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What Now?

I wrote a book. I published it. I’ve accomplished something!

Except not really. It’s wonderful that you can publish a book on your own, but so can everyone else. Frankly, ever since Gutenberg started cranking out Bibles, the competition for people’s literary attention has just gotten worse.

Now, the work continues.

When I finished writing a book, I thought I had accomplished something. The joke among authors, I’ve found, is that writing the book is the easy part. Okay, some authors may actually cry a little while they say it. The line between comedy and tragedy cuts through the heart of every joke. (Apologies to Solzhenitsyn.) The real work to books lies in getting someone to read them. In a buffet of books, where the table grows in size every day, someone has to select your entree.

Thanks to the fabulously talented author M Pepper Langlinais, I got my start this week. She interviewed me on her website, www.pepperwords.com. If you haven’t read it yet, please go check it out!

I don’t know where the journey of book publication will take me. I’ve done my first interview. I’ve told people I barely know that I’ve published a book. I’ve pestered all my friends about leaving Amazon reviews. There is more work to be done. I’ll discover it as I go.

Oh, and one of the lessons I’ve learned so far: if you feel moved to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads – and I hope you do! – please let me know how it goes. I heard the first story today of a friend who tried to leave a review. Autocorrect changed a word in it to something she didn’t intend, so that it came out suggestive and/or offensive (she still doesn’t know exactly how). Amazon now refuses to accept reviews from her. Maryann is a combination of your grandmother and that nice library lady who kept you company when no one would talk to you at your new elementary school. I can only hope she settles this blood feud. Clearly, it does not matter who you are. Autocorrect will cut you.

Of course, another reader posted what seemed to me a perfectly lovely review, and it was taken down a week later. I’ve asked Amazon to give it another look, but it could be I just don’t understand the reviewing process.

The most important thing I’ve learned is not to take any of this too seriously. My book will find its way through the world. Everything that happens along the way just makes another good story I can tell at dinner with friends.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you. Let’s have some fun!

Kimberly is arranging counseling sessions for Maryann and Autocorrect, so they can work through their issues.

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