Holy moly spicy guacamole! as my darling fictional Coco would say. Star Sisters and the Royal Wedding is really selling! I can't believe it! I mean, I can believe it because I love this book and think every parent out there will as well, but it's still kind of a shock because for such a long time this project was a private labor of love. As I told one of my friends recently, writing these books was my dirty little secret. I kept them very private. And yes, I am fully aware that a dirty little secret should be much more scandalous.
But the thing about writing is that it's a solitary process. Let's be real, I'm not writing the next great American novel here. I don't write twelve hours a day from a cabin in the woods and I've accepted that Star Sisters will probably never make the short list for a Pullitzer. But I do log a ton of hours alone with my computer. And when I made the decision to publish Star Sisters independently, I voluntarily signed on for an even more solitary experience. Or so I thought.
For those of you who don't know, publishing independently, or indie publishing, is just a cooler way of saying self-publishing. (Just how cool? Read more about that here.) It means that a book is produced not by a conventional publishing house like Simon & Schuster or Random House, but by a small publishing company or the author herself. In my case, I'm a one woman show. I published all my work under an LLC that I created, hired my own illustrator, and did all the layout, production, and printing through Createspace, which is Amazon's self-publishing arm. I did all this because I believed in my project with all my heart and I wanted it to be executed according to my high standards. I wanted quality writing and story lines with an edge, tons of illustrations, and a book that physically looked and felt awesome with a killer cover and great paper. In the end, I got what I wanted. But whereas most books are produced by a team of professionals who work with the writer and each other, I did it all alone. And it was kind of lonely (and a tad bit terrifying).
But not anymore. Ever since the books have come out I have been blown away by the number of new people that have come into my life. There's Wayne at the Post Office who I see on a daily basis as I send out more and more books. We compare parent/grandparent stories. There's the incredible staff at numerous local bookstores who have been so supportive and have already invited me to participate in special events this summer. I've gotten to know two awesome ladies, Sarah Winchester and Amy Hendren, who spent all day at my house on Wednesday photographing and styling it up for a feature that will run soon online. Sneak peak of the fun here:
Through a party I hosted I met two talented local moms with a new catering business and another mom who does her own floral design. I could have talked to those ladies all day and about the joys and challenges of running a small business. And then there are friends I haven't seen in years who have been recommending my books to all their mom friends. Wellesley Books has sold out twice in 10 days and I literally got a call from a bookstore I wasn't even in asking if I could drop some books off after someone came in asking for them!
I'm gearing up to head back to my desk - I have a great idea for book #4 that I'm just dying to write and produce - but this time it's going to be a lot less lonely. And I am so very grateful for that. So, so grateful.