For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. ~ Ernest Hemmingway

When you are “post book,” you exist in this strange no-man’s land where you’re not sure what should happen next, but in your secret heart-of-hearts, you’re hoping for applause in some form, hopefully financial.

What nobody can really prepare you for, when you start out as an author is the great echoing silence of self publishing.

A novel requires burning the midnight oil writing the story, and questioning every word, every sentence. After having put “bum-in-chair” for days upon weeks, after suffering the agonies of self-publishing, and the indignities of self marketing, to cross the finish line and release your fiction upon the world, it’s natural to expect reward. It’s natural to want to hear some noise in response.

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There are more books being published every day now than at any other time in our history.

To gain traction, many motivated Indies will ask their “street teams” and friends to share about their release, to write reviews, to generate buzz in various ways. If you don’t dance up a storm, your books don’t sell, you might not be paid. Apart from that self-generated sound, however, there is nothing.

When I put out my first book in 2015, there were some lovely messages on social media from friends and well wishers. Apart from that there was…s i l e n c e. A great white-washed, sound proofed wall of nothingness.

Silence is something we’re not used to these days. In our hyper-connected present, we expect reactions to our every move. We wait with our self worth balanced on likes, loves and comments and shares. We’re conditioned to feedback.

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As yoga-teacher and author, Claudia Altucher said, I find that ultimately there is a little side of me that still clings to the idea of being “chosen” (by a publishing house).

Any writer can relate. With the first book, there’s this great hope of being “discovered.”

“How are things going with your book?” asked well-meaning friends. “Have you sold many?” The mythology goes, all you need do is release work in order to get paid, to get recognition. The truth is the majority of self-published authors will sell less than a hundred copies.

Few authors write a second novel and even fewer a third once the fiscal realities become apparent. After an author visit to an Elementary School in the States, author, Ellen Warach Leventhal, said her favorite response from a fourth grader was, ‘You work hard, you don’t know if you’ll ever get paid for it, and you aren’t rich? Man, not sure I want to do that.’

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The first book is like a trial by fire. If you walk through that flaming doorway without getting burnt, then you carry on writing but as a cleansed, reduced version of oneself with revised expectation.

Nick Ripatrazone’s sage advice to the author is, Share your work, but don’t wait for likes and retweets and mentions. Get off your phone. Get back to your desk.

I read somewhere, the traditional reaction to a book being published at any other time in history has typically been little to none. Authors wrote and released books and went on with their writing. They didn’t expect a parade.

In our digital present, it is easy to forget that silence has always been the most common response to literature and art. ~ Nick Ripatrazone

After I published my debut novel, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta,’ (http://amzn.com/B015K1KF0I), I started developing the next story in the Chronicles of Aden Weaver. The narrative unfolded and it drew me into another world, where I got lost in the creativity. The firestorm was therapeutic. I remembered the most important thing was the art itself.

I understand now why authors advise to get on with writing the next book.

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I published ‘The Sasori Empire,’ (http://amzn.com/B075PMTN2H) last week. This time round, I experienced it differently, with more realism. I didn’t expect mega stardom or even a conversation.

I was ready for the normal silence that surrounds any newly-released work.

I discovered it takes a certain amount of surrender. And, faith, that I can survive the fall. I was prepared for the sudden drop-off of adrenalin and commitment that follows on the heels of each book birth. I’d already bought the chocolate bars. I pampered myself with treats.

My process seems to have settled into a pattern of write-edit-publish-rest-repeat. I relaxed for two days after the book launch. I listened to music, weeded the garden, and I did some baking. For a minute, I thought, I’m free!

Now, I’m writing book three, the final book in the series, ‘The Last Tree.’

How do you handle the silence post-book?

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Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

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Cherish yourself and wall off an interior room where you’re allowed to forget your published life as a writer. ~ Lan Samantha Chang

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The Or’in of Tane Mahuta

Book One, the Chronicles of Aden Weaver http://amzn.com/B015K1KF0I

The Sasori Empire

Book Two, the Chronicles of Aden Weaver http://amzn.com/B075PMTN2

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Comments
  1. Yvette above the links to your books it would be handy to have tweetables about your book. I had to go to Amazon for your front cover. Make it easy for people to share in their busy lives. I remember another author at your stage wondering when things would happen. They really kicked off after book 3 but it really all came together when she combined blog tours with real bookstore events and sharing pics of those events all over social media. Also you should keep an eye out on Twitter for what is trending. The other day was national read day I think. You could have shared your book then. I forgot have you shared your cover in a pinnable tweet yet. It stays at the top of your feed for as long as you want. I bet you’d get lots of retweets if you retweeted books on #yareads . That’s what I do with art and I’m sure I got a sale doing that the other day. Worth a try. I am giving my son’s friend who loves reading your first book on Monday. Tired of waiting for my son to get aroundcto reading it. Silly me should have thought of that before. Can you write reviews on Amazon at any age?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yvettecarol says:

    Wow, thanks for all the great tips, Catherine. You’re more savvy with these things.
    Yes, you can write reviews at any age as far as I know. Our old carer supporter’s grandson bought my book on Amazon, he’s 12 and he wrote a review. 🙂 Thanks for passing the book onto another reader.
    I tried to “pin” a tweet the other day, and couldn’t figure it out how to do that! And I’ll have to look into how you create those tweetables too. Good idea.

    Like

  3. Sadly, this is the case with books 2, 3, and 4. At this stage in my career, I am hearing more than silence these days, but it’s not the applause I was aiming for. In my stupor, I’ve gain the wisdom to know that it requires huge leaps of faith AND the necessity to keep going. Getting out there and promoting my work is the hardest part of being an author. I dream of the day when I can just write and cash the royalty cheques at my leisure. LOL. I’m a dreamer. Luckily, there are mountains of information and help out there. I should probably schedule more marketing research into the equation. Hats off to you for all you do. I know it must sound like silence at times, but please know your posts have always moved me to carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      You know what I do it for? You. The feedback you gave Joylene, about my sharing being of help for you, also in turn helps me. You see how vital this support network is, that we do share our on-going journey as authors? Thank you for telling me. 🙂
      My whole thing is to serve by inspiring and encouraging others to follow their dream, no matter what. So your comment hit the spot.
      And no, it’s not about applause, it’s about the work itself and the glory of getting to do it. 🙂 The marketing, on the other hand… don’t get me started!

      Like

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