This year has been nothing like I expected. Here are ten things no one ever tells you about becoming a published author:
- The week leading up to your book launch will be one of the most anxiety-ridden weeks of your entire life. People will say 'You must be so excited!', and instead of answering 'OMG no my book is out there and people are reading it and what if they haaaaaate it?' you'll manage to smile and say, 'Definitely!' (I apologise to my friends who actually got the honest answer to this question. I'm much calmer about it all now, I promise.)
- You will find it weird/excruciating/impossible to tell people you're "a writer", even though you now have a book out there to prove it (I still tell people I'm 'a library assistant who *cough*writes books*cough*').
- If you write for children, at least one person will ask you when you're going to start 'writing books for grownups'. (Actually, this applies to children's authors at any stage of their careers.)
- And several people will tell you, 'Oh, I could write a novel if I had time!'.
- People will also tell you they went into XYZ bookshop and couldn't find your book anywhere (thanks!).
- But other people will tell you they couldn't find your book so they told the bookshop staff they MUST get it in, or that it WAS there and they either bought it or, if they already had it, put it face out on the shelf for you (THANK YOU!).
- Building a support network of other writers is essential. As well as being able to moan to them about all the not so good/scary stuff without seeming ungrateful or diva-ish, and keeping each other away from Amazon/Goodreads, you'll have a group of people to celebrate all the good times (yours and theirs) with who really, really get it. I would have gone a little bit crazy without all my lovely writer friends this year, so again, THANK YOU.
- Every bit of good news (no matter how small), and every person who gets in touch to tell you they loved your book or writes a nice review, is like getting a million hugs all at once.
- Nothing – but nothing – beats getting your first copies of your first novel in the post and seeing all those years of hard work in the form of a real, live book.
- Your first year of being a published author will be the craziest, most exciting, most wonderful and, at times, most terrifying years of your life… and you won't want to swap it for the world!
P.S. Voting for the Coventry Inspiration Simply the Book Award is now open – if you'd like to vote for ACID (*bats eyelashes*), you can do so here. Cheers!