Am I Famous Yet?

So…Seidman has been out for eight days now.

I’ve pimped it on Facebook, and blogged about it and given away some copies to friends.  I have a stack of the paperbacks to wave in front of people’s faces.  But not many people appear to have noticed it yet.

I did get a couple great ratings on Goodreads.  This review, in particular, was very nice!  And I’m sure…pretty sure…that I’ll get more people noticing it and rating it over time.  After all, it’s just been one week.

As a new author, you tend to have these milestones in your head, placed there by the movies and even novels, in which a character has his or her “big break” as a writer and gets to quit that soul-crushing corporate job and go on book-signing tours.  Magazines and books about writing perpetuate this by emphasizing How to Get Published, as if that will solve all of your problems.  Once you get Published, it seems, you will be a Success!

Sadly, getting published is just the first step.  It’s a big first step, admittedly, but it’s not the only step.  Stephen King and Phyllis A. Whitney (two of my favorite authors) published a lot of short stories, before their first novels were published, and my all-time favorite author, Robert A. Heinlein, published several stories in the pulps for over a decade before breaking out of the “pulp ghetto” in the 1950s.  I myself published a few shorter works before getting my first novel (Seidman) published.

Looking back at the lives of these authors (not me — the other ones), and many other brilliant authors, one is struck by how much they were willing to persevere over years, if not decades, to get noticed.  On the other hand, all we hear about nowadays is how to become Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer overnight.  And yes, this can happen, but far more often, it won’t.  (And by the way, I read Dan Brown’s mediocre first novel, Digital Fortress, a decade before Da Vinci Code put him on the map, so he wasn’t an overnight success, either.)

But that doesn’t make it any easier to watch the novel you spent years writing and polishing just…sitting there.

It has only been a week, though.  I’m sure it will hit the bestsellers list next week, or the week after.

8 thoughts on “Am I Famous Yet?

  1. Next week for sure. I loved Seidman, but I have a relatively obscure passion for all things Icelandic.

    But I hear you. There’s this myth of overnight success, and t’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that that almost never happens, it’s more of a waiting game, proving yourself as a writer over and over again before the public notices you. OTOH, at least with all that time and work improving, you won’t churn out utter crap like the Twilight series. 🙂

  2. I don’t yet feel your pain, but I’m pretty sure I will shortly. My first book is coming out at the end of the month and I’m already freaking out about all the publicity I should or shouldn’t be doing. I may have to come back and refer to this blog as the days pass and I need to be reminded to be patient! Best of luck with your success and may it come sooner rather than later!

  3. Congratulations on your novel! The publicity part of getting published is, in my opinion, the worst part. I’m all right standing up in front of an audience and talking, but I’m no publicist. This seems to be one of the key differences between mainstream publishers and small publishers — how much marketing the author is responsible for. (Although I’ve heard some recent horror stories from people publishing with mainstream publishers.)

  4. I am waiting for *that moment* when I can say I’m a famous author. No seriously, I am… *snort* In the meantime, chocolate?

  5. In a few weeks I’m going to be in a similar position. I hope to be as realistic about it as you are. But don’t be down-hearted. Here’s to great success for Seidman.

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