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Help! I’ve been published!

by on March 4, 2012

So, it’s been three months now since Safkhet Publishing released my first book, The Banned Underground – the amulet of kings.

What has the journey been like?  Well, I can tell you that it has been exhilarating, maddening, frightening, bemusing and perplexing, and damn hard work, probably in equal parts.  Nothing can prepare you for the thrill of opening a large box of books – YOUR books – from the publisher for the first time.  Nothing can prepare you for the terror of standing in a bookshop for the first time, wearing a happy smile, expecting a horde of excited customers to rush at you for a signed copy – and finding that the world, largely, ignores you.

Nothing will prepare you for the hard work of trying to get reviews on the big websites.  If you thought that waiting for an agent or publisher to bother to respond to you ( and I’ve just had one come back to me, with a rejection, after a year!) was maddening, waiting for your reviews to come in is worse!

I am perplexed to learn, although I don’t know if it is true or not, that Amazon buyers do not take you seriously until you have had a poor review.  So, I wanted a poor one. Got one, too. Only 3 stars.  Now, am I supposed to be sad because someone doesn’t like my stuff, didn’t get the jokes, or should I be pleased that now I’ve got the poor review that I (apparently) needed?

What’s going on?  I spend hours on the laptop now, when I need to be -WANT to be – writing the third installment that I’ve promised to my publisher, and instead I’m engaged in chatter with disembodied guys or girls across the world.  It’s called promotion.  If I’m witty, likeable, charming, maybe some will go and buy my book.  But as I only get sales reports every 6 months, how do I know?  And I seem to have found so many places to go and be witty etc etc etc that I’ve lost all sense of time.  m I talking to someone in my time zone? Are they in bed and I’m keeping them awake? Or from their lunch?

I sometimes wonder if I’m lost in cyberspace.  Reality only returns when I open a file, and there are all my characters, yelling : Where the F> you been?  We’ve got a book to finish and need you for the typing!  (They don’t reckon I’m competent to write it, you see, and have insisted on taking over.  I’m only here now for the beer, and to operate the keyboard.  If they ever find out how to do that, I’m finished.  They’ll probably go to the publisher direct.  I mean, they even got to write the dedication to the second book, about to be released.  I wasn’t even allowed to do that.)

All this meaningless rambling comes back to one thing, really.  When I set out to write a book, I didn’t know that I was opening Pandora’s box.  And now, I’m a published author.  Which means that I’m a very different Will from the one who sat down two years ago with a few characters and a head full of bad jokes, and turned on my wordprocessor.

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12 Comments
  1. Never mind Will, it’s all par for the course, I think.

  2. Hilarious! Absolutely hilarious…because it is SO true!

    Well done, Will, a brilliant portrayal of the life and journey of a writer on their way to publication. Determination, damn hard work, grit, tenacity and a dizzying array of social skills needed!

    A real expose` warts and all! Great stuff! 😀

  3. Mixed blessing – to emerge from the underground 🙂

  4. I bet you wouldn’t change a minute of it! especially opening the box of books 😀
    Well done 🙂

  5. Great post, funny!
    To put your mind at rest, I NEVER trust a book or product on Amazon that just has a wealth of 5* reviews and nowt else. Call me cynical but I call that someone who just has a lot of mates (not a bad thing in itself, don’t get me wrong) or who’s been doing what I call “5* swapsies”…

  6. sherylbrowne permalink

    We need to wear a sign. I don’t bite – unless people ignore me! 🙂 Haw, haw. Love it. Well done, Will!

  7. Oh help! Thanks for showing me what I’ve got to come. 😉

  8. kimatsafkhet permalink

    And from a publisher’s viewpoint, I can add that it is just as terrifying… we put so much effort into a book that WE love and believe in only to find that no one else does. Why not do we ask and when we ask 10 people we get 1239 different answers all within 10 seconds.
    We make the book exactly the way we think it should be, order the first copy for the office and then just want to crawl back into bed, not return to the office and hide until it arrives at the office. With shaking hands, we look at it and 7 out of 10 times, there are big problems with the first one.
    But even when they got repaired, we join you in social media and talk to people we never even met about things and books and stuff and sometimes forget what time it is here. The other night, I found myself still sales-taking to a bookstore in America at 2:30am!
    I understand you, Will, I really do!

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