This is the first day of my post-book-launch-week life, and I feel just the same. The past couple of days I felt a bit let down when I realized my book release did not make the earth move. Well, there was that earthquake in Italy, though I don’t think I had anything to do with it. But you never know. If a butterfly flapping a wing in the Amazon can cause a typhoon in Malaysia, perhaps the ripple of my books being released into the atmosphere of the literary universe could have become so magnified as to make the earth quake, but I hope not. I would not want all those deaths and injuries on my conscience.
But today I feel . . . well, I feel released. Getting the books published has been a long, hard journey, from the first word to the final product. A journey that took almost a decade. I have to admit, though, that these past few months have been the hardest — months of always being a step away from publication, months of knowing that the books were almost ready but not quite. But all that is past. As Goethe wrote, “There is only the eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the elements of the past.”
So now it’s time to build my future out of those past elements, though as what I don’t know. A published author whose books people love? An author who sinks into the slime of “never heard of her”? A desperate self-promoter screaming “looka me, looka me” to an uncaring cybercrowd? Whatever happens, I hope I will handle it with grace.
I’ve already been baptized into the realm of anonymous ratings. I noticed on a couple of sites that my books have a one-and-a-half star rating, which means that two people had to have rated them, one with a single star, one with two stars, yet as far as I know, no one has read my books. A few people might have received their order by now, but no one has emailed me to say what a fool I am to think I could write. On the other hand, no one has emailed me to say they loved the books. Which means . . . nothing.
I know I have an incredible task ahead of me. Promoting a book in today’s market is like tossing a pebble in a gravel pit. Who can find one book or one pebble among so many? And yet, if the sun shines just so, if a spark catches someone’s eye, perhaps it will be found and treasured.
And maybe, just maybe the book will make the earth move.