My self-publishing journey: The first book is the most special
Do you still remember your first love?
Of course, you do.
Because how could you ever forget the first time you felt a range of emotions completely new to you?
And worse, you couldn’t seem to control every single one of them no matter how hard you tried.
It felt kinda like, you know, holding on to a metal fixture while an F5 twister threatened to pulverize you but you’re still smiling while fighting for dear life because truth be told, it was so worth it.
Maybe it didn’t work out in the end and you already had many a good laugh about it over time.
But still, you know when you look back in your past, you would see those bittersweet moments lingering in the corners of your mind because (Twilight Zone music please) they never go away.
Being in love for the first time is an extraordinary feeling that you’ll remember during your lifetime.
All the pain, the pleasure, the tears, the laughter, the fights, the joys, the making up, the broken hearts, the healing, the letting go, the moving on.
They’re all special because they’re yours and no one can replicate them.
For first time authors
If you’re a first-time author writing your book or having published your first book, how you felt when you first encountered love is how you must, would and should feel about your first book.
During your writing and publishing process, you’ll encounter bumps while learning a lot more information than you probably did not know before embarking on your journey to the writing world.
You’ll learn about ISBNs, bar codes, copyright, literary agents, traditional publishing houses, book spines and dimensions, dust jackets, epub, mobi, editing and formatting, betas, writing apps and tools, Ingramspark, Amazon, serial commas, Oxford commas, and all the commas you had never encountered in your life.
You’ll learn the differences between AP and Chicago styles, pricing your books, local and global distributions, returnable or non-returnable, and all the 'ables' associated with writing a book you could ever think of.
And lots more.
You’ll be overwhelmed and lost, confused and struggling, and most days, you’ll feel like just going back to bed and hiding under the comforts of your sheets.
But then again, you’ll realize your book is the love of your life so you must get up and face your fears no matter what.
To fight for your love, you have to be loyal and give it your best shot.
You’ll be willing to take risks, hits, and blows to your ego.
You’ll endure the frustrations for not sleeping or being someplace else other than in front of your computer when you need and want to.
You’ll beat yourself to stay focused, on top of your game, and more creative than all the Romeos of this world who had ever wooed a starstruck Juliet.
Without regret and condition.
But that’s alright.
In the end, your passion and loyalty will be rewarded.
How do you keep love alive?
Just like when you first held hands or shared a kiss with that young man or woman in your past, your experience writing and publishing your first book should be the most unforgettable.
How do you do that?
Write your first book with the unquenchable thirst of an individual drunk in true love.
Write about the subject that is closest to your heart, the one that you know best, the one that you think will create enough inspiration for readers privileged enough to discover your manuscript.
Write what will encourage your readers to move mountains, conquer their fears, dance in reckless abandon despite being burdened with uncoordinated feet.
Write about that special something which will bring sunshine in the darkest corners of your readers’ world.
Regardless of genre or format.
Be the best lover you can ever be to the reader of your book.
Just like when the electricity in your inner body went haywire 2 or 10 or 50 years ago.
Back when that special someone passed by and your eyes locked and the fabric of your clothing touched even for just a fraction of a millisecond.
And the universe was never the same ever again.
Your first book, just like your first love, must keep you on your toes.
It should make you stay up at night.
The outcome is only secondary
And don’t worry too much about what the ending of your fairy tale story will be.
Whether your book sells or bombs in the bookshelves once it’s out for public consumption is irrelevant.
It’s your first book.
It will always hold its rightful place in your life as a writer.
One day, you will write more books.
Just like you’ll meet more people and fall in love along the way.
One day, you will be grown and wiser and more responsible and perhaps, you’ll meet the one, the perfect one, worthy of them all.
But your first will always be your first.
So do your best to make it special.