Last year, on August 23rd, my debut novel Asylum released to the world. It was an amazing, exciting time! I had a book release party with some friends at a special location. My very best memory, though, is handing the book to my mom and watching her as she read the dedication. What a wonderful moment!
So 27 reviews, 5 book signings, 2 author events, and one writers' conference later, I'm not where I had hoped to be as an author. But in some ways, I have exceeded my expectations.
I had hoped Asylum would be met with great success. With a million plus readers clamoring for the next book, the news of a movie deal would thrill us all. (Yes, I am a fiction writer...'cause this isn't happening!) What can I say? I'm a dreamer...
Reality: Asylum is a print-on-demand book, so no bookstore will touch it. I had to convince Barnes & Noble to let me do a book signing there, only because I was a former employee. My book also had a return program attached to it, but other bookstores I've approached shut me down as soon as "print-on-demand" comes up. Sales have been mostly though friends and family. (Thank you guys for believing in me!) And my dear mama buys them and hands them out like they are candy.
Self-publishing is hard. Let me clarify by saying that my book was traditionally published by this self-publisher, but I still deal with the same stigmas that follow self-published works. You have little to no marketing support, unless you purchase additional packages or hire a publicist. Marketing could be a full-time job plus! I'm not adverse to doing my fair share of marketing. But it is time-consuming.
I'd also hoped to be "discovered" by an agent or publisher. After all, I have eight novels under my belt! I wanted to have several ready to put out back to back. Yet I'm still querying and trying to get someone to take notice. This isn't a complaint, though! It's awesome to go through the process. And I've actually had some people express their interest. So while I'm not where I wanted to be, I'm happy with where I am.
As far as response to Asylum, I've been blessed. I wanted to have 25 reviews on Amazon. I'm sitting at 27 currently. I've heard all kinds of wonderful things from so many people--friends who have said my writing helped them work through personal issues...and strangers who have said they were skeptical because of the religious content, but after reading it, didn't feel like it was crammed down their throats. When I hear my writing has affected just one person in a positive way, the whole journey has been worth it.
So happy birthday, Asylum! You're one year old! I'm so proud of you, although I do have some revision I'd like to do. Thanks for the opportunities you've afforded me this past year. And thanks for encouraging me to grow.
To my friends, family, and readers, thank you for walking with me through this journey. I do have so much more for you to enjoy. The Circeae system is vast and full of all kinds of interesting characters! I can't wait to introduce you to all of them.
If you'd like to purchase Asylum, it's most easily found on Amazon. And it's on sale today!
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3