So, The Demon's Apprentice is out and selling (ended up under the 30K mark on day one, so I'm pretty pleased), and now comes the clean up. As I went along, to build up momentum and buzz for the release, I posted pics of my cover in places it could stay permanently. I was very lucky to have Angela Gulick as my cover designer, because she included FB cover photos (one for pre-release with the release date, and one for post release without it), kindle covers, hard-copy covers that fit Createspace's template perfectly, and other options featuring the cover art.
Once the release happened, I had to go in and add links to the book page on Amazon to the cover pics on the website, add hyperlinks to the book itself in any place it would work and replace the pre-publication image with the post publication version.
Bear in mind, I'm not complaining. This is work I'm happy to do. Hell, doing what I did in the first place is probably a large part of why it hit the mid 20K range today. Changing what needed to be changed is just what needed to be done.
Here is what today is a prime example of: Writing is WORK. This was my day off from the day job, and I spent more than half of it doing things associated with writing. From the minute I woke up, managing the business of writing dominated my day. In addition to updating all of my photos and adding links for The Demon's Apprentice, I spent some time emailing people about the other fun stuff of writing, like sending info to a writers' group I'm going to speak for in February, and coordinating with the convention I'm holding my book release at in the same month. Plus I spent 2 1/2 hours on the phone talking to two other authors about a writing project for next year. About the only writing related thing I DIDN'T do today was actually write. Some days are like that.
Now, there are a lot of people out there who will tell you "Don't do it for the money" and "If it becomes work stop and come back to it later." I'm not one of those people. Writing isn't "art" to me, and I'm not an artiste. It's a craft, and I am a tradesman. Also, I think these same people don't share my definition of loving something. Basically, when I hear advice like that, what it translates to is "Do what's easy. The moment it stops being fun, stop doing it." To me, that isn't doing what you love, that's doing what you have a crush on.
Because when you really love what you do, I think you do it with just as much passion when it's hard as you do when it is easy. Maybe even more so. You treat writing like a serious relationship, not a crush you abandon as soon as a flaw becomes visible.
Right now, I am at what I would describe as a transitional stage in my writing career. I'm just beginning to find enough success with my writing that it is starting to feed itself and generate its own opportunities, but I'm not quite to the point where writing is my primary source of income. I've been writing seriously since 2006, and I've been published since 2010. The down side of this point as a writer is that, realistically, I'll still be at the day job for another couple of years. The up side? Same thing. I could be doing what I love for a living in a couple of years. Beats saying "Only ten years until I can retire."
So, if you're a hobby writer, I have no advice for you. I can't help you with writer's block, and I can't make your characters behave or start talking to you again. We approach writing differently.
But if you want to write for a living, if you love to write so much that you're willing to do it when it's hard...
There's something you NEED to hear, a message from your future self that will change your life:
It's worth it. There will come a day when, if you keep at it, if you work to improve your craft, when you will have a day like the one I just had, and you'll think to your self, "Holy crap! I'm almost there!"
I promise you, that's a good day.