My first book took a little over two years to write. I was so excited to watch that first sale appear on the screen closely followed by a string of 5-star reviews. And then the sales stopped, abruptly.
“So how’s the new book doing?” people asked. The phrase drowning in a sea of other books sprang to mind but I’d usually just shrugged my shoulders and say “good thanks”.
Eventually, I was forced to accept that my efforts had been replaced by a newer, shiny cyber object. Despite this, I continued the soul-crushing ritual of checking my Amazon seller account every morning and every night.
In desperation, I attempted to move the sales needle by brutally editing the entire book. But despite the content shrinking down from 140k words down to just 98k sales were still painfully slow.
Perhaps the book just needed a little more visibility?
A new cover was purchased but when that didn’t work I invested in an online marketing class. I then started to pay for clicks.
But for every sale, Amazon seemed to want a deeper cut. It wasn’t long before the entire process felt like I was playing a crooked slot machine that never actually paid out.
And then reality sets in.
With a family to feed it’s a tough sell to say “hey honey, I’m just going to go write another book”. So I had to do what most aspiring new authors do. I got a real job.
Unfortunately, being 50+ and technically challenged meant my only options were raking leaves or cleaning out mice infested basements. To be honest this was never my dream but hey, it put food on the table.
Some days I feel the need to write like a normal person needs air. I refused to give up on something that is a part of me. I’m not sure if that makes me persistent or simply too dumb to quit.
Every day I’d take a small notebook to work. At every opportunity, I’d scribble reference notes on bits of paper. Later at night, I’d decipher them into some form of coherent structure.
Three months later I had finished my second book which is due to be released in May. This time around, excitement has been replaced by cautious optimism. Perhaps this experience has made me a better writer, I guess only time will tell.