No, I’m not talking about promoting it. I’m talking about the emotional labour ahead.
So yeah… I wrote a novella. It started as an attempt to write a longer story, and I originally thought that it would be about 10,000 words. I wanted to see if I was capable of creating a coherent longer story, while keeping the plot consistent.
As I plotted it out, it soon became obvious that it was going to be a lot bigger than I originally imagined. Ultimately, it became a respectable novella at 33k words.
Finding my process
One of the things I really, really enjoyed was figuring out my own process. I soon found that I work best at posting a chapter at a time, getting weekly feedback. It also shaped the way the book is written, with each chapter kind of feeling like a little episode of a weekly show, with a clear start, an arc of tension, and an ending that makes you curious about what happens next. I’ve gotten pretty consistent feedback that once you’re hooked, you want to keep reading.
The community is awesome
I’ve had amazing support from friends, both on Fetlife and Mastodon. It’s helped a lot to keep going, and it’s good to be part of a community.
The real work.
But… yeah. The subject of this writing. Now comes the really, really tough part. I’ve written before about how scary it was to take this seriously, because that moment it became something I could fail at.
I wrote how much I feared the crickets, much more than criticism. Partially, the awesome warm responses from my supporters have helped there. I’ve managed to finish it. I was scared, but did it anyway.
But now, I’m really facing the crickets. I’ve been putting it online on all the channels, so soon it should be on Amazon, bol.com, Kobo, etc. The whole kit and caboodle.
Statistically, the most likely outcome is going to be silence.
I’m doing the work now to be OK with that. My natural response is not to do any promotion effort, since it’s likely not to work anyway. But of course, that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I actually need to promote it, put in the work if I want people to read it. And at the same time, I need to be OK with all those efforts being fruitless.
I find myself reluctant to even write this post, because I can picture people already getting tired of hearing me talk about my damn book.
So, I’m going to take a little breather, let it pop up on all the platforms, and then I’m going to market the living hell out of it.
But… I’m not going to make this a success or failure thing. It’s OK if the marketing doesn’t work. The reason I’ll do it is that I spent a ton of time and effort to create something, so it deserves a fair shot at getting out in the world. Anything less would essentially be self sabotage.
Crickets, here I come!