Reviews, numbers and anxiety

So, it has been a month since I published my first book.

On the 6th of August, I released my book on Amazon in Ebook and paperback format. Sounds easy. It isn't. There are so many rules. The tags. The categories. I ran to Youtube, it confused me even more. I eventually figured it out and published! 

Yay! I was officially an author. 

It has been a month and I am exhausted. Mostly because there is so much to learn and to do when you're self publishing. Not to mention the Matrix bending skills you need to acquire to dodge those scammers!

I purchased 25 paperback to sell in my home country. I left the rest to Amazon. You know what? I have to admit. I didn't do so bad. It's a marathon not a sprint. I managed to sell 16 of the 25 paperbacks  I ordered locally through aggressive Facebook marketing - because getting into bookstores is like a trip to Mordor. I grew my new Facebook page and hit 180 likes. 

On Amazon, my Ebook started getting sales sporadically. Someone bought a paperback! I was elated. I managed 461 page reads and my free promo on Kindle Unlimited managed to get me into heights I never imagined. I ended with a total of almost forty books sold or read overall. 

No reviews. Nothing. I sat. I waited. I chewed my nails. I woke up with a sore jaw because anxiety was getting to me. Why were there no reviews? Didn't people understand the algorithm? 

I fussed. I refreshed pages. I ran campaigns. 

And then, I paused. Wait. Why had I done this in the first place? For the reviews? The numbers? The external validation? What happened to the "I did it" spirit?

I had to take a moment and reflect. Take a step back and realise that for a new author who has self published her book, my first month was amazing. I had limited resources and yet here I am, ordering another round of paperbacks because I'm almost sold out. I did it. I wrote a book and I published it.

As a shoutout to the songs that helped through this anxiety inducing month of August, I'd like to recommend Stay Here by Gayo and Still Love you by Lee Hong Gi and Yoo Hwe Seung. My attempt at those high notes humbled me enough to remember why I had started this. I'm not a singer. I'm a writer and I did it! 

Below, is a video of me unboxing my books and seeing the paperbacks for the first time. Hey, don't judge. There's a reason I didn't pursue modelling.


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