Hurry Up and Wait

I have found that I'm becoming more and more impatient. 

Understandably, the release of "Pray" has become nearly all I think about.  If I go an entire day without doing something to promote it, I feel as if I've failed.  I want people to buy it and I want them to read it and I want them to review it and I want them to get others to buy it.  I want these things to happen and I want them to happen right away.

But they can't.  Not really.

Books -- particularly those by an unknown author -- take time to reach an audience.  This isn't a movie or a TV show or a song or a web site.  This is 200+ pages of words.  Even those who already have a copy might not get to read it for weeks.  There is going to be a period of time where I'm just hanging out while people read.

Books are made or broken by word of mouth.  How often do you see a TV commercial for a book?  They're pretty rare.  Magazine and newspaper ads are far more common, but those cost money, more money than a mid-size publisher and a first time author have available.  But the internet is (relatively) free.  Conversations are still priceless.  Letters (both electronic and physical) are never more than the cost of postage or a chunk of internet time.

But these things all take time.

The problem, for me, is that I've waited so long to get to this point, that I don't want to stop moving forward.  I don't want this partial fulfillment of my ultimate goal to be all there is.  I want to -- I need to -- turn this success into another and another and another.  There is a way these things work, though, and that way requires time and patience and I have difficulty with both of those things.

I also find myself having strange debates with myself.  For example, I have two other books that are relatively ready to be seen by an agent or publisher.  I'm currently writing query letters for them.  The fact that I've managed to get a book published will help me a great deal.  Being able to say that it's on its second (or even third) printing would help even more.

Again, I find myself anxious to move forward, but having to slow down.  "Pray" has been out for two weeks; I've sold maybe 30% of the initial run.  It's entirely possible that I could get to a second printing, but that could be months down the line.  It might be in my best interest to hold on to those queries letters until then.  It's certainly in my best interests to hold on to them until more people at least know about the book.  And so I have to wait.  Again.

At some point after someone realized they could make money from books, someone declared that writing a book was the easy part; it was selling it that was hard.  On one level, I disagree; selling is easier because it doesn't take as long.  At a certain point, the movement is there or it isn't.  The push either works or it doesn't.  Writing a book is never that clear.

So I here I am, riding the wave, hoping it takes my far enough that I can keep the momentum going.  Here I am, waiting, hoping that every person who reads my book will do me the kindness of spreading the word.

I'm not a patient boy, but I'm trying.