This is 11 Books into Legends of Windemere and I’ve published those along with 2 ‘box sets’ and 5 other works since 2013. When I hit ‘publish’ for the first time, I was a nervous wreck because I didn’t know what would happen. So many questions ran through my head and they all revolved around me failing. I had no marketing plan and had only been blogging for 3 months, so I was more lost and scared than I ever dreamed. Everything I do now has stemmed from that first experience that threw me for a loop. Beginning of a Hero sold over a 1,000 copies at 99 cents within 1.5 months. I still have trouble believing it happened and never have a way of explaining it beyond dumb luck. So, why do I bring this up now?
Over the last two years, many people have talked to me as if I have my act together and don’t question myself when I publish. Somehow, I became seen as a professional who knows no fear. Forget that I published the unedited version of The Compass Key and deleted the clean version once. I nearly repeated that stupidity with The Mercenary Prince, but I quickly uploaded the clean one. The mistakes seem to stand out and have clearer explanations than the victories. My books showing up on Top 100 lists? No idea how it happened and I am happy to report that Charms of the Feykin are on a few Top 100 bestsellers now. Near the bottom of the lists, but I’ll take it since the sales are starting off slow. You’d think by now I’d remember that they start slow, but that means I have a week of stress.
The truth is that my nerves are still strained when I release a new book even though the questions have changed:
- Is this the book that will fail?
- Will people continue reading the series after this one?
- Every book sells less than the previous one, so how much will the drop be this time?
- Will the older books get a bump from this one?
- How in the world do I get reviews for these things without getting in trouble with Amazon?
- Can I ever release a book without some emergency happening right before or after it’s done? Seriously, diseases and cracked teeth seem to occur specifically around release times.
It’s surprising to some people that I get butterflies and remain on the verge of panicking after so many books. The thing is that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been at this publishing game. Even the big names have failures, so those of us in the indie scene shouldn’t expect anything else. The trick is to not let the fear win and to push ahead anyway. Write the book, edit the book, publish the book, promote the book, and repeat if necessary. Honestly, I find that moving on to another project helps settle the nerves and kill off the butterflies.