How It Feels To Have Your Book Out There In The World

Warning: Honest post!

I feel I owe it to you guys to get a bit personal about my feelings now Pentecost is out in the world. I’ve blogged the whole first novel  journey so far so I thought I should post this while I am still mired in launch week! I will be doing a breakdown of how the marketing went in the next few weeks.

In the video, you will learn:

  • How Pentecost made #17 in religious fiction on the US Kindle Store, #96 on UK Thriller Fiction in paperback and #9 in Christian fiction UK. i.e. I made Amazon bestseller lists! It’s great to have the book out there and selling and it’s all happening! I’ve done loads of guest posts so my name is out there. Crazy times! [Update 13 Feb: Pentecost made #4 in Religion & Spirituality -> Fiction and #5 in Kindle -> Religious Fiction and #67 in Genre Fiction as well as #2 in Movers & Shakers]
  • BUT I’m also tired and emotional about it all. I did work very hard on the launch and I guess I’m burnt out and the adrenalin high is wearing off.
  • Writers have some issues with self-esteem of course, but there is a fear of judgment and criticism. We all worry about this. I have written genre fiction, not literary fiction after all! We just have to carry on writing. It’s to be expected.
  • I feel weird about the fact people are reading my thoughts across space and time. Parts of me are in the book (not the violent parts!) You can hear which parts are autobiographical in this interview with Tom Evans.
  • The cycle of creativity. There are peaks and troughs and I’m down at the moment. I know it will return again as I have ideas for the next few books but right now, I need to rest and not pressure myself too much.
  • On the pressure of needing to get the next book out there! Pentecost is a short book, a fast-paced read and people are finishing it and wanting the next one which I haven’t started writing yet! But writing is a long term experience and I’m aiming to continue writing over time.
  • I hope these honest thoughts help you!
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Comments

  1. says

    This is great, J — Thanks! Have you already posted a sort of schedule of the birth of Pentecost? When you started writing, editing, publishing — how long it all took? Would love to see a bit on that. Congrats again!

  2. says

    Thanks for that Joanna. Really sweet & honest post about the combination of emotions accompanying the Big Day. Perhaps the first time that someone has laid down – in an endearingly personal way – how the time around publication feels.

    Wish you continuing success with Pentecost & its successors. Thanks for all the podcasts & blog posts. And my offer of many pints the next time you’re back in the UK stands :-) Now go & drink a nice big glass of good Australian red – you deserve it!

  3. says

    Hi Joanna
    First of all, congratulations on a brilliant campaign and also the terrific rankings you’ve notched up.
    I so relate to this video post. Especially the creative points. When I finish a book I feel relief – and then, oh goodness a space yawns before me. Although I have my next ideas set up like you do with Prophecy and Pilgrim, it still feels like a leap in the dark because I’m going from a work that is largely known to one that is not!
    And your point about people reading your thoughts…. definitely! The first time I talked to an agent who had read my novel on submission I felt as though she had been reading my secret diary. Fiction, although it is made up, feels far more personal than anything else I write.
    Onward and upward!

    • says

      I’m glad you understand Roz. I guess I just have to take my own advice and get writing the next book! Although I might actually do some non-fiction again first to “cleanse the palate!”

  4. says

    Hi Joanna,
    Congratulation on the launch and success of Pentecost.
    I can completely understand how you are feeling at the moment – the highs and lows, the good and the bad.
    My third book was released in January – Claudia’s Big Break – and the fear of criticism and judgement is with me all the time, especially when I open a newspaper or read online reviews. It is hard because although we write fiction, as a writer you can’t help but inject some of your own thoughts and personality into your writing.
    Once again, congratulations. I’m looking forward to reading it!
    Lisa
    PS Thanks also for your insightful blogs and observations!

    • says

      Thanks Lisa. I have been reading the bad reviews as well as the good so far – but I have also printed out the good ones and stuck them in my diary so I can reread them if I start to feel negative! I know not everyone likes the same type of books so it’s important to keep it in perspective.

  5. says

    thanks for sharing the downs as well as the ups with us. your passion and authenticity are admirable. you are an inspiration and i wish you the best.

  6. says

    Joanna, congratulations on the success of PENTECOST! I’ve been fascinated by the efforts you’ve done for your launch, and I’ll definitely be picking up the book first chance — it covers topics that fascinate me. Can’t wait to see your timeline and marketing breakdown. In the meantime, don’t forget to celebrate, and replenish. :)

    • says

      Thanks Cathy. Pentecost is available on Amazon in print and Kindle and will soon be on all the other ebook stores too. I’ll be posting the launch breakdown after I get sales numbers end of the month.

