No, you idiots, I’m already married.
I typed this on the evening after the release of my first novel, The Foundation. But to avoid spamming my social media to death with ‘book stuff’, I let it stew for a few days prior to posting.
This is the last of the Path to Publication posts. In this series, I’ve shared with you the pitch and contract, dealing with the big issues, the edits, and the cover and marketing. Each stage is a giant anvil upon which your manuscript is hammered into a book able to be sold.
This edition is a little different: a look at what happens when the lights go on and the show begins.
With everything in the bag and the book off to production, I found the lull between working hard to finish the book and getting it to market tricky. By this point the author is pretty much off the clock on the book itself, though there’s plenty of marketing to do.
I found this part the hardest of all, which is quite surprising given my fingertips are now bloody stumps from all the keyboard pounding and my mind is some strange, rancid ooze from too much hard thinking.
I fulfilled my side of the marketing and enjoyed having a social life again, but the most overwhelming feelings after all this hard work were, in order:
- I WANT TO WRITE! WRITE LOTS! MORE! MORE! MORE EXPLOSIONS!
- I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
- I *AM* A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
- THOSE FOOLS AT MOMENTUM!
By the time I reached the last few days prior to launch, I just wanted to hitch a ride with the Doc and Marty McFly and get there, but the only guy I know of with a DeLorean is Matthew Reilly, who might resent me pinching it.
Rockets are cool.
But hey, it launched! So what actually happened on the day my first book comes out?
- Yes, I still went to work.
- No, I didn’t get as much done as I usually do.
- Yes, it felt as amazing as I thought it would.
- No, I didn’t crawl under my bed and hide.
- Yes, the back slapping and congratulations of friends and colleagues felt good.
- No, a marching band and dancing girls didn’t signify the release.
- Yes, there was some anxiety of the ‘what if everyone HATES it’ variety.
- No, I didn’t refresh madly for the first review to appear.
- Yes, I did go out for dinner and have a few drinks to celebrate.
- No, I didn’t go on a 48 hour bender on my publisher’s tab.
- Yes, I did thank the great people at Momentum for their hard work.
- No, I didn’t read it again. It’ll be a few months before I do that.
And, like that, The Foundation was amongst the millions of other books jostling for its place on the mountain. I was hoping it’d reach the peak, to hang out with Dan Brown and his supermodels, but if nothing else that it’d have a nice spot on the side.
But behold! It shot to the top of the Amazon Australia Political Fiction lists to claim #1 spot for a while.
Take that John Grisham! Eat my dust Ayn Rand! Though I’m not sure it’ll last, it was a nice pat on the shoulder for a nervous first timer.
The first review
But wait! There was more unexpected good news! My first review!
Although, technically, my first review was from the incredible John Birmingham, that was pre-release.
The honour of the first review post-release, at least as far as I’m aware, goes to ReadingKills.com. Head over there. It’s a great review.
I must admit, when I saw it, I felt nervous clicking on the link. But I was quite honestly chuffed with the result. My favourite lines?
‘…a roaring political thriller that is unnerving in its description of how the world would go to war.’
‘This is a jet-setting, alarming, bang-pow-kaboom read full of metaphorical and literal bloodshed, political machinations you’ll hope desperately will never become reality, and late-night giant-popcorn-wielding funsies.’
I’m sure the snarky one-star Amazon reviews are coming, but for now I’ve got a nice little protective bubble going on. Thanks ReadingKills!
The sign off
So we’ve come to the end of the path to publication. The book is done, readers are… reading and my wife is telling me we’ll be late for dinner.
But wait! There’s one last lesson, you (probably don’t) scream! Okay:
Lesson 10: Don’t let fear of failure stand in the way of your dreams. I’ve wanted this since I was young, but it was always too hard, not good enough, wouldn’t be liked and not a priority. Not anymore.
Thanks to those of you who have joined me on this journey. I’ve had some great feedback on these posts from other authors – established and aspiring – and from some readers who enjoyed being a fly on the wall to see how a book reaches market.
I hope those of you who enjoyed the series might consider purchasing The Foundation, so I get to keep doing this and calling it work. If you do, then double thanks, and I hope you enjoy the book. Let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I’m mashing out the sequel.