So, yeah. I published a book today. I mean, holy shit, I published a book today!
Along with the very kind well-wishes and likes and shares and so forth, many folks are asking the same question: "How do you feel?" And I thought I'd answer with something like, "Fucking unbelievable, man!" But I don't.
Don't misunderstand — I'm extremely proud, not only of the book, but of myself for learning to navigate a very complicated system to get the book out there. Seriously, I think amazon has set things up so that you have to prove your worth before they'll show your work to the world. I suppose that makes sense, in a way. If there was a button in Microsoft Word that just let you convert what you're writing into a book just as easily as you can convert it to a PDF, amazon would be choking on all kinds of poorly written shit. Maybe they are anyway, I don't know.
But getting back to how I feel — I think it's very different for authors today than it was in days gone by. I'm sure it was an unparalleled thrill for Stephen King to hold a copy of Carrie in his hands for the first time, or to see it on a bookstore shelf. I don't have that. I have a .mobi file on amazon, and maybe people will see it and buy it and maybe they won't. But either way, it's all virtual, so I don't have that weighty sense of reality that some authors have had.
Still, yesterday I wasn't a published author, and today I am. No one can ever take that away from me, and if amazon lasts another thousand years, then so will I. I have a legacy. I've left something behind for future generations to enjoy. And even if they don't pull it off a virtual shelf (or whatever they'll be doing a thousand years from now), it's there. My book.
So maybe I don't have that exultation that some writers have, but I am happy and proud and satisfied. I don't think I could ask for much more than that.