn out at the book signing and have a few local businesses that intend to approach and ask if they’ll display my book. I am working in editing a guest blog I’ve been asked to do, have some research and interviews for a requested article on adoption AND I’m ready to start the publishing process on the second of the three books that were also written seven years ago. What about you? “What now?”
My Facebook Author Page-
My Amazon Author Page –
My Facebook Devotional Writings –