“I’m sure you do. But could you please not think big? Think small for a change like – baby steps small or not kneading the million dollar dough small just because you think your unpublished manuscript is the next big thing.”
This is the conversation my brain had with me when I finished writing Aoife & Demon.
I was ecstatic. I could see my book swat and flick Cullen along with his numerous sequels and prequels and movies and fan base off the shelves and cyberspace like a bad bug while the universe swiftly forgot him and his ilk (Damon of VD and Harry of Potter being ilk) to worship my Demon…
I saw all this happen while the said to-be-worshipped manuscript was still a simple Word document at risk of being erased with a single careless press of the wrong button. And no one would’ve missed it except Shami and me.
Yes. We first time writers are paranoid.
It becomes harder when some of us don’t realize how important it actually is to set tiny goals simply by virtue of being a novice in the field. I was lucky I learnt it fast or else this journey from bottom up that every new writer has to endure would’ve been a real test of
Writing a manuscript to its finish is something but not nearly everything. In the grand scheme of things in our harsh writing world, it is indeed a key ingredient but it is only an ingredient; not the entire dish.
I liken it to making tea.
To make tea I need a teabag. Or a bag of tea. That would be the manuscript. But my teabag alone is not enough. In fact, it may even leave a bad stain if not used properly as asked for by the recipe so it’d be best to leave it in the closed canister till I have procured water, a kettle to hold that water and a stove to heat that kettle with water to immerse the teabag in. Then! And only then would the true colors of my teabag be unleashed.
Similarly, my manuscript needs a publisher; an agent to snag that publisher or a platform to be that publisher (self-publishing); an editor to help snag the agent and/or obtain useful information regarding said platform that would help eliminate both the agent and the unsnaggable publisher; find a cover designer and beg, threaten or honestly pay the person to do the job or save money and do it myself blah blah blah wait for a year before the completed manuscript that was already a best seller in my mind can actually take tangible book form in the real world.
And then – I wait for it to sell.
So, I hire a publicist. Or I market it myself through my skin. And then wait for YOU the reader to recognize my talent beyond all obstacles (Cullen and ilk), buy my book and rate it well too. If I sell well, my publisher may be happy to keep the book for more than a year in stock or else I’m chopped after 12 months max. If I’m self-published, it’s a long way to everything from everywhere unless the readers really really like what my books
offer. A price tag of 99 cents is a good hook. How many units do you think should I sell at that price before I can make my millions to buy my mansion?
I know. I hate math too :)
On the flipside, I can be wise and take all this into account and dream of achievable goals. Goals like just getting my name out there with the very first novel, enticing readers with cost cuts, give aways, engaging social contact via social media, letting them read some of my other stuff too, promoting fellow authors since we all sail in the same rocky boat, so on and so forth. And wait. Be patient. Stow away that blissful thought of making millions overnight for a bit, work hard and true and wait because talent always pays. Sooner or later. If I honor it and hone it, it will shine through.
Amen to that dream!