You write a novel, you hate your novel, you love your novel, you edit your novel, you’re scared by your novel.
But mainly: you don’t know what the hell you feel about your novel.
Wait, yeah, you do know: If you’re novel was a person who came knocking on your door, you would floor it instantly.
…and then you actually do it. You find someone to format it — a pain — and you upload your book on Amazon, or wherever else you see fit.
Then you start the promotional stuff. This, in a bizarre kind of a way, is the fun — if terrifying — bit. Free of the woes of editing, you’re able to tell the world about your book. Yeah, woo! You don’t need to hide anymore. The book is real now. People can read it, consume it, and, with any luck, love it as much as you do (OK, not as much as you do. Much as you went through stages of hatred towards your book — to put it mildly… — a bond exists between you and it that no other human being will ever be able to appreciate).
When I started promoting The Number 3 Mystery Book I expected I’d send out countless emails and nothing would happen (read about anything Number 3 related here). My pessimism in this case is hilarious, if not downright odd — I am, and have always been, exceedingy optimistic about everything in life (you have to be to write a book; either that or just very, very bored). But what you have to remember, when promoting your novel, is just that: it’s your novel. To those people you’re contacting, you’re just another stranger who has written a book.
Let’s not talk statistics…let’s just say that most novels that are written are absolutely awful. So why do you think that a stranger should take you seriously?
So…because I didn’t expect anything at all, I felt completely free when I started sending my promo emails out. This made me happy and allowed me to keep on going, which was essential. So, as the days passed and no replies came in, I wasn’t at all bothered. In fact, if anything, I treated it like a race: how many emails can I send out before I get a response?
Then a reply came through which knocked me totally sideways. It was from the owner of an LA based website (ABLE Foundation), and her name was Jihan Cazares.
Jihan’s email was nothing less than amazing, and I quickly learned that the ABLE Foundation was very much in line with the concept of my novel, and with my aim to spread awareness about disabilities while also creating a book which would entertain. Not only was she extremely positive about my novel — I had sent her a rough description and a link to the page on Amazon US — but she wanted to know more about it and was even asking about if I’d be doing paperbacks (which I am…more on that in the very near future). Jihan may not have realised this at the time, but that email really mattered to me. To have a total stranger get back to me so quickly — and with the kind of friendly, enthusiastic tone usually reserved between good friends — was mind-blowing. Not only did it make me feel as though my book could potentially have mass interest, but it made me realise that it isn’t all about the sales. Sometimes it’s just about an email, a smile, and a spring in your step.
So, thanks Jihan!