For those of you who also self publish, see if this sounds familiar to you:
You have completed your very first novel. You send it out to your friends to read hoping for feedback. You take what you thought was a finished manuscript through several revisions, pouring over the text until your eyes threaten to burn out of your head, reading and rereading the text until you’re nearly sick and disgusted with your own story. If you’re fortunate, you may have even sent it off to a professional copy editor.
It’s finally ready and you upload the work you’ve spent the last several months bleeding over to the distribution platform of your choice and triumphantly announce to your friends and family: ZOMG, I’M PUBLISHED!!!
The next few days are exciting. You see sales reports spike almost instantly. If you’ve produced a print copy, you might even see several copies of these ordered at one go. Maybe you start to think about speaking engagements and book signings. No shit: you could definitely see your baby being adapted into a screen play some day.
After this all too brief honeymoon period, sales sputter and drop down to a goose egg. Inevitably, you realize a hard truth: that initial spike was only your friends and family. If you want to get your work any more play, you’re gonna have to start hustling. Hard.
While I’m incredibly grateful to my friends and family for purchasing those first initial copies, this particular thank-you goes to the strangers I’ve never met (trickling in slowly, of course, but still trickling!) who have decided to invest a little time in the unproven story telling abilities of a completely unknown author.
And, to the guy or gal out in the UK: cheers!