One of the scariest things as a creator is showing your baby to world. I will not lie. I’m insecure about what I create. I’m afraid people won’t like it, or that it won’t sell. I might have put years of energy into it without seeing a return. I might have wasted money and other people’s energy by asking them for help.
Only six days left until more people get their hands on Tales of Lunis Aquaria. People I don’t know. People whom I haven’t hand picked to read them, and all of them will have their own opinion. I’m both excited and nervous.
“Come see my baby!”
I announced my book baby to my immediate friends and family. This was the first time most of them saw the cover (lovely artwork by my sister) and read the synopsis. The responses have been positive, but Jeroen reminded me that friends and family are rarely unsupportive.
I wouldn't worry about their opinions too much. First of all, you wrote a good book. Second, in my experience most people you know IRL will be supportive regardless of whether or not the book is their cup of tea. Third, a lot of them will be awed that they know an actual writer
— Jeroen Steenbeeke (@JSteenbeeke) April 12, 2019
Have you had the guts to tell a new parent their child is butt ugly? I know I don’t. I’ll think of something positive to say, unrelated to the child’s beauty. But I understand they’re proud. They’ve spent months waiting for this moment and you will not take it away. Even if you don’t like it, wish them luck. That’s how you can make someone smile, maybe even a little happier. I know everyone’s kind words did for me.
Accept that not everyone likes your baby
They might say the same about my book. They’ll cheer me on, but not buy it. Or buy it and never reader. Or buy it, read it, and hate it. All of that is okay. Every successful author has one star reviews. You can’t please everyone and by trying to do so, you’ll often hurt yourself and your baby more than necessary. Don’t.
Stephen King mentions he writes for his ideal reader. He writes to please this person and no one else. My ideal reader is my younger self. I write stories I would’ve enjoyed when I was a kid, or even ones I’d still read now. The books I enjoyed are hated by others. My opinion isn’t the only one in the world, and it’s certainly not the only valid opinion.
Send it off into the world like a proud parent
After months of hard labour, the baby is out into the world. And now it’s up to them to find their way, with support of their parents. But you can only do so much. I can make sure that my book is found by readers. Write enticing copy and purchase ads. Tweet about it and maybe send off a press release. I can’t do more than that.
People will either buy it or they won’t. They will either read it, or they won’t. They will either like it, or they won’t. It’s not up to me anymore. My baby has to convince them on their own. I did my hard work to make them as good as can be.
I think all parents (and creators) feel a little iffy by sending their baby into the big world filled with unknowns, but you’re done. You’ve finished the hard work. Be proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. Now it’s up to others. Let them form their opinions.
How do you feel about sharing something you’ve created? Which emotions do you feel and how do you deal with them?