Updated: Aug 1, 2021
Well after more time than I care to admit, my first novel is finally finished! There will be more info. about the book soon, but for today I wanted to explore that strange combination of excitement and fear of the book actually going live.
Maybe you have experienced this yourself as an author? Does it get easier with each book? Please tell me it does! I want to be clear that I am not worried about my writing, I feel I have produced an entertaining and hopefully informative book to the best of my abilities, but the last step...to actually hit publish...does fill me with trepidation. So why is that? Maybe it's because the subject matter is so personal to me, or I'm worried about potential bad reviews. Most likely it's a combination of the two. There's also the fact that I'm a Scot, a member of a nation that's famously humble, so self-promotion does not come naturally to me.
However, I'm going for it and will be proud of my achievement, after all I'm sure there are thousands of people who want to write a book, maybe even start, but never make it to the end. (Don't be one of those people)
I had some Beta readers before reaching this stage, and the feedback was mixed, but I suppose that's a good thing; realistically any book is not going to appeal to absolutely everyone. This has made me really try focus on who my target audience is. Right now I see this as being people interested in travel, history and other cultures. I also want to reach people who have settled in other countries, or have a multi-cultural family. I did make a few changes on the back of those first reviews, as some of my book was considered a bit controversial. I'll admit the self-doubt did start to creep in, but then again, I want this to be a book that makes people think, and so challenging the reader can be a positive.
I also run an account on Twitter called @RomanianScot, as much to help me get in touch with my character, as reach out to people who may be interested in the book. In a recent tweet, I started a poll asking if people were aware that Transylvania was in Romania. I've not had a huge uptake, but Transylvania is quite a complicated area, as at one point it belonged to Hungary. The thought that this tweet could cause some controversy hadn't even occurred to me, and I worried I should delete it. However, I'll leave as is, it might start some interesting conversations.
The writing community online is very supportive, and my dream to become an author is becoming reality, so I will continue outside my comfort zone and see what happens. Wish me luck!
I'd love to hear from other authors on their first publishing experiences. Did you struggle or are you someone blessed with nerves of steel. Either way, share your thoughts so we can convince other writers to take a leap of faith and see what happens.