Fireworks from a new author

I let someone else read ‘Six Months to Get a Life’ at the weekend. Stand back and light the blue touch paper…

Oh, the trauma. What would she think? Would she laugh me out of town or marvel at my whit and stimulating repartee? Would she write me off as a boring fart and chuck the book on the bonfire or beg me to write the sequel by tomorrow night?

Luckily for me, the book didn’t bomb. She genuinely seemed to love the fire in the characters’ bellies, their flare and the finale. She did even ask if she could read the next book, the first chapter of which is included at the end of ‘Six Months…’ Boom!

Once I had got over the relief that she enjoyed it (she read it in one sitting), we got into lots of debates about whether the characters in ‘Six Months…’ would have acted in the way that they did. And whether I should have subjected them to the fireworks that they went through.

It felt a bit like my school English literature lessons when we analysed Hardy’s or Shakespeare’s hidden meanings, only this time I was the author. I still didn’t have much more of a clue though.

The essay questions that she wanted to discuss included how would you characterise Adams’ writing style? What was Adams trying to show when he put in the scene about the marriage guidance counsellor? Would Amy have really told Graham that she was having her period whilst sitting in a pub having a roman candle-lit dinner? Would Graham’s ex really have had such a short fuse?

Even though I wrote the book, I am not sure that my answers to the above (‘God knows’, ‘that he had a sense of humour’, ‘maybe; maybe not’ and ‘yes’) satisfied my new fan. They certainly wouldn’t have satisfied Mrs, er, Katherine Wheel, my old English teacher.

My reviewer – let’s call her Claire because that’s what her mum and dad called her – is only the third person to have read the book so far (well, fourth if you count me). Hopefully I will get final type-set and EPUB versions back in the next week or two and be able to start sharing them with potential reviewers – you know, the ones who don’t know me personally and are likely to be more objective… Gulp!

Other developments on my author journey in the past week include me seeing a first cut of my fancy new author website.

I have had email chats with the man designing my site. I haven’t met him but he is probably only fourteen and already a millionaire. He asked me what apps I would like on my site. I didn’t have a clue. My boys said I should have ‘clash of clans’ put on it. I think they missed the point.

After further discussion, my web designer informed me that I wanted an app that counts down to my publication date, one that gets people to like my facebook page and one that takes people to my twitterings (@benadamsauthor). A website with all bells and whistles – well, I’m glad that’s sorted. There are some great images too. Once it is finished, it should be fully integrated with this blog.

I also published my book blurb on my facebook site. I stuck it there because I was told that I needed to generate unique content to get people to go to facebook. I am just following protocol. Normally I’m not very good at following protocol but as someone who is still new to all this stuff, I will go with the flow for now.

So, I will have facebook, twitter, fancy website, Goodreads and my porn site (oopse, I meant not to mention that one). But will they sell any books?

And what about the actual book? Let’s not forget that the book is, after all, the point of all this online nonsense.

Well, I now know that you can’t sign off the cover until you know how thick the spine has to be. As my man in the know puts it, ‘War and Peace had a big spine. Your book is practically spineless.’ I’ll give him a rocket for that.

Apparently we are still on track for a January release date. Graham Hope wants to introduce himself to the world. Then let the fireworks start…

I think that’s quite enough firework references to justify the topical title, don’t you?

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to those of you that have taken the time and trouble to comment on my blog. I have committed the cardinal sin and failed dismally to reply to everyone individually. I hope you will forgive me. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.

I have also been having lots of off-line discussions with fellow fledgling authors about the whole process of getting published. I really value these conversations. One thing that those authors are teaching me is that they aren’t like me at all – they are far more organised and prepared.

7 thoughts on “Fireworks from a new author

  1. Chantel Fourie (@darkwrld1021) November 5, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    I love your blog 🙂 As a writer who also have a first book release next year, I completely understand what you are going through. You took my thoughts right out of my mind! The way you use words and speak your mind are intriguing. For that, you got my follow and my like.

    • Ben Adams November 7, 2014 / 12:56 pm

      It is really heartening to receive positive feedback on this blog. I love the fact that it seems to make people smile. I also hope it helps a few people in similar situations to me to realise that the challenges they face on their author journeys are not unique to them. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Thanks to Chantel, R.Q Garcia, Anita and Jaye for your kind words.

  2. R.Q. Garcia November 6, 2014 / 1:20 am

    This was a real treat to read. It reminded me of my own journey and the “agony” of waiting for feedback from my beta readers. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, as well as the wit and humor (something we all need to make the trip from start to finish)

  3. Wendy Clarke November 6, 2014 / 4:07 pm

    HI Ben. Glad you survived my launch party – seeing as you were the only male! Just wanted to say that as far as marketing your book, you are doing everything brilliantly and taking the whole thing very seriously. Agents/publishers will love that.

    • Ben Adams November 7, 2014 / 1:12 pm

      Wendy, I loved visiting your launch party. Other than it giving me a good laugh (I am not sure that was quite the point of it but it can’t be a bad thing, right?) it gave me lots of ideas for what I might do when I get to that point. I can feel another blog post coming along… I hope sales of your new book are going well? It’s sitting on my kindle waiting for me to read it.

  4. ctfranklin28 November 9, 2014 / 3:29 pm

    I’ve worked with over 60+ authors. Surprisingly, each one tells me that they feel other authors are more organized than them! Writing a book in these times is a confusing mix of preparation, social media, patience, persistence, and learning. It sounds like you are off to the right start! Keep learning, writing, and keep refining!

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