There was a lot of fear the first time I filled in Amazon's KDP sections to self-publish my first novel, A Beginner's Guide To Salad. What if I'd messed up the ebook formatting and people bought a mushed-up mess of a book? Worse, what if I hadn't messed up the formatting and people read the book but hated it. Even worse than that: what if nobody bought the book at all?
Mixed in with The Fear was The Self-Doubt, which was pointing out - rather loudly - that I'd be better off not putting myself out there at all. I feared failing as a writer, but there would be no chance of failing if I didn't publish my book.
But there would also be no chance of success. Nobody could read the book and Ruth's story would have to be shelved and I really, really wanted her story to be out there. I'd loved writing the book. Loved getting to know the characters. And I wanted others to love them too, and they wouldn't if they remained stuck on my laptop forever.
So I published the book. Six people bought copies that first day. I thought that would probably be it, but slowly, the numbers rose. People left reviews and while not every book is going to hit every reader, the feedback suggested they'd enjoyed it on the whole. It's eight years to the day since I tapped on the publish button and there are 142 ratings on Amazon, with 87% being five or four stars. I've since published the paperback as well as releasing two more books in the Beginner's Guide series. And my writing hasn't stopped there: I've been published by HarperCollins and have self-published two more books outside of the Beginner's Guide series plus a short story compilation. I'm currently working on Book 15.
There are days when there is still the fear and the self-doubt about my writing, but I don't let them win and I definitely don't feel like a failure.