Monday, November 18, 2013

The Pleasant Discoveries of a Debut Author

Hey guys, I'm still taking applications for the Crit Club, but due to other commitments, I'll have to close up at the end of this month for the January critique round. So if you're interested in joining, get in touch asap!

These last couple months have been a real ride. I've lost control of my book! Since October 8th it's been in the hands of people whose sole purpose is to decide whether they like it and tell other people what they think. And since November 4th, it's been in the hands of readers - the real litmus test.

There've been a lot of surprises and discoveries along the way - some good, some bad. I'll talk about the bad another time. Today I wanted to talk about the good.


#1 - Reviewers are generally nice, kind people who get excited about books. Even mine.

Something I hadn't considered before embarking on getting my book reviewed was that, as a general rule, most reviewers want to read books they think they'll enjoy. Most of them won't agree to review a book they aren't attracted to. What does that mean? It means when someone says "Yeah, I'll read it." I've already got one foot in the door. They've already decided that my book appeals to them. They're predisposed to enjoying it.

I just have to deliver on the promise! (Whether I consistently can remains to be seen).

#2 - No one's joking when they say the very best social media marketing is having successful people talk to their followers about your book.

The day two NYT bestselling authors and a popular reviewer talked to each other (briefly) about Breakable? Yeah, that. In the span of 30 minutes I had two new reviewers contact me, several new followers, and some promised book sales. That was a day of happy dances, let me tell you.

#3 - Facebook is my best friend.

This is one that really took me by surprise. It turns out, the VERY best online marketing tool (for me anyway) is people sharing my book with other people on Facebook. Especially if the sharer is a book blog / reviewer, or an avid reader with lots of avid reader friends. Makes me wish I'd given more time to my facebook page BEFORE the release...

#4 - People really do get excited about the fact that I've got a book out. And not in the "nod and smile" kind of way.

I've always loved my family and friends, and felt loved by them. But I am literally staggered by the support they've given me in this (one particularly loving sister has bought 9 paperback copies so far - and counting!)

I think deep down I thought no one really cared that much, they were just happy for me to be doing something I loved to do. But it turns out the people around me are genuinely impressed and proud that I've written a book. And I'm sure their friends and family are getting sick of hearing about it!

#5 - Readers don't write fake reviews.

I think of all the milestones I've hit and fun I've had in the last couple weeks, there's been one stand-out moment: the first time a person who didn't know me from Adam heard about and bought my book, then reviewed it. With zero input from me, they loved it and told all their friends why.

It's an experience I've wanted since I was little...and it's happened. It still feels surreal.

Other than all that, it's been a crazy couple of weeks. I'll be posting more about it and the nitty gritty behind the scenes over the next few weeks. But until then, check out all the great ratings and reviews for Breakable on Goodreads (I didn't pay for or co-erce a single one. Promise!). Or get really brave and buy a copy!

Your Turn: What expectations / hopes do you have for YOUR debut?


  1. I'm terrified at the prospect of putting my work out there in published format for the world to rip apart. Like, high-pitched anxiety in my chest, weak-kneed, fuzzy-headed, dry-mouthed TERRIFIED. I keep thinking I shouldn't do it.

    That's not every day, mind you. Some days I'm excited and confident. But it's pretty bad today-- and I'm not even looking at releasing anything until late spring.

    I may be in the wrong business. :)

    1. Hmmm... I'm sorry you're feeling that way. But I'd highly recommend the experience. If you've done your work ahead of time it will be a MAJORLY positive experience. Even if you don't have millions of people buying it, you will have readers join your world. Which is just plain cool. Totally worth the odd scathing comment or poor review. Totally.

    2. You make an excellent point. On a less Piglet-ish day (when it's hard to be brave when you're such a small animal), I will totally agree with you. There's not much that's more exciting to me than having someone read my work and fall in love with my worlds and characters. That's why I'm doing this, and I need to remind myself of that more often. Thank you. :)

      PS- LOVE the new home page! Great concept, beautiful look.

    3. Here's to more Pooh days, and fewer Pigletish! And thanks :)