My First Week as an Author



A little over a week ago, I became an author. Here's what happened:

  • I didn't have the 'I am an author' moment. I had a panic attack. I think the panic attack was a physical manifestation of the 'I am an agent and a publisher, and a retailer, and I have to handle all my own PR and be shiny at all times, and I'm as reliable on that front as a big-arsed donkey in an antique shop' moment.
  • I discovered that even if you give someone a direct link to a Kindle book, they STILL go to Amazon, search for it, and tell you your book is nowhere to be found. I have lost track of the number of times this has happened. Amazon has conditioned its customers SO well. I salute you, noble dictator. 
  • I discovered that making the book available in so many formats (Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Sony Reader, Nook and PDF) was the right move! Have made sales consistently for all formats other than Nook. (Thanks to Rachael Moore for the pic of her phone, by the way).
  • The book sold! *Stunned*. It didn't just sell a couple, either, and it sold every day. Within a week, I was in profit. Seriously. :)
  • Emails and DMs began to flood in, begging me to explain how I'd done it. I'm planning to put together a course to cover this.
  • Emails and DMs began flooding in, telling me not to show off, get above myself or feel proud in any way. I ignored them for the most part, because what kind of example is that? New writers know they have to walk through Hell to get their book into print, or onto a Kindle, and they keep doing it in the hope that, one day, they will have a small moment of triumph. I refuse to deny myself - and them - this small moment of triumph. Here it is... I rock! I dare you to say the same on your own blog when you become an author  :)
  • People want to pigeon-hole me, and that's tricky. One blogger wanted to set me up as an 'indie or die' writer, so he could throw stones at me. The problem is, I'm not. I think traditional publishing is great - for most people. I think Amazon is amazing, and I may put the book there in time. I'm just doing an experiment. Why must people always think that other people are so easily defined? I'm not, so... as an author present to myself... I adopted the word 'Intriguing'. That way, I can help kids with communication problems, like I had, and I get to pick my own label. When called for, my name will henceforth be The Intriguing Rebecca or - and this is the long version - Gloriana Bexter 'The Intriguing' Woodhead. That should stop the labels. (Although 'mad' and 'delusional' are also labels, so it MAY not).
  • People want to pigeon-hole the book, and THAT is fun to watch. Calibre has a new bookshop - it links back to the author's site, so I'm still retailing it - but they choose the tags. They defined my book as 'literary'. Now. I once had a discussion with a publisher, in which he told me: 'never define that book as "chick lit". It is quality commercial fiction.' I've always viewed it as commercial fiction you wouldn't be embarrassed to be caught reading on the train, or commercial fiction with chew toys for literary readers. I put this to Calibre. No, they said. It's literary. So, in it went. Others have defined it in various literary and commercial ways. Today, it was described as 'chick lit'. Hurrah! I've invented label-teflon. :) While I can attempt to define myself, it's really none of my business how others define my book, but I'm an interested observer. 
  • Everyone loves 'Rock'. Some are deeply affected by experiences that either Mary or Jackie have. Clive is secretly adored. A few characters are loathed - you'll know which ones if you've read the book. Let me know your fave characters.   
Here are some early reviews: America (no spoilers), America (some spoilers), America (no spoilers)Ireland (no spoilers). If you find any English reviews, let me know!




P.S. If you want to point people direct to the sales page, but can't remember the bit.ly link, send them to palacesandcalluses.com If they want to take the book for a test drive, send them to penpals.withrebecca.com and if you want to promote the book on your blog, grab the code under the badge in the sidebar and put it in your sidebar. It links to the sales page. Thank you. xxx

10 comments:

CountryLets said...

I cannot believe people would be so mean as to knock you for achieving so much! I am gobsmacked, and as anyone can tell you that is a rareity for me.

Keep on doing what you are doing, you have achieved a hell of a lot in a very short space of time, and yah boo sucks to anyone who trys to stop you.

We should congratulate those who do well and try to emmulate their success not berrating them.

I wish you every success and you can be damn sure I will be trying to be as successful as you have been, in my own field of course, can't write for toffee!

I loved your book, whatever the label and can't wait for the next one.

Lorna

Rebecca Woodhead said...

What a lovely comment. Thank you! I'm happy to say that MOST people have been absolutely lovely. It's all part of the experience to have a few burnt chips in the batch. :)

Mary Louise said...

It's so funny that we always want to label everything. I tried to find a category for your book myself, and realized there wasn't one. If people like "chick lit," they'll like your book.

But it isn't just that. It's also literary and silly, and plot-driven and character-driven. The fact that it's so well written (and also funny) is the "problem" with categorizing it.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next book!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Mary Louise, Thank you! That's why I made up the term 'Cotswold Novel' because then I thought I could write the characters the way they wanted to be written, appeal to female readers without having to exclude male ones, and the only thing I'd have to make sure of was that some of the action took place in The Cotswolds. :)

Nicole Rushin said...

It is great to hear about your journey. I suppose I am many steps behind you and look forward to the course you speak of putting together. I would love to write a book and am constantly thinking about 'what my product is' and 'what my message is' and of course 'who my reader is'...
I do intent to read your book but don't have a reader besides my computer or my phone. Sorry if I passed over that information, but did anybody figure out how to download it for the phones? I don't have an I-phone. I have a samsung droid phone. Hmmm?

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Nicole, I can't wait to read your book once it's written - which I'm sure it will be.

You might find that the iPad version works on Droid, because it's an open ePub format. http://www.aldiko.com seems to be the standard e-reader for Android (I know nothing about aldiko by the way, so it's up to you whether or not you use that software). Looking at this - http://www.aldiko.com/support.html - they say that ePub works on Android. Now... a bunch of the versions I've made are ePub formats, but they're all formatted slightly differently. I'd recommend the iPad one - as I know that works on iPhone very well.

Give it a go. If it works, let me know. If it doesn't work, tell me and I'll find a way to fix it so that it does.

The other option is to set yourself up with a free e-reader on your computer. The best I've seen is Kindle for PC (Google it for the download from Amazon). They also make Kindle for Mac that works the same way. It's basically a Kindle, but it's free and you use it on your computer. You can change font sizes, background and text colours, etc. If you choose that option, pick the Kindle edition because I know that works brilliantly on Kindle for PC.

Nicole Rushin said...

Well, I tried and I am stumped. I installed the Aldiko but cannot get the download to work. It just tells me the content is not compatible with my phone. The Aldiko reader is pretty cool, though. I will have to stop by a Verizon store and see if they can help me. I will keep trying but only have one more tap on the link. Best of luck with your book sales.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Hi Nicole. You posted on Facebook that you bought the PDF. The PDF is not compatible - to my knowledge - you'd need the iPad version, as Android uses ePub (as does Aldiki). Read my previous comment. It's explained there. If you have any further problems, let me know.

Kim said...

What doesn't kill YOU only makes you stronger. In time you'll be a mountain! ;) The book sounds beautiful, Rebecca!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Thank you. :)

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