Do you know that old saying, “what a difference a year makes”? Well, it’s not even a year–it’s just under eleven months, actually–since I started my publishing journey. Lately, I’ve introduced quite a lot of changes and have blogged about them as I went along. I felt it was time to take stock and consider how this here ‘hapless duckling’ has morphed into… well, not quite a graceful, soaring swan, yet, but perhaps one that is poised and ready to fly.
That was then…
The day is 9 July 2011. It’s Monday morning, 9:30 a.m., and my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, has just this minute appeared ‘live’ on Amazon Kindle. After four months of writing, several rounds of editing, seven years of maturing, and a frantic few weeks preparing my masterpiece for self-publication, it is finally ‘out there.’ I shed a tear or two; it is a very emotional moment. Unsurprisingly, however, nothing much happens. No, Sophie’s Turn does not hit the bestseller lists within days, or go viral.
This was my author platform then:
A cover, lovingly, expertly and painstakingly crafted by hand…
…and a photograph (well, a cut-out).
That’s it? you say. Uhm, yes. But fear not, I have learned a few things along the way. Take a look at…
This is now!
I’m a fast learner, and things changed quickly. I reached out to friends for advice, and then to bloggers. I started building a network, garnering reviews and visibility, making new ‘virtual’ friends. In October, I was honoured to join the unique and interactive reader/author project, loveahappyending.com. And in February 2012, I was thrilled to sign with trail-blazing US publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing. So let’s take a look at my platform as it is today. Spot the difference?
My glamorous author photo (if I say so myself).
Find out here about the provenance of this photo!
Read all about the unveiling of the Rock Star Romance brand here.
My stunning cover.
Find out about the people who helped create this cover here.
My social networking platform.
(still under construction… ever expanding)
So, it does feel like I have come a long way. Hopefully, I am poised and ready to fly when Sapphire Star Publishing is launching Sophie’s Turn on 6 September 2012. Thank you to all the many fantastic people who are helping me along the way, not least: Amy and Katie at Sapphire Star Publishing; Jessie Dalrymple; Shirley Mukisa; Shaz Goodwin; Sue Fortin; Linn Halton; everyone at loveahappyending.com; Deborah Smith; my gorgeous husband; and the many, many wonderful bloggers who support me: know that you make this author’s world go round!
After all this, it still makes me uncomfortable to ‘boast’. I don’t mean to boast, as such. I abhor boasting, and would rather hide in a corner. So why this post?
Well, for one, I simply mean to share my joy and excitement. And for another, I hope that sharing my experience may perhaps help new and aspiring authors find a shortcut to building their own strategies and platforms.
So here’s the question for the day, Id’ love to hear your thoughts:
All you amazing established authors out there, what was YOUR biggest ‘aha’ moment along the way?
All you wonderful aspiring authors, what is YOUR biggest challenge on the road to publication?