Publishing a novel...and other signs of madness
Updated: Feb 19
Once upon a time I had an enticing thought: perhaps I could write a book one day. It seemed like a reasonable thing for me to do. I had long been an avid reader and had done plenty of writing already, both during my years at university and later, working as a medical writer. I also knew a fair amount about research, and so I thought I could manage historical fiction, even if I wasn't at all sure that I had the imagination to invent characters and give them all personalities, much less develop a storyline. To my extreme surprise, though, it turned out that I COULD do all of these things and enjoyed doing so immensely. What's more, the ideas just kept coming - so much so that I realised early on that I wasn't writing just one book, but a whole series of them! And so I hammered away joyfully on my keyboard, envisaging myself selling thousands of copies of my first masterpiece.
Unfortunately, I had overlooked one minor detail: writing a book is one thing, getting anyone to read it is quite another! Far from being able to sit back while adoring fans showered me with praises, this was where the work actually began. The writing was easy in comparison! How to even get anyone to notice my book among thousands and thousands of others? Where to advertise, how to advertise, which piece of advice to take and which to ignore? These are the questions that now occupy my mind, not to mention my time, as I slog through social media posts and marketing strategies day after day.
"What madness is this?" I ask myself at least once a day, as I prepare the next sales pitch for my Twitter feed. But just as I've decided to give it all up and am about to delete my Facebook and Instagram accounts, there comes the reward for all my efforts: another sale of my book!
I suppose I'll be doing it all again tomorrow after all...
by Juliane Weber (@UnderEmeraldSky) 18 February 2021
About Juliane Weber
Juliane is a scientist, turned medical writer, turned novelist. Her debut book, Under the Emerald Sky, is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in 19th century Ireland around the time of the Great Famine.