Hopeful anticipation or more self-doubt?

I veer between positive and fearful anticipation from hour to hour in this final run-up to the publication of ‘Cruel Tide’. Very occasionally I imagine what it would be like for it to be a runaway success, with sales off the scale and a rushed reprint. But most of the time I know I’m probably not doing enough to overcome the self-published author’s biggest challenge – getting people to read what you’ve written and created when there are so many other books out there competing for attention.

I’m actually going to get a review for this one in Lancashire Life, the offer of which was unexpected, but what if they don’t like it? Perhaps the value of getting any kind of review is greater than the downside of a bad one. I’ve put out so many feelers, and so few of these get any kind of response that it can be very disheartening. I wonder if those who don’t respond understand the impact they have. Maybe they do, and just shrug. I wish I understood that world better and could handle it with more equilibrium.

This general anxiety wasn’t helped this afternoon when I took an advance copy of ‘Cruel Tide’ to show to one of my strongest local supporters in her shop where she’s sold heaps of my books over the past few years. ‘Do you want to see it?’ I asked, preparing to pull my advanced copy of the book out of the envelope for the big reveal. She grimaced. ‘I’ve seen the poster, but I can’t look at it because I can’t bear hands.’ For a moment my heart sank. ‘I’ll sell it,’ she added, ‘and I’m sure the cover won’t bother anyone else, but I won’t be able to have it on the counter.’ What??? That’s a strong reaction: I know the cover image is striking, but it was meant to spark curiosity not revulsion. Surely someone would have advised against using the cover if it was that bad?

The front and back covers, and the offending hand.

Front and back covers, with the offending hand.

Anyway, it’s too late now. The books are printed and the full shipment will arrive on Monday. I’m taking a copy through to Waterstones in Barrow on Tuesday and will see what a professional bookseller thinks. I hope she doesn’t have a hand phobia. There must be a special word for that condition, and I hope that it’s extremely rare.

Beyond that the dates and events for presenting the book multiply, in libraries and bookshops all around the area. I’m grateful for all of them, and will enjoy them all too, but I wish I could break out into the wide sales uplands of Manchester or London. What would that take?  Maybe I should just rock up to the huge Waterstones on Manchester’s Deansgate, book in hand, and tell them how lucky they are. That’s what I need – more chutzpah.

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2 thoughts on “Hopeful anticipation or more self-doubt?

  1. People should buy the book on the strength of the writing in your blog posts!!! Fear of hands is called “chirophobia.” It is rare. Here’s what http://www.phobiasource.com has to say:

    “Chirophobia is one the rarest phobia which is regarded by the major fear of hands, either by own hands or others. Like other phobias this generally occurs in response to some traumatic experiences in the past like injury of the hands or a severe attack of arthritis. Pain and suffering in the hands will cause negative attitude towards hands.

    Most of the time chirophobics are seen with mittens as a protective gear. Also, they are afraid with the concept of hand washing.”

    So hopefully you’ve just met your “one-in-a-million” book seller!

    Your advice for best ways to order doesn’t include the US. I’m going to have a go at it right now. Best of luck, Ruth!!!

    • Wow, that’s really interesting Jan, thanks. A box of books has been shipped to Portage and Main press in Winnipeg and I’m sure they have a 1-800 phone line for you to order it. I know they’re taking orders so try it. Ruth

      On Friday, November 6, 2015, Ruth's writing about writing wrote:

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