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Is it hard? Hell, yes.

So, what can you expect as an average debut author. Forgetting the lucky few who land and end on the best seller lists, what's the reality:

1. Work. It's after 10 and I'm writing this. I've just finished critting an 80k word book. I have another waiting for me. I've been on twitter, on facebook, sent emails, chatted to booksellers, talked to my publisher and bookstore about accounts. All this is unpaid, fitted around guests staying with us, kids, trying to remain sane. At the moment, it's demanding.

2. Doors heavy to open. I've been lucky. Amazing support. Bookstore support. Multiple outlets taking my book. Multiple events. But I've also had the zero responses to emails, downright rude responses to polite enquiries. You can't expect doors to magically open. There are loads of authors asking favours - you have to work to be one of them.

3. Astounding support. From quarters unexpected, in humbling amounts. The goodwill is tremendous. It makes putting in the hours easy.

4. Bewilderment. I didn't know anything about covers and blurbs six months ago. I had no idea what a copyedit looked like. Distribution was a feared word. I've muddled through most of it, asked questions, learned lessons for the future. But I'm still often bewildered.

5. A rollercoaster, ending with your book in your hands. That should happen to me in the next week. It feels magical. It is magical. It's worth everything....


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