For the last week I was vacationing in a place I believe to be as close to heaven as you can get on earth, Hawai’i. While there I did little writing for any of my pending projects. What I did write may or may not turn into something, but served more as pleasure than anything else. I did some people watching while waiting in the airport. I found a spark of inspiration (literally, really) that led to a solution of my Joachim dilemma. I’ll tell you more about that in another post. What I want to talk about today is overcoming a bump in my publishing road.
When I arrived home early Sunday morning (like 12:30 am) I thought after some sleep, food and email sorting I would be ready to get Joachim into and out of his cave. That was until I found a review of Aaron’s Revenge. Come join me for a roller coaster ride.
My first response at seeing that I have a review: Excitement, finally my FIRST Review. As writers we all know what it’s like to get that long awaited first review. With shaking hands I click on the button that will reveal someone else’s opinion of my baby, so lovingly crafted and sent into the world. What will I find as I round this bend? Will I continue to soar or plummet int the pits of despair?
This time it was plummet. With comments like; seemed like a first draft, copious editing mistakes, glat character and too short to tell the story the right way sent my heart right into the depths.
Doubts and second-guessing my decisions about Aaron assault me as the ride continues. Questions arise: Do I stop marketing? Do I pull the book from the shelves? What do I do with the hundred books in my office? Have I ruined my reputation before I ever built it?
There are a few small hills: the story has potential, great storyline and personalized response to the reviewers contest win.
As the author I know these comments are not directed at me as a person, but rather at the writing (except for the last one). It still doesn’t make it any easier to face it. I grab onto the positives and slowly start climbing another hill.
A second review, mre positive stuff and I begin to gain a little more perspective. I self published (ie self edited). Apparently even after five read throughs I still did not catch all the errors.
So as I reach the breathing point of this ride I can begin to assess the lessons learned, some I already knew, others new info to digest and take forward.
Lesson Number One: Find someone to professionally edit before publishing.
Lesson Number Two: Don’t be too anxious to push the baby out the door. Make sure they are completely dressed first. Which leads to:
Lesson Number Three: Never release the third book in a trilogy before the first two.
And now where do I go with an already published book. It stays right where it is, but now I look at it with new eyes. Like dealing with a child, I find a new way to respond and learn from my past activities.
Aaron’s Revenge will continue to be available and when the first two books in the series are finished and published (after being professionally edited of course) I will rewrite Aaron’s Revenge and re-release it. Hopefully the first edition will serve as a teaser for the whole series, and compel people to find out the whole story. I will continue to build my reputation and following, so as to overcome the sting of that first review.
Now I take these lesson and begin the steady climb up the next hill. I want to thank Jess and Cheryl- Lynn for their reviews and the inspiration and courage to keep on climbing instead of getting off at the bottom.
The aforementioned reviews can be seen at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8590369-aaron-s-revenge.
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