A Labor of Love

My book is not doing too well in terms of sales (add sad face here). Even though the sales rank graph on Amazon looks more like a representation of one of those crazy cliff dives in Acapulco, I feel a compulsion to check it several times of day. It’s like a car crash; you really don’t want to look, you know it’s going to bother you, but you can’t help it. You take a good look anyway!

cliffdivers_in_la_quebrada_acapulco_guerrero_mexico

It’s my first published book, I tell myself all the time. You didn’t really expect it to soar like Harry Potter or even (God forbid, cross my fingers, bring out the garlic) Fifty Shades of Grey, did you? No, but I was really hoping for a constant flow of modest sales. Just enough not to bury me in total obscurity, just enough to keep my ego bruise-free.

I didn’t expect this publishing thing to be easy either, but I am still shocked at how time-consuming it is. I’m not even talking about the actual writing (which consumes all my free time). I am talking about the marketing part of it. In itself it is a full-time job. One I have unfortunately very little time for. Unless, of course, someone can hook me up with a Time-Turner necklace—you know, the kind Hermione Granger had to be able to attend more than one class at the same time. Now that I think about it, that would be really cool.

TimeTurner

My day as a writer is nuttier than…a nut (sorry I couldn’t come up with a wittier simile). I wake up at six in the morning, read my messages while I eat breakfast, go to work for the next eight to nine hours (sometimes trying to catch up on a little writing during my half-hour lunch break if I don’t have any lesson planning to do) and then I go sit at Panera for an hour or so (on my non-yoga days) with my Kindle and my Bluetooth keyboard and write. Then, I go home, catch up on a little marketing, a little more writing, dinner, more writing/marketing until I have to drag my sorry behind to bed (and I do mean “drag” literally) where I unwisely still try to read that book I, even less wisely, promised to review or the one I’ve been dying to read for months (I normally don’t make it very far). Sleep for six hours if I’m lucky and do it all over again.

So, I think you will understand that when someone has the nerve to request a free book from me (not in exchange for a review, but just because we know each other), I get very testy (trying not to be too crass and use the word bitchy here).  This book is the result of hard work, lack of sleep, and missing quite a few movies I wanted to watch really badly. In order to be able to see (and cry over) the arrow representing the lack of book sales every day, I have collected a gargantuan pile of books I want to read, but have no time for. While others were having drinks with friends at the local sports bar every Friday night, I was on my couch, a laptop on, you guessed it, my lap. This book (and the others I have yet to publish) was written with sweat and tears and I expect people—that they liked the book or not—to respect it for what it is; a labor of love. Is that asking too much?

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