Embracing the Worst-Case Scenario

In my life, I’m used to disappointment. I love the highs of anticipation, the joy in the planning and preparation, the exhilaration of the execution of the plan, and then…the total opposite of what I wanted, hoped for, and dreamed of. I’m less than a week away from publishing my debut novel, and I want more than anything for it to succeed…but what if I’m already expecting just a few sales?

I could have published my novel in the spring of this year; however, I didn’t because I wanted to do it right. I’ve been watching and reading from a number of successful indie authors on the best way to go about this and they all say the same thing: Write a series. Once you publish your first book, rather than focus all your energy and money on marketing your first book, write your second book. Having more books to sell is what’s going to make it easier to sell your earlier books. Oh, and make sure your books are great, that you have attractive covers that are appealing for your genre, and that your series branding is consistent. 

Simple, right? Just not that easy. But since when was writing easy?

So, next week I’m going to be publishing The Georgia Rules, and rather than focus on sales and promotion, I’ll already be working on my second book. Of course, I’ll still be letting people know about my debut novel and crossing my fingers that by some fluke it becomes an overnight sensation and #1 on New York Times and USA Today’s bestsellers lists. But I won’t be losing sleep wondering why it’s not happening NOW. This writing gig is something that will take a lot of persistence, commitment, trial and error, and learning. Success takes time and perseverance; it’s almost never instant.

And the worst thing that can happen is that only five people in the world are willing to read my novel and they all hate it and write horrible reviews. I can handle that. It’ll make for an interesting story when ten years from now, I’m finally where I’ve always wanted to be.

Author: Donna Fernandez

Author of contemporary fiction.