Monday, 20 February 2023

Publishing Highs - The Creative Process

PUBLISHING HIGHS

I have been published for eighteen years this August, and over that time I have released twenty books, with my twenty-first hopefully coming this year. I thought that it would be nice to look back over some of the highs from publishing, and next week I'll talk about some of the lows as well, just to balance things out. For those who don't know, I am a young adult indie author that writes across many genres, and I have no plans to change any of that.

I've been thinking about how to structure this piece, because while I want to talk about publishing highs, of course they're only going to be the ones I've experienced. While I would love to talk about other people's, I don't wanna jump into their space and ask about it. I will try and relate back those highs and what they mean for publishing as a while, but just bear with me!

HIGH #1: THAT FIRST COPY
When I was twenty-three, my d├ębut book, BLACKOUT, was published. I can still remember the day when those author copies arrived and I was looking at and holding my very first copy of my very first book. I will say that every book since, I've had that same rush and that same feeling of accomplishment, and when I look over at my shelf that has all of my books, I can't help but feel proud of myself, and just in awe that this is my life. I love my job, and while it doesn't pay me enough to live off of, I do know that I'm very lucky in being able to do this for a living.

HIGH #2: THAT FIRST GLOWING REVIEW
I'm talking about the first five star, though it doesn't have to be a five star to be a glowing review. I went indie when I first published, so I didn't have the reach, and still don't, that trad pub authors have. That said, I do remember my first glowing review. It was from a young girl who'd written to me and told me how much my book made her want to keep reading, made her find a love of stories again. I still have the letter, still have the review she left, even though it's been many years since then. The letter itself is in my release party album, and I go back to it from time to time just to remind myself why I keep writing the stories I'm writing.

HIGH #3: HITTING A MILESTONE
Now for me, I always had the idea that I'd like to sell over 10K books, and I'm happy to say that I reached it many years ago, and I can't begin the describe the feeling that went along with that. This was early in my career, I think I have four books out and I was just over the moon. Now I've not kept track of many sales milestones since but I always remembered how it felt to hit that mark and know that you've reached all these readers and the like.

HIGH #4: AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

I've been lucky enough to win three awards and been short-listed for another. I can't begin to tell you all the emotions that went through me when I first got that initial award. I'd actually won two, for two different books, and it was beyond my wildest dreams to be finally able to call myself an award-winning author. It's not just awards, but that recognition that goes with it, and other accolades you can get when your writing and work are recognised as something to be celebrated. I remember getting the first email, and knowing I couldn't tell anyone because everyone in my life was fast asleep, and it was hell trying to sit on that and not blurt it out to the world!

HIGH #5: MEETING READERS IN PERSON/ONLINE

I've been lucky enough to do four signings in person, and have my fifth coming up in July. I adore signings because you get to meet readers in person, chat with them, sign your books, and mostly just get to know them and what they love about your work. It can be the same when a reader will reach out to you in DM or on Twitter and the like, and let you know just what they felt reading your work, and how they connected to the characters and the plot and the like. It's another amazing feeling, and just, again, makes me remember how lucky I am to call this my job.

So there we go, those are five of my personal favourite highs when it comes to publishing. Do you have any? Lemme know in the comments!

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