I should know--I published my first full-length work, "The Charismatics," two and a half weeks ago.
During the last six months, I've felt a lot of things--excitement with my new fantasy world, finding my true passion in life, and beginning the journey to turn said passion into a career--doing something I loved day in and day out and planning to make a living with it.
I imagined changing lives with my writing. Making a lot of money so that I could give it away, starting charities and bringing awareness to current ones, all while I continued to translate the beauty and sadness and feelings from this Earth into stories that readers would relate to, love, remember. Hold onto. Cry from.
As I said, my debut novel, "The Charismatics," released a few weeks ago. Reception has been fantastic so far--I've got a number of four and five star reviews on Amazon, some from readers I don't even know (this is huge; validation that their words and critiques are not because they personally know me).
But how have I felt since the release? In one word?
You heard me. Blah. BLAH.
But why? Well ... I think the main reason is something a lot of authors go through when they've published their first novel; you've spent two months or six months (in my case) or one year or five years honing this thing into something readable, sellable, and now it's out there in the world, and NOW all you can do is wait.
Wait for the reviews to come.
Wait for the numbers to get higher.
Wait for your royalties from Amazon to deposit in your account sixty days after a sale.
Wait for that better-known author/reviewer to give your work a chance, possibly to share it with their readership and gain more sales and more clout.
So what do you do now that you've published this book baby and it's ALL in the readers' hands? What do you do as a debut indie author, someone who has perhaps slaved over this written work for many, MANY nights, infusing it with your heart and soul and fears and doubts and desires and hopes?
I'm just gonna lay it all out there on the table for you--from one writer to another. There's nothing to be ashamed of in feeling sad about your sales numbers, or apathetic when it comes to sending the novel to more book bloggers for reviews, or dejected when the library refuses to carry your self-pubbed masterpiece. Here are the things I've thought, learned from, and plan to do since publishing my first book ... and maybe they will help you a little to consider, too.