My first publishing experience is not going as expected, and believe me, I didn’t expect much. Amazon and B&N have the book listed, but not complete listings. Neither has the cover art yet, and although Amazon has a description, it does not have the “Look Inside” feature. I spent weeks trying to get hold of Wingspan to find out why they are not listing properly. It took a while for them to answer and when they did, said it was an error on the part of Ingram distributors. Seems very unusual to me that a distributor that deals with millions of books a year would mess up on mine (although Wingspan insists it’s not just me). Today, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I uploaded a cover picture to Amazon and added a book summary to Barnes and Noble’s site by way of a customer review (of course I noted that I was the author). It’s the best I can do at the moment, since it is difficult for me to deal with these sites directly.
You might be wondering what I am doing in the meantime. Am I sitting by the computer all day loading and reloading the online website to see if they’ve corrected the error? Am I staring at my ratings, watching for a change in rank and sales? Well yeah, okay, I do that. But not all day.
What I do in the meantime is write. In addition to my day job as a technical writer, I work daily at completing my next books. While I have always been a writer, I have now reached the status of author. If I want to maintain that status, I need to produce more books, and I need to keep them circulating. Right now I am working on two books simultaneously. Both are for the juvenile audience, but one is straight fiction (bordering humor, depending on your perspective), and the other is fantasy. One is short and simple while the other is a full novel with a pretty complex storyline. You can probably figure out which one I’ll publish first.
Because I have so many other tasks going on in my life – work, family, marketing, etc – it would be easy for me to make excuses not to write. A while back, I proposed a challenge to some great writer friends of mine on a forum called The Writers’ Block. Most of us spend many waking hours writing for other people and not much time writing what we enjoy. Many of my friends have talked about their bestselling novels, the ones that they dream about but never had time to write. I proposed to them that they take time to write a page a day for themselves. A page can take fifteen minutes, or it could take an hour. If you can sacrifice that small portion of your day, every day, it eventually becomes routine. I began taking my own advice. Instead of writing a page a day, I write for an hour a day. It is the hour I get for lunch each day, where I’m just sitting there staring into space, poking at some overly buttered cafeteria green beans. That hour has become vital to my continuity as an author.Writers have to write from the soul. It is our sustenance. Some of us take paying jobs writing ads, articles, manuals, and copy. We have the skill to make someone else’s message clear to the reader. But a true writer cannot live on bread and water alone. We need to take the time to write out some filet mignon, maybe even a little champagne. Writing isn’t about splashing words mechanically onto a page. It’s about splashing creativity and passion onto a page. It’s difficult to get passionate about a client’s sales pitch. That’s why an hour a day of personal writing is so important. Without it, writing is no longer a passion. It’s a job.