Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

The Exhilarating Nausea

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Yes, that is what it feels like – exhilarating nausea. After many years of wanting to publish, or just write consistently, I finally have a book “out there.” I still can’t believe it! I get chills when I see the cover scroll past on someone else’s Facebook timeline, or when I click on it in Amazon. It is the best feeling in the world.

It is also the most anxiety-inducing feeling in the world! 😮 I don’t know what is scarier – the thought of it being a complete flop, or the thought of it being wildly successful…

It is now out there, flaws and all, to be picked apart by friends and strangers alike. My poor baby that I have nurtured and held protectively for these last few years is finally out on its own and I can’t protect it or myself. I have heard from other writers that you should never read your reviews on amazon. They claim that if you get too caught up in the subjective opinions of all your readers you will drive yourself crazy. On the other hand, perhaps some will offer genuinely constructive criticism and wouldn’t that be beneficial to know as I approach book #2?

Some writers say that you can’t get worked up over the reviews because there is no way to please everyone. This is true, I guess, but we have such high hopes when we send our baby out to the masses. 🙂

Other fellow writers say that we shouldn’t worry about the bad reviews. They will happen. Consider, instead, that we went out and did something millions of people never attempt to do. That is the successful journey.

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I have no disillusions. I know that a debut indie published book is unlikely to go viral. I have read various blogs on indie publishing that say the average number sold for an indie book is 250 over its lifetime! For anyone not attempting to publish their own books, let me explain that in most cases 250 books sold will not recoup the costs of a professional editor, cover designer, copyright, ISBN number etc. Is the number so low because the marketing just isn’t there? Or could it be because the market is flooded with people who press publish on their first drafts without putting together a team of trained professionals to help edit? Or is there still a huge stigma on the “indie” thing?

Even books published with traditional publishers are fighting an uphill battle. I was sitting in our guest room the other day where we have floor to ceiling bookshelves on two walls stacked with books. I have bookshelves in other rooms as well. It struck me just how many books are out there to be sifted through before possibly being chosen! The traditional publishing industry average books sold is around 10,000 per title over its lifetime. Sounds great. But consider that this means for every book that sells 15,000 copies, there is one that sells only 5,000; for every book that sells 20,000, you have one that the author had a hard time selling to her mom!  😦

So how do you define success? Before any venture, you should really consider this and write it in your heart.

I think it is a very individual thing. Sure, I would love to be the next J.K. Rowling, and have my book turned into a movie for Pixar or Disney. I would love to have worldwide distribution in the hundreds of thousands! It is good to dream. But deep down, my definition of success is to have one child I don’t know read my book and immediately want to reread it because it delighted him or her. I wrote the story because it delighted me. I kept coming back to it because it continued to make me smile. I can only hope that there are some readers out there who enjoy it as much. ❤

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5 Comments

  1. I love the title of this post, Cheryl. I think that feeling is one most of us can relate to, whether we’re appearing in a play, giving a speech, or waiting to hear the author’s reactions to an edited manuscript. 😉 I am so proud of you for standing up to self-doubt and sharing your book with the world. The day you receive that letter or email from the child who writes, “It’s the best story I ever read,” you’ll wonder why you ever worried!

    • Thanks, Candace! Someone told me the ten year old they bought the book for couldn’t put it down! Made my entire week!! 😊

  2. Hey, I am so glad for you and your book is great. I couldn’t put it down either 🙂 But I think the biggest problem nowadays for financial success of books is that there are so many out there. I am a slow reader and just can’t read lots and lots but there are so many books out there that I still want to read. Both indie- and traditionally published. So many books and hardly any time. Just enjoy that you have a great book with a wonderful cover. I just love it!

    • I am always a bit freaked out by the amount of books I have hidden on my Kindle! I tell myself I won’t buy any more until I read all the ones I have… Hahaha! Oh look, a new book! 😊

      • LOL we understand each other :-)!!!!

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