As you know, I have a lot of conversations with authors of all experience levels. I myself have used indie publishing to put two books in the market and recently, after a number of interactions with a variety of authors, I realized there is a common fear we all have and a common hope. We want people to like our books, which is actually a proxy for them liking us.
Now that may not sound like a revolutionary idea, but I decided it was worth writing about because I have never seen a post about the topic. Much is written about the economics and process of publishing, but what I have learned is becoming an author is an intensely personal and emotional experience. When you put a book in distribution, you are actually putting a bit of your self out there for the world to see. I am not saying that is bad or good. I am just saying what we really hope for is that people will like our book and like us. When they do, it can be very gratifying. Readers may express their appreciation through an email or blog comment or at a book signing. Recently, I was thrilled to see someone really liked my book Eli the Stable Boy becaue she wrote a customer review on Amazon. I have never met her, but here’s what she wrote
A drummer boy story for today!,
What a charming and insightful book! This is the story that teaches our children that they, too, serve God, in their own way! Just as the Little Drummer Boy taught my generation that we all have gifts to give to God, Eli, the stable boy shows our children that they can have a real part in the story God is writing for them!
The illustrations are charming, the story is engaging, and the lesson is well taught, and one that will be remembered for lifetimes. I recommend this story and book to anyone with children.
Her words were a reminder to me of a statement I have made previously,but which I think bears repeating. That is when you publish a book, you have the opportunity to impact the lives of people you have never met, and even if it is just ten or twenty people, it is worth the effort. So don’t let that manuscript sit in your drawer. Get it published and into the hands of readers. Not all of them will like it, but you may find a number of people greatly appreciate your work and that is one of the best things about becoming a published author.