A Note to the Novice Writer

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You’ve worked hard all day and night writing your story. Now it’s published and you’re waiting for reviews. What will people say? Will they like it? Will they hate it? How will I respond? There’s a pool of emotions when it comes to publishing a book for the first time. To be honest, the anxiety never leaves. Each time I publish a new book I get those same jitters all over again. Whenever you put yourself out there to the world, it’s natural to wonder how your work will be received.

Writing is like preparing a meal. You work hard to make sure it’s enjoyable for your guests. The food critics come along---oops I mean the literary reviewers, and they’re checking for the mechanics–style, plot, character development, and overall presentation of the product. All of sudden, your story is broken down into microscopic pieces and examined for surgery. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it can feel like that. Whew! Take a deep breath! Remember, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so try to take the bitter with the sweet-'Que Sera Sera'.

Aside from literary reviews, perhaps your sales aren’t what you anticipated. In spite of changing the price, exploring various genres, participating in blog hops, and anything else you hope will boost sales, you still may not see instant results. Yet, there’s no need to go on a binge by spamming people via social media, and emailing promos for people to buy your book. Inundating people to purchase your books only screams desperation, and it comes across as impersonal. Instead, try engaging people in something other than yourself. The reality is, you really can't force people to buy something they don't want. 

What should I do? You may wonder. Be patient. Although, it's quite normal to feel disheartened by the lows of the publishing industry sometimes, you’re not alone. It's takes a while for a book to catch on. Some may have instant success, but most writers don't. Even if your first book was a hit, and your sophomore book was so-so, that's okay too. Even best-selling authors experience dry spells sometimes, but remember writing is your gift. When you stop writing is when you actually fail. True happiness comes from seeing the smallest accomplishment as a milestone. Success is not always based on the "amount" of people who have purchased your books, but the amount of people whose hearts have been touched by them.



Author Selena Haskins

Selena Haskins is the author of her best-selling book A River Moves Forward. In 2013, recognized Selena as a Top 100 Author.

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