As most of you know, I released my third novel, Fresh Ice, this past December. It is exhausting, especially for someone who is self publishing, to release a book. I don't know a single author, whether e-pubbed or traditionally published, who isn't working a "real" job doing something else. We are office workers, nurses, full time moms, teachers, volunteers, mentors, full time dads. We have to go to the job, help out at school, bake cookies, make costumes for a play, buy groceries. Writing, editing, publishing, and marketing a book? That's going to have to happen in the wee small hours of the day when we are also doing laundry, writing thank you notes, returning emails, and making lunches for the next day.
So when someone who self publishes puts out a book...it doesn't mean they're done writing, but it does mean they're done publishing...at least for a little while.
Maybe it's my own fault. My first book, Dream in Color, came out in 2010 after a long editorial process and it was my first so not only did I have that one ready to go, I had my other novel, Lies in Chance, ready to rock and roll. I e-pubbed Lies in Chance less than a year after Dream in Color came out and then I did a re release of Lies in Chance in early 2012 as a print book as well as the digital copy.
And then Fresh Ice came out at the end of 2012. So for those, like my co-worker, (yes, the whacky one I'm writing about right now) who read Dream and Lies in a single weekend and then read Fresh Ice last weekend, it seems like I cranked out a ton of books very quickly. The truth is, I'd been working on Dream for six years and Lies, well, the final version of Lies in Chance took me a nice round 30 years to do. And Fresh Ice, with all the fits and starts, took me two years. I'm getting better, but turning out a book is still a thing that takes time.
Those of you who work the way I do, you know what I mean. The simple act of finishing a novel, getting to the words, "THE END" seems like a huge mountain to climb given all the time constraints we have in our real lives. We'd like to rest, to take a break for a minute to breath.
And then we go to work, where your Whackadoodle coworker has read all the words, and critiqued them and complained about things she didn't like so much you're to the point where you doubt you're going to let her even know you're thinking about the plot for another book, and she says this:
"So when's the next book coming out?"
Now, if she'd asked that one time, I would smile and say, "I'm working on it." But she asked me this four times...a day...for four days. And that was the first four days after she'd read Fresh Ice.
I'm working two jobs, active in my church, raising two teens, four cats, and a very nice husband. I've got a mother who expects me to be at family gatherings, and a body that seems to create its own health issues every other day. When's the next book coming out?
Don't get me wrong...I love that people love the stories I've written. I thrive on emails I get, Face book posts, and oh yes, those all so important reviews on Amazon. (If you've read it and you liked it, please tell others!)
But it's not like we authors drink a cup of coffee and then spew out brilliant 80K word stories that touch the heart and make the reader turn the page. It doesn't work that way, not in the real world. It's a process. I'm better at it than I was ten years ago, but I'm still forced to work in the fringe hours of the morning and night to get words on paper.
Friends, if you're a writer burning the candle at both ends like I am, know you're not alone. I know we work as hard to bring a book to light as many of us have raising our kids. And if you're a reader falling in love with our stories, you have no idea how much we appreciate you, your support, and your feedback.
But we also need your patience.
That next book is coming...I just have to make a couple more pots of coffee!