I type this with a HUGE smile on my face, as evidence that I really am an author - a darn good author - really hit me this week. And boy, does it feel good!
As you know, while waiting for traditional publication, I decided to self publish my holiday short story Santa Wore Combat Boots. I must say, for as quickly before Christmas (literally 3 days before) that I put it out I had wonderful reviews and excellent sales (since being a holiday story, I expected them to drop off once the new year hit). Let me tell you, this sweet, touching short story has set me off to a fabulous start. One that I hope the publishing Gods are somehow noticing. (wink, wink) Because of this venture into self-publication, I have fans.
You all can go ahead and laugh, but I expected this when the day comes that I have an actual contract and a bigger entity behind me for distribution. But we're talking it's just me and Amazon. I did nothing but email my family, post on FaceBook and Tweet. Due to the timing and content of the story, I didn't run a contest, I really didn't guest blog anywhere. It was my social loops and word of mouth from my "social loop peeps" who reposted or retweeted.
But because of this wonderful short story, I have built a fan base. There are actually people out there reading my work who are no relation to me what-so-ever! They are not long lost friends from school, co-workers or relatives. They are anonymous people who I have never met. They are giving me reviews, they are emailing me.
This week I received a message in my FB in box from a woman who said she loved my story and hated for it to end. She wanted to know if/when I was going to have another one out. I had a graduate student come to my office this week because she downloaded my book (read it, loved it, loved the cover) and didn't realize I was an employee until someone told her. She was excited to meet me (yeah, ME?? really??) and we talked writing and books for about thirty minutes. I felt like a celebrity. (I really did)
Then I received potential covers for my upcoming release of Bet On Love. I'm thrilled with them, but have to choose between the two. Hmmm....I let them gel overnight, so I will be making a decision later today.
So between the cover art and reader feedback, this has been a perfect ending to my work week. I think as writers we are always looking for validation, even in the smallest form.I guess I'm so surprised because Santa Wore Combat Boots is a short story. While yes, I wanted this kind of attention and feedback, I just never dreamed it would do so well in such a short amount of time. Every once in a while I wonder how well it could have done if I'd gotten it out before Thanksgiving? And to think that people who have read it and seriously looking and anticipating another book from me. I'm wowed and humbled at the same time. <G> I have fans.
It's amazing how a compliment can give you a boost! Today, I feel like I can take on the world.