I loved the blog tour and meeting new people. I loved hosting guest posts here on my own blog. The reviews have been positive, and really wonderful – the people who’ve read the story are excited about it. And I really love that something I wrote could make someone laugh or smile. I’ve gotten a couple of comments now that people wish it was a full length novel! Always something that’s nice to hear!
Trying to get reviewers for PfH lined up was a challenge (always looking for more if you’re interested!) – I think it can be harder with a short story as there aren’t quite as many outlets for reviews. And as I don’t know a ton of book bloggers (and most want full-length stories) it’s been a little difficult figuring out where to look.
I’ve discovered that Self-Promotion isn’t one of my strengths yet. I really need to learn for next time how to approach it better and what other outlets I can use to reach readers. I hate feeling like I’m hocking my book every chance I get, but at the same time, people can’t buy it if they don’t know about it! (If you’d like to pick up a copy from Amazon, you can click here 😉 ) And to be honest, I haven’t actually sold a ton of copies yet. I know this is a marathon and not a sprint, so I didn’t have huge expectations for selling a hundred copies right out of the gate, but I found myself getting a little discouraged and disappointed that the number wasn’t bigger. That is completely my fault – I always put a ton of pressure on myself and get some unrealistic expectations, but at the same time, I don’t think I promoted my release as much as could have.
I think what’s surprised me most about having a story “published” is that my writing is now Out There. It was terrifying at first – to be honest, I’m not really good at sharing my work. I have my crit partners and a few beta readers, but other than that, I don’t let people read my stories – not a great trait for someone who wants to be an author! Heck, I didn’t even tell my family I was going to have a short story published until Christmas! Even worse, I didn’t let the Other Half read Princess for Hire until a month before my release date because I was so scared that he’d hate it! (Luckily he didn’t)
Well, now it’s all out there for anyone and everyone to read. They’re going to judge me on the story, on if they like it or hate it. And I’m going to have to deal with that. Now that I have a couple of good reviews under my belt, I feel a little more confident in my abilities, and I think I’ll be able to deal with any negatives that come in. And this has certainly been a fantastic experience in learning about what works for me and what doesn’t.
After all that, you know what the scariest thing was about this whole publishing thing? Sending a copy of Princess for Hire to my Mom. I felt sick for an hour afterward, thinking that she was reading it at that very moment! What if she hated it? What if she thought I was a terrible writer? I’m not sure why I was so terrified – except she was the one that instilled my love of reading. She was an English teacher while I was growing up and taught me a love of words. She devours more books that even I do. And she’s not a big fantasy fan.
But when she called later that day, the first words out of her mouth were, “Where’s the rest of it?! I want to read more!”
I think that made this whole journey worth while.