The dictionary defines zest (in addition to the outermost part of orange and lemon ring) as ‘keen, hearty pleasure’ or ‘excitement and enjoyment.’
By rights, I should be feeling extremely ‘zestful;’ right
now. My new novel, ‘Changing the Future’ comes out next week, and my first
published excerpt earlier this week (on Six Sentence Sunday) got some ‘rave’comments.
So why I am feeling decidedly ‘un’-zestful?
Is it because by the time you get to the publication of your
third novel (or seventh, if I count my novels in the 60’s and 70’s) the
excitement has worn off? No, not really, because you can still be thrilled at
having a new book published, however many have gone before. In this case, it’s a story with which I struggled
long and hard. I wrote the original story many years ago and it was the first
one I ‘resurrected’ about four years ago when I decided to try my hand at
romance novels again. Since then, it’s gone through several re-writes, not
least the transfer of the story setting from the original UK setting to America and then back to the UK again, before I was happy with it! So I’m well
pleased that I finally got it to publishable standard.
Having said that, by the time you are having your third
novel published, your family and 'real-life' friends simply take it for granted. No longer
an enthusiastic ‘Wow, that’s fantastic’; instead, a somewhat muted ‘Oh, another
novel. Well done.’ So there won’t be any of the ‘whoop-de-whoop’ which greeted
my first novel last year. Release day will probably mean nothing to anyone
except myself and some of my online friends.
Are you starting to understand my reason for lack of zest?
Then there’s the promotion aspect. I have worked hard during
the last couple of years to network and establish an online ‘presence’. I’ve
spent hours (hundreds of hours!) on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and in the yahoo
loops, networking and getting to know/supporting other people in addition to
promoting myself. I’ve lost count of how many guest posts and interviews I’ve
done on other people’s blogs over the last two years. I appreciate the
opportunity to do this, of course, and I’ve made a lot of very good online friends
as a result.
But how many people buy my books because of my blogs, etc? Maybe
a dozen or so, if I’m lucky! A couple of months ago, I wrote a post on my blog
about an author who has 3 books on Amazon (published between April 2011 and Jan
2012. She says she doesn’t spend much time on promotion, apart from writing a
few blogs or guest blogs. However, in the first half of March, she sold 8686
books! If I could sell half that number in half a month, I’d be ecstatic!
With another book coming out, I have to jump on the
merry-go-round again and start another round of promotion, while asking myself
whether it really has any effect on book sales. And we won’t even mention
the even harder job of getting reviews on Amazon or Goodreads!
I guess I’ll just have to zap up my zest
level and zoom into the promo zone!