My Novels Did Not Make the Earth Move. Or Did They?

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.

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7 Responses to “My Novels Did Not Make the Earth Move. Or Did They?”

  1. Laurie Foston Says:

    One and a half stars, huh? By whom? Someone is not reading it but they are already mad at you, eh? I think I really read into it that you are just being modest and still a little chipper with the launch.

    One and a half? Good job! This starts a good debate.

    I will post my review within the week. Actually unless there is someone’s name posted, the stars showing up are insignificant. Anyone who gives a review must give their reason for the number of stars if it is too low or five stars. Otherwise their rank as a reviewer will fall fast. .After it reaches a bad percentile, they are no longer considered a useful reviewer and are removed from the list. From my understanding, it works like negative comment on a thread that serves no purpose. After so many people vote them as useless they are deleted or the post is hidden. Amazon deletes them if they violate a rule. Otherwise they are automatically hidden due to so many votes that the post is not helpful.

    It takes months after you launch something for people to wake up. Remember the shot that was heard around the world didn’t hit a target.

    I got the paperback of “More Deaths Than One” today and will pick up on Chapter 6 tonight. It is very fast paced and as you said, “The words disappear after you read them…only the story sticks with you.” Or something like that.

  2. CJ West Says:

    Congratulations on releasing your work out into the world. I know how big of a step it is and I hope you will receive many kind words from readers who enjoy your hard work.

    It is hard to be heard above the clamor of a million voices. There’s no sure way to the top, but I hope you find your audience wherever and whoever they may be.

    Congrtulations.

    CJ

  3. Kenna Says:

    Pat ~ I hope you keep that spark, and I am certain that you will handle whatever comes along with grace; it’s the kind of person you are!

    Step back and pat yourself on the back when you look at the arduous journey behind you.

    Then get that nose to the grindstone of promotion!!

    Pulling for you all the way,
    Kenna

  4. ~Sia McKye~ Says:

    Pat,
    The sun always moves from light to shadow to light again. As it moves, it changes the angle of light. What isn’t seen at present is clearly seen in a few minutes.

    You’ve written a good book, you’ve worked hard and will continue to work hard, to promote it. Step and have faith in not only your abilities to tell a good story, but take a deep breath and look at what you’ve accomplished! Savor the moment of a job well done, of a story well told.

    Let down is very normal when we’ve geared up to climb Mt. Endeavor. All the plans, hard work, the checking and double checking the quality of the equipment, maps of the best path to take, your climbing gear, and finally launching the climb. Right now you’ve found a nice ledge with a rock to sit on. Take in the scenery, rest a bit, look at how far you climbed. Check out that steep face you’ve come up. Now, check your map, pick your next goal and climb. You can do it!

    As far as Amazon, I agree with Laurie, unless he’s a Eveyln Woods speed reader, one star means nothing. It smacks of jealousy and a desire to see you fail as he has. And if he’s a speed reader, he wouldn’t have gotten the story anyway. Yours are meant to open the door to another world where ordinary people become heroes by going against the odds and doing extra-ordinary things.

    Much like you, my friend! 🙂 Enjoy your climb…

  5. L.C. Evans, author of Night Camp, Jobless Recovery and Talented Horsewoman Says:

    Pat,
    Well said. Writing books is such a roller coaster ride, from the high of seeing the book in print to the low of being ignored by readers. Then there’s the book marketing. Ugh! I’d rather be writing. And there’s the real reward, the joy of creating other worlds.
    Your books are on my to buy list. Stay positive.

  6. A. F. Stewart Says:

    I’m sure your books will be a big success.

  7. joylene Says:

    I totally understand, Pat. After I published my first novel, neighbours in the immediately area looked at me wide-eyed. As if they were seeing me for the first time. Yet, I felt exactly the same as I had the day before. I’m still me. You’re still you. What’s different is we’ve left an even bigger mark. In the end, maybe it’ll all mean something clearer. For now, I think we should just enjoy the now of our lives. The right now.

    Have a great moment.


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