There are a few things that I didn't expect in this self-publishing process. I didn't expect it to take so long to get the perfect cover (neither did my poor cover designer). I didn't expect Apple's upload process to be so difficult (so difficult that I've yet to have Single in the City for sale through Apple - luckily the Kindle for Mac button on Amazon lets iPad users download it directly there). And I didn't expect the rewriting/editing/cover design/ePub wrangling to be the easiest part of the process.
For I am now Marketing (queue rousing music). Maybe in some small way this is what it feels like to be a first-time mother, when you realise that that helpless little thing, which you created, is completely dependent on you for its survival. I am a literary single mother.
Single in the City's UK incarnation was spearheaded by fabulous Sales & Marketing and PR teams at Penguin. They got the book widespread exposure, and dangled it in front of millions of women across the UK as they did their weekly Tesco shops, jetted off for their summer holidays and hurried back to their lives in the commuter belt on the 18.05 from Paddington/King's Cross/Liverpool Street.
But now Single in the City exists in the ether. It won't catch the eye of passing shoppers from the chart wall or the 3 for 2 sales table. It's got sharp elbows, sure, but it needs a lot of help to get noticed amongst the other 342,000 Kindle fiction releases on Amazon. I can't simply let the book fend for itself.
And that way, obsession lies. This is the part I didn't bargain for in the self-publishing process. I expected to be busy. After all, I've been through a launch before. I know there are lots of review books to send, and interviews and guest blogs to do for the lovely reviewers who kindly take an interest and are so important to a book's life. What I didn't expect was the extent to which Single in the City would sit on my conscience and whisper "Isn't there more you can do?" Ungrateful book.
For instance, I'm in sunny Florida as I type this, for my annual family fun fest feedathon (Thanksgiving is next week). I should be contemplating which sun factor to apply and instead I'm ticking off the emails I need to write to the kind readers who have agreed to review the book.
It's no wonder my mother has always said "Sleep well honey. When you have children you'll never sleep that deeply again." I fear that moms are always right... what's that? Must dash, the book is calling.