Most days I can barely believe I actually finished writing an entire book, let alone publish it. But, yes, I did that! And it’s already been a year since I pushed the ‘publish’ button on the Amazon website. It feels like it was yesterday. How time flies! To celebrate this milestone, I’m looking back into some highlights of this year. And I have a few news!
✨ The publishing day itself
I have to include this as a highlight — I’ll never forget it. I set up the date and then I waited until after midnight to make it go live, and it was such a thrill! Because of this rookie strategy, in some stores the publication date appears as the 17th of January, in others it’s the 18th of January. I consider the ‘official one’ to be the 18th, but whatever.
✨ The first ever spontaneous review
So, after making my friends and family buy and review it — another rookie strategy —, I braced myself for strangers to find it (with a little marketing help), read it and publish their thoughts on it. For my surprise, it didn’t take long for the first unsolicited review to pop up, and it was amazing! It was such a nice and sweet review, it lifted a lot of anxiety from my shoulders.
✨ The first negative review
But, of course, not everyone would like it. It’s okay, as a self-published author, this is a topic I read a lot about. I was prepared to deal with it and, to be honest, it wasn’t half as bad as I expected it to be. The funny thing is this person criticized some of the characteristics that other people loved about the story. So, even though it will stick with me, it’ll also be a reminder that likes and dislikes are very subjective.
✨ The first editorial review
A little later on the year, I became aware of some contests held for independent authors. I researched a lot and ended up enrolling the book in a couple of them. I didn’t win (although I’m still waiting for the results of the last one, fingers crossed!), but I got some professional assessments and comments, and it was amazing! The book received a 5-star rating and review from Readers’ Favorite, and this has been one of my top achievements of the entire year.
✨ Rewriting and revising
I also never stopped revising the text, which is not ideal. I must have updated the manuscript on Amazon a dozen times. The thing is, as you keep writing, you keep evolving, and you keep finding things you could improve in your previous stories. But now — yes, a year later — I’ve decided to stop this, otherwise I’ll never move on. Welcome to New York is flawed, as all my books will be, and I have to accept it. I did the best I could with the tools and experience I had, and the final product is the best it’ll ever be. I’ll do better on the next one.
✨ Translation into Portuguese and Spanish
Now, a bit of exciting news! A little while ago, I received a proposal to translate the book into Spanish! How cool is that? I’m also translating it into Portuguese myself, which I’m not sure was the best approach to it, but alas. I’m working on the final touches to have them published sometime next month! I cannot wait!
✨ Going wide
I’m also expanding distribution. Up until now, Welcome was available exclusively on Amazon. Not anymore. As of this month, it’ll become available everywhere, which also has me excited. I’m eager to learn even more from this move. And make a few mistakes, too.
✨ I wrote a prequel
Yep, I did that! Didn’t I just say I was letting it go? Well, maybe now I will.
So, to celebrate its first anniversary, I wrote this type of prequel to WtNY. It’s actually a compilation of chronicles about 5 of the main characters. You get a sneak peek of their lives before the events that take place in the book. Hopefully, it’ll give you new layers to them and make you even more curious about the story!
You can get it for free by clicking here.
✨ Moving on
And, this is it. Well, not it it, because Welcome to New York will always be my first book and hold a special place in my heart (and future blogs, I’m sure), but this is it for now.
The plan for this year is to focus on book #2 — which I already restarted. I didn’t write a lot yet, but I’m picking up the rhythm and falling in love with the characters all over again. Remember when I told you I had half of a first draft finished? Now I know what I want the second half to look like and how to tell this story. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
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