Shortly after midnight, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, December 13, 2011, a new phase of my life began. It is nearing two a.m. and I’m unlikely to sleep tonight. In fact, it feels as though I might even be holding my breath well into the morning’s light. My debut novel – Harvest of the Heart – has been released. The world (or as much of it as I can reach) will soon begin to judge whether I have a future as an author. Talk about gut-wrenching… this is worse than the night before the state championship meet when I was coaching high school track.
I might be calling this a “soft” release, but it feels hard to me. While most of the people who I hope will buy my book are probably still sleeping, I’m reviewing in my mind all the steps I’ve taken, and have yet to take, in my publishing journey. All you writing veterans out there will read this post and chuckle. You’ve been there, done that. But this is my first time. I’m as nervous as any virgin bride (or bridegroom) on their wedding night. What will tomorrow bring? A joy-filled, endless honeymoon? Or something else?
There will be highs such as this: a few minutes ago, I got my first e-mail from PayPal telling me that Diane V. had purchased an autographed copy of my book. The first one. My wife is already in bed and I hope my fist pump and exultant “YES!” didn’t wake her. And I’m certain there will be lows, too. Dips in sales, rejections from some brick and mortar bookstores who shy away from self-published authors… signings where I sit self-consciously waiting for at least one person to come up and talk to me.
Don’t worry, I’m determined to see this through. My muse demands nothing less. By the end of 2012, I intend to have at least three more books released. I’ll be an old hand by then. Maybe not a grizzled veteran on the literary scene, but at least not a greenhorn, a newbie holding his breath, waiting for someone to say “yes, you have what it takes… you ARE going to make it.”