Today is my birthday, number 45. I’m not sure when “middle-age” officially hits, but I know my knees hurt more, I ache in places I didn’t even think were places, and if I were to put all my candles on my cake it would catch fire. Having said that, I”m having the time of my life.
Last year, I turned 44 and I was depressed. I had a novel that was lurking on my computer hard drive, and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I had a publisher who was somewhat interested, but the editor I had sent it to wanted revisions. It had to be “completely ready” before they would look at it. The comments that she offered were vague, and I had no idea what kind of a revision that she wanted. Some of her comments implied I needed to work on language, while others implied that the pacing was off. I couldn’t even tell how far she had read in the book. When I asked certain questions, her reply was it will be ready when it’s ready.
How helpful was that? Not Very!!!!!!
So I made a critical decision. I decided to revise it for me. I fixed the pacing with an almost complete rewrite. I worked on language. Then, after that was done, I still wasn’t happy with the ending so I revised the last quarter of the book. Then I was satisfied. I felt good about the whole package.
It had been over a year since the editor said she would look at it with revisions, and frankly, I had moved on. Her comments had been no help to me. I learned that the publisher in question only offered 9% royalties and no advance. I felt like I could do better on my own. So I finally settled on a title, hired a cover designer and and editor. On May 24, I released it to the world.
I have been overwhelmed with the response from people who fell in love with my characters as much as I did. I may never make a ton of money at this game, but frankly, I’m not in it for the money. Just having people enjoy a story that I wrote is enough.
Then why don’t I give it away? I worked hard at it, and I believe in it. It’s selling for $2.99, which is less than a cup of coffee. I may eventually offer a discount or free days when I release my second book to pique interest, but personally I feel that all of the free books on Amazon cheapen the art.
So think twice before you download a free book. If you do, and you like it, do the author a favor and buy his or her next book. Tell your friends about it. Shout it from the rooftops. Pay it forward. Haven’t bought your copy of my book yet? Don’t put it off any longer. Make the purchase today. It’ll be the best birthday ever!!