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.