Good morning on this the fourth day of December, in the year of our Lord 2016.
So I finally opened up libreoffice to finish doing the formatting work on The Dean Died Over Winter Break. For those who don’t know, that’s my first mystery novel, the other two novels I (self) published having been broadly in the science fiction genre. I’m very fond of mystery, so I’m looking forward to it. The book is finished and edited, all that remains is to format it for publication. It’s been that way for quite some time, actually, so I feel guilty for having dragged my feet so much.
In part it’s just being busy—having a one-year-old in the house does take up quite a large amount of time, especially when there are older children around too. She’s finally starting to be able to play by herself a bit—and hold her own with her older brothers—so supervising her will become a lot less intensive as the months go by.
Another part of it is that around the time I was finished with writing the novel, I began to be active on social media. From what I gather this is critical for self-published authors (and most other-published authors as well) who want their books to get read. Granted for most this is a direct financial consideration, while for me it’s more just about finding readers. My plan is to continue working my day job at a minimum until my kids are safely on their own, and then we’ll see, so I’m working on what I call my “twenty year plan”. It takes time to build an audience. And so far my most successful social media platform is my youtube channel, having recently hit 125 subscribers. Now of course social media is not merely about trying to build up readers—to be blunt, that’s not a primary consideration—but that is a potential benefit of it, and so watching my youtube subscriber base go up has made it very tempting to hold off on publishing the novel for a bit in the hopes that it might get a bump from that. And the way that sales ranks affect Amazon’s recommendations leads to a probably unhealthy concern with getting initially decent sales in order to try to reach a wider audience.
At the same time, one of the key ingredients in getting things done is actually doing them, and it’s all to easy to wait forever for ideal circumstances, which will in any event never come in this life. And someone who enjoyed A Stitch in Space reminded me recently that I said I’d get the new novel out soon, so I’m going to finally make myself do it. In the end we never really know what we’re doing and have to trust God anyway.