An odd thought struck me this morning: what if people actually like my books? Over the past few years, I've racked up hundreds of rejections. I told myself the agents and editors were only rejecting my query letters, because what else could they be rejecting? None of the agents and editors I sent letters to had ever heard of me, so they could not be rejecting me personally. Nor did most request any part of a manuscript, so they could not be rejecting my novels. But others did request parts of the manuscripts, and found them wanting. Some did not like my characters, my setting, my matter-of-fact style, my inability to sweep them away. Some did not like that the books could not be easily slotted into a genre. The rest simply said the books did not fit with their list. I had a great attitude through all those rejections, and I didn't think they affected me, but they must have, because I've been steeling myself against weak sales and less-than-stellar reviews.
Ever since More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire were accepted by Second Wind Publishing, I've been so focused on figuring out how to sell my books (I even started a new blog, Book Marketing Floozy, to share what I learned and will continue to learn) that it never occurred to me people might read my books. Of course, one-fourth to one-half of all purchased books are never read, so perhaps those who buy won't read, but what if they do?
Now that my publication date is nearing (actually, it's not a date, more like a time -- end of November), and my novels are about to be made available, I'm getting nervous. Only one person (a freelance editor I met in a writing group) read all four of my manuscripts, and she absolutely loved them. And an author I met through my blog read one of my manuscripts, and she thought it was brilliant. Although many people have read excerpts of my novels, no one else has ever read one all the way through. Soon my novels will be published.
And what if people like them?