Juggling Act

I’m almost through editing proofs for my novel to be made available in paper to the public. I’m super excited about this. I have people waiting in line for the damn thing. I had no idea what to expect, being new at this, but man, I am past ready to get those books out.

I’ve also learned a whole lot about what’s expected of an author. No one really tells you this when you start out, but when you are an author, you are a manufacturer of a product. Eventually, if you’re lucky, you have many products, but when you’re brand new, you have one item, and that’s what you make and sell. You have to sell the books in order to make money. Even if you aren’t in writing to make money, you want people to read your work, otherwise you’d be content to let your words languish in your hard drive.

It’s important to note that while all this is going on, I am also writing my second book. I am having title gridlock and have renamed the beast five times now, so I am not going to share my current title yet. I want to wait until I get a beta reader to brainstorm titles with me. I will say that it’s an Urban Fantasy, based out of Seattle, but not always in Seattle. I’m interested to see if I get better sales with Urban Fantasy than I do with Sci-Fi. I hope so, because Urban Fantasy is my favorite genre personally. On the other hand, I have about five books outlined in The Corsican’s world, whereas this current book is sort of a stand alone story.

I never used to consider these things. For better or for worse, I’m aiming to become an author, making her living off of her wordsmithing. I am driven to getting my career off the ground, and I’m enjoying the hell out of the ride.

And the Oscar goes to..

Imagine for a moment you’re watching the Oscars for best lead actress. Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, and Drew Barrymore sit in fine gowns, hands on their laps, maybe biting their lip, or maybe concentrating on whatever deity helps them persevere. Every brow is knitted, waiting for the moment when the seal is broken, the contents revealed. One of them gasps, their eyes going wide, adrenaline seizing them despite their fine control of the human condition.

That was how I felt on Monday.

It’s true, I didn’t win a prestigious award, but I got the call from my publisher, informing me that my book is live on Amazon. I also knew this distinction was in the pipe, that it was just a matter of time before the deed was done. It didn’t matter. All the foreknowledge in the world did not stop me from feeling like I’d won some amazing prize. My hard work vindicated, my life’s goal achieved. I shook like a leaf. I know it’s silly, but it’s true. It was real.

I was unprepared for the well wishes, the support, and the general celebratory air. I was also unprepared for all the extra work. As a first time author, there were just a few items that you should do, but since they aren’t necessary to do, I didn’t realize them until people began asking me questions like, “Where’s your Good Reads account?”

Good Reads, Amazon, and Facebook all offer ways to make yourself accessible as an author. They all have different ways to determine your authentic author status, Facebook being rather negligible, but GR and Amazon having fair practices. They are easy websites to navigate. If you are mildly technically savvy and know what a blog, a profile picture, and a URL are, you’re set. There are tutorial tabs and slideshows for how to connect one site to another. It takes a few minutes to get everything set up, but I believe it’s a wise few minutes spent.  Here’s an example of my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/author/tinashelton

I have also discovered that despite the growing number of people buying e-readers, the interest in print books is not going away any time soon. I had twice as many people want a print book over an e-book when given the option, despite the e-book’s price being considerably lower. It’s catching on, but I don’t know if I’d call for a panic about losing the printed word quite yet.

All this in the face of starting a brand new job, and catching a cold besides. Even if Anne Hathaway deserves the Oscar for her performance as Catwoman, she’s still got to get up in the morning and get to the studio for Rio 2. The show goes on, after all.