On the last episode of the Erin Tells Lies blog, I told you about how I’d sent out the first digital copies of my novel to my selected alpha readers.  This week, I received the three physical copies I ordered for those alpha readers who prefer a huge stack of paper to review. The first two are already in the hands of their intended recipients, and the third will be delivered this week.

I’m also receiving the first bits of feedback. My amazing mother has already finished her first reading of the book (she wanted to read it once just for story, then provide edits on a second read), and I know one other friend has started it. Given the holiday season and the general busy-ness of people’s lives, I have no expectations on my readers. I’m pleased and grateful that anyone has started looking at it.

I’m even more pleased that the initial feedback is positive. As I’ve noted previously, letting this go out into the world has been a scary thing. While I fully expect some tough love eventually, it’s been very relieving to know that the basic building blocks of character, story and world seem solid. The fear is starting to go away and I’m becoming eager for the feedback I know will help me make it better.

I was surprised by how much of an impact it had on me to see my book in print, even in this rough, 8.5”x11”, coil-bound, self-ordered format (as opposed to a professional, publishing house copy with a beautiful cover). The clerk at the print shop handed me this 6-inch thick stack of paper, 846 sheets in total, and something exploded in my heart. There it was, my book. After 20 years it was on actual paper, looking like an actual book!

Even more surprising was the reaction of the clerk who handed it to me. “Are you writing a book?” she asked. I told her yes, this was my first book and these copies were for friends to edit. She became very excited and had so many questions. Was I sending it to editors yet? Was I trying to get published? How long did it take me to write?

It turns out she had tried to write a book once but didn’t quite get the to the stage I’m at now. She was very excited for me and impressed that I’m now working on getting it out into the world. I told her briefly about how it had lived in my head for 20 years and in the last few years I’ve made it happen. She called me inspirational and wished me well.

I left the store completely flummoxed by the twin joys of holding my physical book and getting such an excited reaction from a stranger. I couldn’t stop grinning as I walked home. I can barely believe that people who know me are interested in my writing and the process surrounding it, let alone complete strangers.

I guess the lesson here is that you really don’t know what impact you might have on people. Sometimes I worry I’m a bit of a broken record on this blog with the things I talk about, but I’m beginning to believe that as long I keep being honest about what I’m doing and what impacts me, there might be someone out there that needed to hear it.

What a magical thing this process continues to be.

1 Comment

  1. Mom

    Erin I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved watching you take control of your life over the last couple of years and dare to be the real you. Not only is your book amazing, so are you. Don’t ever stop; it’s wonderful to see you bloom.

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