I published my first book yesterday, The Christmas Number One, on Amazon and it has been a whirlwind existence since. I’ve been giving interviews across the media, accepting appearance engagements at awards ceremonies and even a signing last night. I guess this must be what JK Rowling feels like. I can’t even go out of my own door at the moment for fear of being stalked by one of these nutters that’s waiting at the gate.
Oh no wait… that was all made up. Actually nothing’s happened. Well, the world hasn’t stopped turning and the daily routine has continued like it did the day before, the week before, forever. But there are a few subtleties that have now changed.
For instance, I’m now obsessed with the Amazon Bestseller Charts. There’s nothing more fantastically absorbing than watching your own book moving up the charts. It’s a drug. However, it’s the sort of habit that will be dropped as soon as I start moving in the opposite direction. I can imagine how musicians must feel when their career starts sliding and they don’t have that rush of the charts anymore.
I am completely aware that the chart position does not in anyway reflect the fact that I have outsold big household names, but I can’t deny that the picture above doesn’t thrill me when I see that I’m above Agatha Christie and Terry Pratchett. This is the ‘good times’ of being a writer, if I didn’t allow myself to enjoy it then all I’d have to look forward to is sitting on my own at the keyboard going insane. You have to celebrate success even if it’s short-lived and tenuous.
The other subtle change that I’ve noticed is within my own mind. I now have a book on the front page of an Amazon Bestsellers Category. This means that I’m a writer. FACT. I’d already come to this conclusion a few months ago anyway but, given the obvious insecurities that writing brings with it, any small amount of evidence to reinforce the goal is welcome.
I am now completely motivated to get more books out and enjoy this type of launch more often. It’s a great feeling to know that it’s now out there and it’s done. What ever happens to it from now on is in the hands of others. I have fathered it up until this point, and like a father I will continue to support it, but it now needs to survive on it’s own two legs. However, the sense of dread and fear that I experienced on Sunday evening when I clicked ‘Publish’ on KDP, would have rivalled any over-sensitive parent.
Have you ever experienced the thrill of the charts?