I had a plan. For that day when I was a published novelist. It was in that distant future. Until then, I was on this journey called life. Life. It’s research for a novelist. It’s the road not taken by humans with a plan.
When I signed the contract to publish my contemporary romance novel – my universe shifted and I noted the time so my astrologer sister would have accurate data regarding my transition from aspiring to published. The actual published-books-to-sell is months in the future, and I haven’t seen any editorial requirements yet, but I have moved into the inner circle of “Authordom” and am having fun.
The new breed of Digital-First Boutique Publishers has fascinated me as I’ve watched friends begin their careers in this way, so I had lots of inside information regarding business models, contracts, and more. I loved the enthusiasm to publish my novel that I received from the senior editor at Soul Mate Publishing, and it was only six weeks from first contact to signed contract. But I had other choices and even though it “felt right” this is a business decision and I had some reservations as well. Ultimately, it came down to “the books.”
I read many excerpts, of the books in my genre, currently available by a few of these Boutique publishers. Only the SMP books impressed me as ones I want to read. This made it a pleasure to sign a contract. The website could use some improvements but it’s the books that make the difference.
Now that I’m within the author loop, and following the author blogs, I’m both pleased and intimidated. The author news is all about being Top Picks, winning awards, getting 5 Star reviews, and connecting with readers in India. This means my publisher lives up to its marketing of “high quality romantic fiction for readers around the world” and I’m one of these authors who will deliver such.
The intimidating factor is now I am stepping into the starring role of the story of my life. I know I can be professional in spite of negativity and challenges, and I can persevere through rejections. But there’s an invisibility aspect to being an aspiring novelist that does not prepare a writer for getting applause and appreciation from fans, or for earning industry awards. I will soon have to receive compliments and gratitude for my writing and stories – with a gracious spirit – and own the success that I’ve earned.
This wasn’t part of my plan. But now, it’s part of my journey.