Some people make it big, fast. Like a comet swooping across the heavens. Their books garner five-star reviews, which push their sales to the top of the lists where people who read lists order the books and write five-star reviews and the rest is, as they say, history.
Then there are writers like moi. When I published my first book, I asked a few friends and relatives to write a review. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. If they didn’t like the book, they could politely refuse, or simply “forget” to post. No one, so far, has written a bad review, although even bad reviews don’t hurt. It proves someone read the book!
Then I started writing reviews for friends even though they didn’t ask me to. Often they did me the favor in return. And I’ve written reviews for authors I’ve never met, because I liked their work enough to take the time. I don’t expect anything in return but good karma.
But slowly, slowly, I am getting reviews from people I don’t know. Good reviews. My head would swell if I didn’t remember a friend who told me , “I bought your book, but every time I started to read it, I fell asleep. (She did clarify that later and explained that she took the book to bed with her at night and was too tired to keep her eyes focused on the page.)
Recently, another phenomenon has happened. With Amazon now paying royalties monthly, no matter how big or small, I am getting messages saying money has been deposited into my account. Sometimes it’s a whopping $2.37. Mostly it’s been less than $20. But it is money I earned by writing. I can’t think of a bigger thrill except for the time my first author copies arrived and I held my book in my hands.
I’m writing this to tell other aspiring writers not to give up if they don’t hit the jackpot in the first months after they publish. If the book is good, it will find an audience, and that audience will talk about it. And they will post reviews. And the sales will begin to come in.
So, no matter how discouraging it seems at the beginning, keep at it. Your day in the sun will come.