Everyone expects “published” to mean instant success. Even if you tell them you self published. Why aren’t you famous yet? Why do you still have a day job? Aren’t authors rich? I still don’t quite know how to deal with these annoying people. What they don’t understand is, it is so important as indie authors to maintain a positive image. Complaining about low sales or bad reviews makes you look terrible. So, we’ll always smile and give you the most optimistic answers we can when you ask how things are going. We have to.
Some people will find you inspiring even if you feel like a disaster. Which is good and bad. It feels good to inspire, of course, but it’s also a whole lot of pressure. A whole lot of people want to write a book, and they’ll have questions for you if you’ve done it. Again, people will assume you were instantly successful, and know the exact path to take to get there. The truth is, learning all of this is such a crazy process that I still consider myself a beginner. I’ve got four books published and I’m working on a fifth, but I’m still learning. I can’t tell anyone the right way to succeed, because everyone’s writing journey is so different and so personal.
You’ll find out who your real friends are. Just about everyone who knows I’ve written a book has made me all sorts of promises. They pretend to be excited for you. They’ll say they will read your book, and also so-and-so will enjoy it, and… And then do absolutely nothing. I try very hard not to be “that girl” on facebook, but several times I’ve written out angry statuses and deleted them. And on the rare occasion one of them has read it, grateful as I am, I want to scream WHY HAVEN’T YOU REVIEWED IT???
On the flipside of that, every time a stranger tells you they loved your book, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. I’ve experienced it once in person, at the Ashland Literary Festival. Never been “recognized” going about my day, but that was still incredible. It happens online more often. Once I was searching for people on twitter who I thought might enjoy my book. I followed a few people, and next thing you know I have a message from one of them who says “I loved The Mansion’s Twins! It’s so cool!” And I about died. What are the odds of that happening? They say achieving a dream can't quite be as wonderful as you imagine, but in this case, it really is.