Now that I have kids of my own, Christmas isn't really that big of a deal to me. It's more of a holiday full of preparations for others to enjoy: cooking, cleaning, trips to Christmas tree farms. But I still remember the feelings of anticipation of Santa, coming through the keyhole (we didn't have a chimney), and bringing his huge sack of goodies. I never really knew if he'd gotten my letters or not. He rarely brought me what I'd asked for, although I usually enjoyed what I got.
The year I asked for a Barbie mansion of some sorts, he brought me a microscope. At first, I was sorely disappointed. But my mom showed me what spit looked like through the eyepiece, and I was hooked. For weeks afterward, I was scraping up bath tub scum, tearing leaves off plants, and scraping people's teeth to see what kinds of organisms I could find...
Publishing my own work is akin to getting Santa's visits. Trying to build up an awareness through social media and submitting advanced copies to reviewers can be time-consuming and daunting at the least, mentally and emotionally draining at the most. Actually holding onto a completed story for two weeks before publishing it, to stay on my timeline? Ugh...I'm not sure I'll ever do that again. Patience is not one of my big things.
Back to my Santa comparison...Yeah, so now that it's out there...I'm not sure what I'll get in return. Not that I need something back, I just would like to know that people are actually reading them, and enjoying my work. Advanced reviews were generally positive, though for completely dichotomous reasons. I found it funny that some reviewers liked the steaminess, others liked the tameness. To my knowledge, they read the same story.
I am obsessively checking my sales on Amazon, just about every hour. Against my will, almost...I'll pass my computer, and my butt sits in the chair and my hands are on the mouse, clicking away before I realize what I'm doing. I have to laugh at myself, and know that in a couple of days I'll get over it and stop obsessing over the numbers.
Yesterday, I got a message from an old college buddy of mine, asking who in the hell Anne Conley was. I told him it was my pen name, for the romances I've been publishing. Turns out, this guitar building metal head is a fan of erotica. He downloaded Neighborly Complications last night, and regaled me with comments like, "Chapter Five: Wowza!" It was fun.
I'm hoping though, that like visits from Santa, I will receive an unexpected surprise with Falling for Heaven. Either an amazing review, or a spike in sales of my other books, or an email from an actual fan and not just somebody I know. It would be cool to know that a complete stranger was led to my stories and felt something from reading them. Even if it is just horny. Not that I don't appreciate the support of people I know, even if I only know them from this digital world. Without those people, I probably wouldn't have even kept writing.
So Santa can come. Bring me something unexpected. In the meantime, I'll keep obsessively checking my sales numbers, and looking for reviews. Hopefully, I'll eventually get back to work.
Good things planned for this week. I'm hoping to finish Hearts of Ishira, by Bethany Aan today, so I can post a review of it tomorrow. It's a good one. Then Friday, this blog is taking part in a massive giveaway that looks pretty danged exciting. I'm totally going to enter it, if I can...