Keep Moving Forward

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I completed my first novel. By July 2015, A Second Helping had been re-written six times, edited and proofread. I hired a group of really talented people who helped with the editing process, photo shoot for the cover, cover design and book layout. As an indie author, I had an opportunity to be hands-on every step of the way, with on-the-job training that will be invaluable when it’s time to publish my second novel.

Once the book was done, the real work began. I had to get my book out there and let the world know that A Second Helping was available. With no formal education in book distribution, I just worked on instinct and logic. I had a book, so I went to bookstores to offer them the opportunity to sell it. I soon learned that that wasn’t how it worked. I contacted independent bookstores all 20151029_094250over the state of North  Carolina, and only one store got back to me. Park Road Books was more than willing to sell copies of my book. They had a program for local authors that I signed up for. That was an exciting day to see A Second Helping on the shelf next to New York published authors.

I was feeling pretty good about myself, so I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to Barnes and Noble. We have three stores in the Charlotte area, and I figured at least one of the locations would be interested, right? One store manager never called me back, another manager pretty much said I was wasting my time. He said, “First priority goes to traditionally published authors, and I’m not looking for any self-published authors for this store.”

I was a little irritated after that call, but at least he called me back–even if it was to burst my bubble. By the time the third store contacted me, I was less than enthusiastic. I told the assistant manager about my book, and she asked if I was willing to give her a copy, so the staff could read it. I agreed and brought her a book the next day. She mentioned something about an event they were planning, and if the staff liked my book, she’d get in touch with me.

That was October 2015. I never heard from her again. I almost forgot about going to that Barnes and Noble until I received an email in June 2016–eight months later–inviting me to participate in a local author event the store was having to spotlight area writers. I felt like a minor league pitcher Local Author Afternoonwho finally got her shot in the Big Leagues. Of course I said yes. The store ordered my book to put on the shelf and took care of the promotion. How cool is that? Now all I have to do is spread the word and talk about my book, which will be easy, since I love my story and love talking about love.

This experience has reiterated to me that I can’t let one person’s no stop me from pursuing my goals. I know in my heart that no one can close a door that God wants open. I just have to continue to move forward and trust in Him. Since I’m feeling pretty good about myself again, I will be sending Devon Franklin and Tracey Edmonds copies of A Second Helping. They produced Jumping The Broom, so I know they will do a good job with my book when they make it into a movie. Crazier things have happened.

 

2 thoughts on “Keep Moving Forward

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I haven’t done any book fairs in NYC. I’ll keep it in mind for when I release my next book next year. Thanks for reading my blog, and thanks for the link to the harlem book fair.

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