  7. says

    Hi, Joanna
    As always I appreciate the information on process and emotion that you have shared with all of us on your journey in novel writing.

    As I have self-published already as well, I fully understand the roller-coaster ride you are on at the moment. The adrenalin rush and the internalized fear that comes with putting yourself out there. As writers, we want to share our words and thoughts with others, but it leaves us terribly exposed once the deed is done, and always questioning our abilities. How else do we move ahead though, if we don’t try and continue our learning experience.

    I have read Pentecost, and my opinion is that you should be feeling very proud of your accomplishment. I will be posting my thoughts on the book on my blog soon. I applaude your courage, Joanna.

  8. says

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this post and I have NO clue how I got to this site.

    It has been a year and I still struggle with the thoughts of my first book being in the hands of readers. It was a collection of poetry, so for me it was very personal. I took a few months to release the internal pressure, deal with the literary high and lows. But, in no time I had penned my second book, a novel. Today, it has been typeset, and is in the hands of my editor for one more go and I am feeling low, because I’m worried about sending Running from Solace out in the big ole world alone with no disclaimer to back her up as I suffer from ‘you are what you write’ syndrome yet again.

    Okay, I’m rambling. But you get me, I understand you perfectly. I will check out Pentecost, hope it’s on Kindle! Blessings and Good luck and Keep writing!

    • says

      Hi Nakia, that will be the power of Googling :) I’m glad you found me! I do understand and I was very low just before the launch. I was petrified on one hand that people would read the book and my thoughts and also petrified that no one would buy it and I’d a failure. We are SO hard on ourselves!
      All the best for the launch – and yes, Pentecost is on Kindle. Thanks!

  9. says

    I’m all for honesty – and I think you’re incredibly brave to record a video! I think it’s good to be reminded that we can’t keep high indefinitely – and when the inevitable drop in energy happens, we need to remember to be kind to ourselves. You’re right, we writers are hard on ourselves!

  10. says

    Joanna, thanks so much for your honesty! For those of us who aren’t published yet, it’s quite easy to imagine the fantastic high of getting a book out there — and even easier to ignore the emotional drain of it all.

    An Oklahoman indie publisher is releasing my first novel in April, and of course I’m terribly excited! And scared out of my wits! ; ) So it’s especially valuable for me to see an already-published author make herself vulnerable and tell me what it’s really like to send the novel out into the world. It’s beneficial to think consciously about how there are seasons for everything: both the uplifted emotions and the let-downy ones.

    Thanks! : )

  11. says

    No worries about when you’re going to start Prophecy. I’m willing to wait to a good next novel in a series. I’m also patiently waiting for Elizabeth Cunningham’s The Red Priestess to come out (4th book in her Maeve Chronicles).

    I loved Pentecost, and I’ll be buying the follow-ups as they come out.

  12. says

    Joanna,

    I think it is so cool that you expressed your feelings. It is always a good thing to see the “human” aspect of any type of celebrity whether first time novelist or silver screen superstar.

    I received my copy of Pentecost, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as I am finishing Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol.”

    I wish you all of the success that life has to offer. I know how hard you worked to release Pentecost, and maybe you need to take a week to just relax and meditate on the next book.

    Keep the coming Joanna!!

    Regards,
    Bryan

  13. says

    Thanks so much for sharing the ups and downs you’ve been feeling since Pentecost launched. Congrats on hitting the Amazon bestseller lists! It’s refreshing to hear such an honest take on how launching the book, and it doing well, doesn’t mean that all is free beer and roses afterwards. Still, what you’ve done is awesome, and you’re building even more readership for Prophecy.

    Now to look back at my publishing plan and look ahead to the book that follows up my first travel fantasy novel…

  14. says

    Joanna, congratulations on your book! Have you found that people who know you for something other than writing are a tougher sell as readers? I write, act, and draw, and I have learned that people who’ll come to see me in a show won’t necessarily care to read what I’ve written or view what I’ve drawn.

    • says

      My day job is in a completely different industry and most people don’t even know I am a writer as well! I would say there is less than 1% crossover between my 2 separate lives and that includes family! I find it easier to keep the 2 separate as you say because people judge you very quickly based on what they assume you are like. It’s kind of the same with writing genre as well i.e. fans of your fiction don’t necessarily go for the non-fiction. But that’s ok – there’s room for everyone!

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