I’m an author. My first book VILLAIN KEEPER in my debut series was published in February by HarperCollins. Until I was under contract, I thought mainly about writing, and querying agents, and hopefully, one day, someday, being published. And then I WAS published. I’ll be honest. It was all a blur and a surprise, and then there was an amazing hardcover book with a cool cover and my name written on it.
And suddenly there were other exciting (and sometimes stressful) things to think about.
One of those new things which can be especially daunting to me is approaching bloggers and booksellers. And I thought it might be interesting to write a post about how I feel when I do that. (Disclaimer: I can’t say ALL new authors feel similar to how I do, but my guess is at least some do.)
To get straight to the point: I’m a bundle of nerves.
Sometimes, I type out an email or message but I can’t send it right away. I do the same thing with tweets and blog posts. And don’t even get me started on cold calling someone to say hello. I have to replenish my courage periodically. It’s like I have a social media gauge similar to life or magic counters in video games. It takes time for my little status bar to reach to the point where I can do what I want to do.
I’d like to emphasize, too, that almost everyone I’ve met (or internet met) and have chatted books with have been somewhere between polite and super-excited. Book people are generally good people. How could they not be?
But books are very subjective things. People like different stories. That’s what is so great about reading today. There is something for everyone. And I never know if the person I’m talking to is someone who is going to absolutely love my book or someone who may not connect with it.
It’s hard to email someone, tell them about the book, and ask their opinion. Not only that, ask them to post their opinion in PUBLIC. Where other people will see it. It’s scary I tell you. Scary.
And if a blogger is reading my book, the question looms, will he or she like it?
I’m not sure if reviewers, readers, and booksellers always realize how much power their words can wield on authors (or at least on me). Writing and reading are very personal things. Logically, I know some people will love my book more than others. And I know from my experiences as a reader some books speak more to me than others. Logic doesn’t stop me from wanting everyone to love my story and characters like I do, and while I sincerely appreciate it when anyone takes the time to read and review my work, critical reviews still sting.
And it’s not only not-so-great reviews that have power. A nice review or comment can have a profound effect, too. It can replenish my ‘I can do this’ meter straight to the top. It can also replenish my ‘I’m going to write 1000 words today’ meter. (Note: Hmmm. It’s possible I’ve played too many video games over the years.)
When I see that a blogger loved my book, it’s such a great feeling. If I see a bookstore has chosen it for a reading club or a staff pick, my hopes that more people will read it soar. When I see a reader loved it, it makes me remember why I like to write in the first place.
In the end, and despite my nerves, it’s just fun to meet other people who love reading, writing, and books.
About The Author:
Laurie McKay is an author and biology instructor who lives in Durham, NC. When she’s not working, she spends time with her family and her two elderly dogs. Her debut MG fantasy novel, VILLAIN KEEPER (The Last Dragon Charmer #1), is available now! To learn more about her or to see pictures of her dogs (and her family) follow her at lauriemckay.net or on Twitter or Facebook. You can find her book at Goodreads, Indiebound, Amazon, BN, and wherever books are sold.
Thank you so much to Laurie for stopping by to share her thoughts! I’m so glad she was able to share this today. I’m personally planning on reading Villain Keeper soon, and I’m definitely very excited for it.