April 2020 "Write Up": Getting it Done Despite COVID-19
T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland begins with “April is the cruellest month”, a statement I have been jokingly agreeing with the past thirty days (due to COVID-19 and pregnancy issues), but, in truth, I can’t agree with him this year!
As you know, April has been fantastic for me in the literary sense. I’ve been wanting to publish a book since I was a teenager, and after years of hard work, it’s a major accomplishment (and relief) to have finally released my first baby, What Branches Grow, out into the world.
It wasn’t easy! I had some problems with Amazon, spent many frustrating days working on the formatting for all versions, and my cover had to be modified quite a few times (in fact, I’m still waiting on what is hopefully a final fix). I prepared dozens of pitches to bloggers, Goodreads book reviewers, Booktuber reviewers, and had to decide which editorial reviewers/contest/sponsored reviews to pay for. And I had to make a marketing plan for the summer when (hopefully) COVID-19 has eased away.
But, by far, the hardest part was getting over worry over people’s reactions to it! Not random people, but people I know. What Branches Grow isn’t the happiest book in the world, but it seems most people don’t find it “as bad” as I expected. I guess I should thank all those HBO shows for desensitizing everyone.
I’m sooo happy to finally have a copy of my own! Usually, I would have gotten a stack of “author copies” from Amazon, but due to COVID-19 they aren’t shipping any of them! I had to order one from Amazon like a customer, just to have one, and despite having Prime, my neighbours and some friends got their copy before me! But, a small sacrifice to make in a pandemic, I suppose.
Despite these small issues, I wouldn’t change any of it. I got my book out. It looks great! I managed to score a few bloggers to review my book (in June/July) and a couple on Goodreads. Plus, all my fabulous friends and family who posted reviewers on Amazon have made my year.
The support from everyone has been just amazing. All the people on Facebook, my relatives and family, and my dearest best buds have all been so encouraging. It really makes me feel like all the work I put into the book over the years was worth it.
In terms of writing other things, that has ground to a halt. All my time has been spent on What Branches Grow, but now that I can’t do any marketing until later in the summer, I’m going to get back into focusing on my Sci-Fi trilogy. It’s called “Tenuous Alliance” right now (dumb name) and I’m almost done Book 2. Next month I hope to have the first chapter included with the May newsletter if people want to check it out. It’s really fun – like Star Wars meets Alien (mysterious ship, fun aliens, intergalactic conflict, spaceships!).
Thanks for reading!