I heard this morning that I’ve garnered an all-star badge for October, meaning that I’ve spent twelve months in the top thirty amazon-exclusive authors in the UK. I’ve had a lot of love from the States too having been in their charts more often than not, and I just can’t quite get my head around it. This has been the most incredible journey.
Being an indie author is a fascinating scenario. On the one hand, the freedom and autonomy to write whatever I wish and publish according to my own schedule is really awesome. But, on the flip-side, there’s no safety net or hand-holding by industry pros who’ve done this stuff a bazillion times before. I’ve learned so much in the eighteen months or so that I’ve been publishing.
By far the most important piece of advice that I hold in my mind, and tell people who ask, is to respect your readers. I write the kind of books that I love to lose myself in. I would never publish a novel if it didn’t feel right. In fact, I have several of those. Characters languishing in a state of unsatisfied non-conclusion, waiting for inspiration to come to their rescue. They’ll probably never make the leap from idle data in my macbook to living peeps on the web (of course, I could never delete them either – horrifying thought!).
My first job, at thirteen, was as a kitchen hand in a small but incredible restaurant. The chef was at the tail-end of an illustrious career that had seen her working at The White House and as executive head chef at various five star hotels around the world. She used to say to me that dessert is the most important part of the meal. People will remember the dessert; good or bad. While that’s hard advice for me – a diabetic – to take, I understand the kernel of what she was saying. You’re only as good as your last … *insert any product or service*.
When I published my first book, THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRE’S BETRAYAL, a novel that I am still incredibly proud of, I had nothing to lose. I had no expectations of success, either. I pressed publish without understanding the magnitude of what I was doing. I knew only that I needed to write. And of course I cherished a secret dream that I might find some people who liked to read the kinds of books that I write – people like me! The snowball effect was gratifying and terrifying in equal measure.
Now, when I press publish, I feel a great ball of anxiety at unleashing my stories in case they somehow don’t meet the expectations of my lovely, lovely, loyal readers. So badges like this, my all-star title, make me breathe a little easier, and hesitate a little less when I send my creations out into the amazon world.
As always, enormous thanks to you guys for reading not just my books, but this random spurting of thoughts. I’m off to wrangle small people now… CC.x