After writing my first novel, I started using the Internet to promote my book. While writing like a mad hatter to finish the sequel, I became involved with a Web site, Twitter and Facebook. I also starting having book signings anywhere I was welcome and a few places I wasn’t. I would even ask people in stores if they liked murder mysteries. If they did, I was on them like a bird on a June bug. Much to my surprise, I even sold books at yard sales.
After three years of meeting other newbie authors in person and on the Web, I have come to the realization that we all have three things in common. The first and most important is passion. In my lifetime I have not met a more passionate group of people. It’s palatable in nature and almost like you could cut the passion with a knife. Each and every one of us could talk for hours about our work – not in an egotistical way, but in a passionate way. We absolutely love what we do!
The second is the look in our eyes. I have looked in the eyes of many authors and the result is always the same. There is a fire behind those eyes and they burn bright with intelligence, eagerness, awareness and (of course) passion. Sometimes it can be a little disconcerting because it’s like looking into a mirror and I wonder if my eyes look so intense. I have never been able to see in my eyes what I see in others, but friends have assured me that I have “the look.”
The third thing is universal madness. Yes, we all must surely be nuts and close to certifiable. Any person who spends every waking moment of every day writing, promoting, facing rejection and ridicule along with praise from some and a stoning from others, must be crazy. With every positive come just as many negatives. Selling your books is like selling vacuum cleaners door to door. We know our work is very good because we put years into writing and promoting it, but that is rarely enough to become a “best seller.” Frustration is the mother of insanity and sometimes it’s enough to put us in a padded cell.
My hat is off to the thousands of newbie writers who have the passion and internal fortitude to attempt to write a novel. The journey is fraught with danger, disappointment and rejection; but at the same time, it can be overwhelming with the pride of accomplishment that you have done something not many ever do in their lifetimes. You wrote and published a novel. It is even more exciting if you have written more than one.
What keeps me from the padded cell? I refuse to succumb until I see my third book on Amazon and UPS delivers my author copies. Part of me keeps wishing the books will never arrive because once they are here; my wife will surely have me locked away in the loony bin.
I’m just saying,