One thing is for sure—the journey of self-publishing a book is almost as adventurous as the story depicted in my debut novel. Six months ago, I jumped into a shiny little boat named Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two and ventured into the open sea in order to reach the lands where readers live. Let me just say this: there are a lot of boats out there searching for those lands.
For the inexperienced author, it could be daunting to find the right formula to put your craft in front of avid readers craving new stories. Going back to my boat analogy, there are plenty of voices out there promising faster routes. Some offer advice, others try to sell you maps, and a few even volunteer to sail with you on that journey.
Make no mistake—there is something to learn from all these offerings. Just be prudent in your choices.
No matter how anxious you are to become a successful author, you must carve in your soul that in order to achieve this, you require at minimum these three ingredients: a high-quality product, consistent hard work, and patience.
By “high-quality product,” I refer to the way your story is packaged for the reader. If you don't have a narrative that brings something new to an audience, hasn't been properly edited, or isn't available at a reasonable price, your ship won't get very far. Make sure to remember the words "something new." It doesn't matter if it's a brand new story or just another view of something that already exists. If it's something fresh for readers, it will have a decent chance.
You have probably noticed that I added the word "consistent" to “hard work.” It's interesting how some authors wonder why their efforts are not producing faster results when they work overtime for a day or two and then stay relaxed the rest of the week. This formula may work for some, but I truly believe an author should dedicate time every day to make progress in most areas of the trade (writing, editing, developing new ideas, promoting, etc.).
I hate to be the one refreshing this reality to you, but this is an endurance run. Being a successful author is not for sprinters. It's funny how I hear stories of new authors pressing the button to publish their ebook, walking away to get a cup of coffee, and then expecting to see the number of copies sold in the thousands by the time they come back. This has rarely happened with a first book, but it can certainly be the case for subsequent pieces if an author keeps focusing on the three ingredients.
The good news is that out there, on those distant shores, readers are waiting for you to do your job. They are expecting you to challenge the waters and find a way to put your book in their hands.
In my case, Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two has already reached readers as far as Egypt. I now have plenty of voices asking for the next installment. As I've shared in various forums, I am targeting late November or early December for it to be in stores.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those around the world motivating me to continue this journey. There is still much for me to learn, but these waters and I are no strangers anymore.
As I've said before, the least we can do for Jonek and his friends is to honor their story.