So finally, my book came out on Amazon last night and what hopefully is the first leg of a journey for me was reached. It has been long in the works, the book took a while to finish due to a busy life at home with a family and some obstacles that appeared along the way but I did it in the end. The journey was not without its painful moments though, and that is what this post is mainly about.
I do not want this to sound like sour grapes but I will understand if people see it as such, crying foul or victim on the internet is all the rage these days. For those who know me and those who read this little blog, I entered the book into the Kindle Scout program to see if I could get started with a bang. A short explanation is that if anyone is successful in a Scout program (they get enough votes) they get a writing contract, some good advertising, and an advance, it sounded really cool to me so I shilled it as hard as I possibly could. I blogged about it, tweeted about it, and even tapped people up at work about it, the eventual page views of my campaign were just over five hundred and I had an awesome feeling about the potential result. The campaign had run for a month and when it finished, I received an email informing me they were now going over the result and I was confused, surely it was just a case of now counting the votes and saying "yes" or "no"?
The email was waiting for me when I woke up for work on Wednesday morning, they told me I had been unsuccessful and thanked me for taking part, I was not told how many votes I received or any kind of feedback on my book at all. The email was simply saying "Thanks for taking part, bye", and I was so upset it tainted my mood for the whole day. Going to work with that on my mind was not good in the slightest and to my shame I admit I did snap at one person who approached me whilst it was running through my mind, it is something I regret very much. I don't mind failing at things at all, I see these moments as a learning curve and try to take something from them, but to fail at something and not be told why was an absolute killer and I would wish it on nobody.
Thankfully it is times like this that I love the community and the people I know within it.
I had tweets and messages of support from people as those who had voted for my book had received the email informing them of the campaign's failure, my wife was there for me and it reminds me that I am so lucky to have her and all the support took the sting out of it somewhat. I had voted for other books in the Scout program that I had liked the look of and during the course of mine I had received emails that these authors had also been rejected, it saddened me that there were other people going through this mystery rejection.
I did not want to be down in the dumps about it so I published it through the original method through Kindle and it is now on sale (I'll put a link in at the bottom, in case anyone wants to check it out *wink*) and once again I shilled it as best as I could. Friends tweeted about it and the response was so uplifting it made me think that maybe I should have just done that to begin with, I even had a congratulatory message from Mundane Matt, a Youtuber whom I am very much a fan of, it was one of those moments where the side of your head pops because it was so awesome.
I had thought of originally ending this by advising people away from the Kindle Scout program as in retrospect I really didn't like it, but perhaps that would be wrong of me. Instead, I would say to anyone who is considering trying it, think carefully before you do so. At the time of writing this, I do not know what the sales have been like yet because I am more interested in the reviews so I can take on any valid praises or criticisms from all this. I have decided to use beta readers as I have heard it's a good practice, anyone who would be interested in this, I would love to hear from you. For now though, I am already writing my second book and I know this is going to be fun because it is quite a personal story to me. In finishing I would like to say this: Thanks to all those who supported me in my journey, the first leg is over, the next has already begun.
See you there?