You've done it…finished that labor of love. After months (or years) of squirreling away every free moment and pouring in your heart and soul, THE BOOK is finished! Best of all it's been published! The last hurdle is behind you…right?
Unfortunately unless you're one of the tiny percentage of folks whose work happens to "catch fire" immediately upon its release the journey is just beginning. To write is heavenly….getting readers often seems to be divine! The initial excitement can soon wear thin if the sales are slow and the reviews aren't pouring in, so what to do? As most of us have experienced, ranting at the book gods and bemoaning our fate to friends and family is counter-productive and could even result in mass avoidance and medication!
The best course of action, as with all things is balance…. Keep writing! Don't wring your hands and try to keep the nail biting to a minimum. Let your work speak for itself…DO continue to promote your piece (within reason) but your focus should be on your next work! The best possible thing you can do is to add to your existing presence in the daunting world of publishing. Think of it this way. We all remember those "one hit wonders" on the radio but how many of that groups albums do you own? I would be willing to bet, zero!
The "groups" we remember are those that have a volume of songs out there. If we like several aren't we more likely to purchase the album betting that we'll enjoy those as well? Fans, readers, groupies…..Call it what you will, it boils down to the same thing….A following! By continuing to put forward consistent, quality work your own fan base will grow exponentially. The historic data is out there…MOST working (read paid) authors have written between four and seven published works before they're following grows large enough to become a self sustaining business. Thats an average of ten years of plugging away folks…
Discouraging? Not really…we write because we must! Because its something we love and more importantly, it's the only way to silence those whispering voices! Making a living doing it would be AWESOME…it's the dream and desire of us all and it'll happen….if we're patient and we continue to work diligently. So pull out your umbrella…as an island hopping friend of mine often tells me…ITBECOMINMAN!