Last night's event at Quail Ridge Books was a smashing success. As always, the turnout was excellent, and I was especially touched to see those friends and colleagues who came out to support me.
Stacey, as always, was an excellent moderator. I especially liked the statistics he found on self-publishing and integrated with the conversation, some seemingly contradictory to each other. The numbers of PODs and authors opting for PODs seems to be climbing every day. The average number of POD-published books sold, not so much -- an average of 150 (although I didn't get to ask Stacey to clarify the number -- is this per year? per run of one title?).
I have hope, though. Exhibit A: Adam Shepard. Those who don't know Adam Shepard (sitting to my right) need to check him out, and see his interview w/ Stacey on The Artist's Craft, featured on the website How To Publish a Book. He's quite impressive, and very gracious regarding his success. Adam is the perfect example of someone w/ an intention, clear focus, and a plan. And he didn't let anyone tell him that self-publishing was a bad way to go. Adam's book Scratch Beginnings has since been picked up by a traditional publisher. Woohoo, Adam!
The panel was an excellent balance of ingenuity and experience, I think, as well as genre. Best of all, I got to read an excerpt from Faking It (my favorite scene in the book), which was well-received, and I sold out all but two or three of QRB's total stock (about ten)! Perhaps most thrilling for me was when strangers came up to me w/ my book in tow and asked me to sign it for them. I've signed a bunch for family and friends, but it's not the same. My hand shook the whole time; thus my signature was reduced to a childish scribble, more like Elsa than Elisa. Of course, I want them to like it (the novel, not my autograph). I hope they like it. I hope they don't write to me and demand their money back.
Afterwards, a bunch of people, including our panel, met across the parking lot at Tripps and continued the conversation. At the end of the night, I went home feeling validated that I'm on the right track, and that what I've accomplished in the three months since Faking It's release really is something to be proud of.
But it also makes me restless. There's so much more I can and want to do, starting w/ Kairos Calling. So much untapped potential! Perhaps one of the hardest parts about self-publishing is the need to wear so many hats. I need to be the idea-guy and the executor of said ideas. Sometimes that doesn't bode so well. But the great thing about these events is that you get to meet people who can help w/ that. Networking, baby. I loves da networking.
And I've been complaining about this forever, but I need to get disciplined, dammit. This stuff isn't going to get done by itself. As I told an attendee after the session, the way to maintain the balance is to give your writing and your intention the attention it deserves. You have to treat it like a second job (or even your *first* job, if you're *really* serious), one you have to clock in and be accountable for, one that you get a paycheck for. You have to schedule it in shifts. (I say "you," but I'm thinking "I"...)
What fun, though, man! I'm a published author! And I wanna stay on this road for as long as I can. I hope this is only the first of many gigs like this.
I need to close by offering my deepest thanks and appreciation to/for Stacey Cochran, Carol and everyone at Quail Ridge Books, and the Write2Publish group members who faithfully show up each month. Keep writing, folks! And thank you, of course, to my Faking It Fans! Enjoy!