My debut novel officially launches today, and I am equal parts excited and scared (any Into the Woods fans out there?)! I’ve learned so much in this endeavor about writing, publishing, and marketing, but I’d be lying if I said I really know anything about any of it yet.
One unfortunate setback is that I will not have hardcovers for this novel—at least not right away. I had initially planned on using Barnes & Noble for hardcovers (and as a second option for paperbacks), but I haven’t had great luck with their platform. As publishing day approached, I received glitchy error messages from the website, and I didn’t want to take a chance on having print issues. So, unfortunately, my book will only be in paperback and eBook for the time being.
Although it wasn’t my ideal publishing scenario, I’m not terribly disappointed by it. This simply allows me to learn more about Amazon’s print platform before moving on to the next.
Being an indie author means wearing a lot of hats. It can be overwhelming, especially for a recovering perfectionist. I know I’m not perfect, obviously, but I put far too much pressure on myself to try to be. This process has taught me I’m going to have to let go of that. I can do my best and learn from my worst.
And that’s what every book should be for its author—a learning experience and a chance to grow in the craft. I’m learning more about writing so that I’ll improve every time I write. I’m learning about marketing plans that I can implement for my next book. I’ve learned how to create a website. Boy, that was difficult for me.
I’ve recently started watching YouTuber Sarra Cannon of Heart Breathings, and she had some comforting words to say on the subject of writing and publishing. To paraphrase, she said she had no following and very little knowledge about marketing or publishing when she put her first novel out there, but she kept going. She learned along the way and improved, and now this is her career.
Everyone’s journey is different, and I am proud of what I have accomplished. I wrote a novel (with a second one in the works), put it out there, and put myself out there (the hardest part of all).
So, to summarize: My novel is available for purchase today. I have mixed emotions about it. But I did it, and that’s pretty cool!