YES, I DID IT! By Larry Hamilton ~ 12/13/2021
Amazon Bestselling Author. Amazon Bestselling Book. Huh? Did this really happen to me?
12/11/2021. A day to remember. The day my book Critical Mass hit #7, #13, #45 in 3 separate Amazon categories worldwide. It is also the day I earned the title, Amazon Bestselling Author. Yes, my friends, that is a dream come true for any writer, and I am no exception. I didn’t know whether to brag about it to my friends and relatives or just shut up and pretend it didn’t happen so as to not jinx my future endeavors. I did some of both in the end.
I imagine this to be a dilemma that most writers face when they achieve their first modicum of success. The earliest mile marker that signifies that maybe…just maybe…they can put pen to paper, so to speak, in a meaningful and entertaining manner. And maybe…just maybe…someone will care about and want to read what they write. In the deep of a sleepless night you wonder…is it really possible to become a relevant voice in today’s world and touch the mainstream consciousness in some way?
Maybe you choose to send a gloating text or e-mail to those who looked at you a little strangely and said things like, “Oh, that’s nice”, when you announced you were going to publish your first book, receiving acknowledgement but not exactly encouragement. As if you were a small child presenting your first crayon doodle to your parent and receiving a patronizing smile. Those who claimed they read your books, but you know they did not, even when you gave them free, signed copies, hoping for feedback or a conversation. Trying to nurture this fragile young writer identity you had adopted.
Do you send screenshots of your Amazon Bestsellers page to the doubters? I remember the Bible saying, “A prophet is without honor in his own country.”
I could always discern the ones who were truly interested in my new adventure because they asked questions about it. That small act of inquiry often fed my hungry soul when I was perilously low on self-confidence. Just a simple question. How did you think of that? What made you want to be a writer? That allowed me to verbalize and share my dream with another living being rather than keeping it all inside. Maybe a small gesture for them, but a little more fuel for my engine.
It was tempting to do those sorts of things, but only for a moment. The joy and elation of touching just the tiniest bit of success, was both intoxicating and shocking. Those feelings instantly outweighed any negativity I had encountered along the way. It justified and made worthwhile the lonely hours spent pounding away at a keyboard, knowing full well that there was a very good chance nobody would see or care about the words you were stringing together from the far reaches of your mind. Hoping your creativity would not abandon you before you finished the next chapter and at the same time not being entirely sure you understood where the ideas came from…
I am also mindful of the fact that success is usually a team effort as much as an individual one. I have been enhanced and encouraged by many people along the way. My wife, Karole, has supported and pushed me forward even when I considered giving up. I can never thank her enough for that. She kept me alive sometimes. She has always been my first reader and willing to listen to my crazy ideas and imaginings.
I have friends and relatives who acted as beta readers for my early drafts. They told me my writing didn’t suck. That was important to hear from people who actually recognized coherent writing when they read it. There are many to thank and I don’t want to start naming names for fear of leaving somewhat out or failing to properly recognize their contributions to my work and survival as a writer. You know who you are and I have thanked you all privately I hope. If not…Thank You!
MindStir Publishing has played a major role in all this. J. J. Hebert and his team have provided editing, cover design, and marketing in an expert and highly competent manner. Monica Kelly designed my killer website where this blog entry will be displayed. Your work on my behalf has been deeply appreciated and acknowledged.
Now that I have achieved an important milestone along my chosen path, the challenge will be to keep it going. That may prove to be more difficult than I know. But…that is fine. No matter what, I had a day to treasure and a chance to think about my journey and everyone that has contributed to my budding success.
Now…time to get back to what I love doing…writing my next book…it’s an amazing adventure and I can’t wait to see where it goes and how it ends! Oh that’s right…I know how it ends and it’s going to be very cool…