By Patricia Gulley
You…wrote a book.
You wrote a book!
You wrote a book?
Think about these three sentences with the emphasis on either the first or last word. Then think of all the different tones of voice that could be used while saying each of them, and you will have yet another thing an author faces after assuming she/he has finally scaled the insurmountable wall called ‘Published’
And most of these comments come from people you know not the great sea of readers out there in the world who don’t know you from Eve, who you are hoping will buy your book. No, mostly it comes from people you’ve met over the course of your life.
Disbelief that you had any qualifications to do anything, leads to a nanosecond of doubt that they may have misjudged you, followed by the thought that you printed it out on your computer and are hand-selling something that comes on paper with dolly wheel edging. Or they may give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it is an autobiography or family history, and they are pleased they don’t have any interest in it.
Then there is surprise and pleasure that you may now be a celebrity and they can claim they know you. That is usually followed by shock that you haven’t received hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance to be followed by millions more in royalties, and ending with disappointment that you will not be taking them out for lunch.
Fear that you are going to expect them to spend money.
Fear that you are going to expect them to read your book, even though there is the expectation that you will give them a free copy.
Over the years I have read many an author’s first efforts at going out and trying to do the promotion thing. Some have worried about their ability to stand up in front of an audience and talk about themselves or their book, because they remember public-speaking classes from school. To their surprise, this is not half the problem that getting people to show up becomes. From then on, it is the stomach wrenching, ulcer on the way terrors of finding no one has come to see or hear you. Or, they may find themselves sitting or standing at the entrance of a bookstore having to ‘hawk’ the book. I have worried about these things and can understand the Pure Terror it causes.
But no, there is an audience, they know who you are and they have come to see and hear you. Some are good friends, and others are acquaintances that you haven’t seen in a while and you are so pleased they remember you. Until! Skip back up to the top of this blog.
I don’t know if there is a question here, if the published writers have experienced any of this, I’d hate to ask you to recall the incident, much less comment. For the unpublished, it may bring back memories of people to whom you’ve mentioned that you are writing a book, and have experienced those same three sentences.
And to think I thought it would be all marketing and traveling and having a wonderful time trying to find time to write the next one. Oh well!