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December 12, 2018

You spend months, maybe even years pouring your imagination and maybe even soul into writing the “great American novel.” I’d never EVER call anything I wrote that, but for some of you, so be it. To me, there’s no such thing. For another, the great American novel sounds not only pretentious, but literary, which to me, means boring. I’d rather say, the best latest and greatest. I say latest and greatest because as soon as you start on the next one, it will become your new latest and greatest.

All the effort on your current novel culminates into a book contract, or, if you’re so inclined, doing it all yourself and going the self-publishing route.

In either case, you go through the editing, proofing, book cover design, back cover blurbs, thank you’s, dedication, author bio, photograph, publicity packets and such. Before you know it, you’re doing publicity packets, which even if you’re self-publishing, you should do.


There’s a last-minute check of the galley, whether it be a printed copy or a .pdf, then it goes to the printer.

Someone is going to post it to all the usual spots on the internet like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and maybe even Wal-Mart.

Before you know it…


You’re a published author!

You can now go to Amazon, type in your name and maybe your book (or list of books) will come up. Depending on how you’re entered into the system, it might take some digging to find your book. Will it pop up under your name, or do you have to type in the title? Will 500 different things come up, even if you select the correct category (books)?

Is your book title unique enough that your novel will show right away?

Or, do you have to type in your name AND the title to get it to display?

Will this be the same deal with other sites?

Once you get the search, how easy will it be for others to find it?


If this is your first book, how do you feel knowing you can go to whatever web site, and see your name in lights?

How does it feel to hold a physical copy of your book in your grubby little hands?

How does it feel to be able to tell other people you’re not just a writer, but an actual published author with a book (or more) under your belt?

For most of us, it feels pretty good!

Does the thrill wear off after a while?

For me, not even a little. It’s not like I hold the book in my hands, jump up and down and scream “I did it, I did it!” I’m just not that guy.

However, I still get a thrill every time I see my name up there with a new release. That means I accomplished something. That means my publisher believed in me enough to follow through with the effort to edit, design a cover and put out a book in MY name, written by ME. My creation (along with help and support of others to get it there, of course), all in the hopes of making a few bucks for both of us.


My number one goal is to write for pleasure. My number two is to write the most enjoyable work I can, which means the writing shouldn’t get in the way of the story. My third is to sell as many books as I can. In a way, these goals are interchangeable.

I’d write whether I was publishing and selling books or not, and did for twenty years. However, the thrill of seeing all that effort out there for the world to enjoy is priceless.

How about you?

Happy writing!

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