I have now been a published author for just over a year – and three of my five novels are beginning to make their mark. If you imagine an ascent, perilous at times, of a very high mountain, with Number One being the much sought-after, striven-for, summit, I guess you could say that my trio are starting the first giddying haul of literary ass up past positions in the thousands and high hundreds.
How it all started, on December 22nd 2014!
My aim is very simple: To reach that summit, eventually, and see all three in the top ten for paid books in their particular categories.
I have a fair old travel ahead of me – but, who knows? I may well reach the heights earlier than I expect. Book-selling is, after all, a very capricious business.
So, here goes:
‘Come Laughing!’ is currently showing at Number 141 on the Kindle Store for Erotica – and will, one day, be up there amongst the high-fliers swooping up and down the ski slopes of the paid writers elitist runs! With ten excellent reviews, it has certainly been appreciated by the reading public.
‘Long-Leggety Beasties’ is Number 82 on the Kindle Store for Educators – and the vast majority of its eighteen reviews are amazing, top-rated ones.
‘Riding at the Gates of Sixty’ is, in many ways, doing the best: It is rated Number 110 for Literary Fiction, Biographical, in the Kindle Store, is regularly appearing in lists of recommended books on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group and all five of its reviews have been top-rated, five star ones.
I feel that the three cater to a vast range of reading tastes. For the lover of lust and sex and hilarity, there is my no-holds-barred book of humorous erotica with its punning and suggestive title.
For those who like nothing more than a damn good belly laugh – and are, or have been, teachers – there is ‘LLB’, a kind of James Herriot like treatment of the every-day world of the secondary school teacher.
And, for those who like a more serious, poetic and based-upon-true-life type of book, and who have an abiding interest in Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Vita Sackville-West – and all the other famous people who wrote, painted, thought and composed in the hallowed environs of Bloomsbury – there is, of course, ‘Riding…‘
So why have I struggled so mightily to get these books roaring and racing out of the slips and winning their respective races? Partly the infamous luck of the publishing draw without a doubt. Partly the fact that, though a highly trained and experienced writer, I have no training – and little natural ability! – in the world of marketing. But overwhelmingly a reluctance to appear big-headed, to sell myself, to push myself and my books forward – to leap the barrier which dictates that nice girls are polite and wait their turn and are grateful for small snippets of attention and fame and success.
I have, in a word, held myself back. There! I’ve admitted it! Each push for the top has been accompanied by soul-wrenching guilt and fear, shame and self-disgust.
But, but, but…
I am the best writer I could possibly be. Of course there is room for improvement, particularly on the technical side (editing, marketing and so forth) – but I can now see, with total clarity, that I have the talent and that it is ready to be seen by the world.
Guilt, shame, fear, self-disgust have all scuttled back to the pit from which they came – and are no longer welcome to accompany me on my journey.
To have written and published one book is a huge achievement. Five even more so!
I march on with pride, with optimism, with clarity of sight and emotion and with the knowledge that I am eminently worth reading and that, eventually, I WILL reach that airy summit with its beautiful views.
And so, I give the links as a writer who believes in herself and her worth within the literary community. I share the fruits of my own love and passion and wonder with those who read my words. And I trust that, gradually, the word will spread, the number of reviews will snowball and my dream of MILLIONS of readers will come true.
So mote it be!