Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Side Bar: Unexpected rewards

Here's another legacy post from my Goodreads blog.

December 20, 2012

Today I'd like to take a detour into a new topic: unexpected rewards.

No, I don't mean cash, winning contests or scoring a book deal. Instead, I'm talking about rewards that aren't on the radar, and perhaps those that don't even register as rewards when you first encounter them. In my case, they all stem from my foray into self-publishing.

Obviously, having a book published (even if you do it yourself) is rewarding in itself. Your work is out there where people can buy it, read it, and perhaps even love it. It's a heady feeling and also a bit scary, because you always have that thought that maybe they won't like it.

Later, you begin to fear that no one will ever see it at all, especially when your friends and family have all received their own copies. Some will tell you how much they enjoyed it, some (like my dad) will insist that you get started on a sequel right away, and some won't say anything (at least not to you).

Here is where the first unexpected reward comes in: your first non-family member fan. Before that moment, it's easy to chalk up positive feedback to familial connection and to doubt the appeal of your work. But, when the first person comes up to you grinning from ear to ear and telling you their favorite parts of the story and why, wow!

The second reward I've discovered is meeting other new authors through forums. From the first, the forums on KDP and Createspace were invaluable to me as an author (who didn't know anything going in), and they got me through some tough questions like "do I have to wait to publish until my copyright registration comes in" and "what in the world is a gutter margin and why is it defying me so."

Soon, I discovered the Previews on Createspace and learned that I enjoyed writing reviews (and receiving them). When I posted those, some of the authors would post back and before long I was learning from, sharing what I've learned, and even making friends.

This of course goes hand in hand with the third unexpected reward: a new hobby! I've begun writing book reviews, and I've gotten quite a nice start so far with twelve reviews under my belt. The tricky part is when I come across a story that's so good I'm afraid I won't do it justice. Those make me nervous, but I always stick it out and just go through a few revisions before posting them. Anyway, the reviews are great for maintaining writing skills and I also dig the idea that they might help out my fellow indie authors. This week I'm reading Crystal Fire by R.L. Kiser, the author of Educated Injun (already reviewed) and Exile (want to read) among several others. In keeping with my new hobby, you can expect a review from me on it in the near future.

Unbiased feedback, meeting new people, and a new hobby are just three of the unexpected rewards I've benefited from since self-publishing, and I'm sure I'll think of ten more as soon as I post this.

Until next time.
       
Published on December 20, 2012 18:13•  Tags: authors, crystal-fire, educated-injun, exile, feedback, r-l-kiser, reviews, rewards, self-publishing