In this guest post, Katie describes her journey from writer to published author.
It’s finally happened. I am now a published author.
It feels strange to type that statement. I keep thinking somewhere a record will scratch, everyone will turn and look at me and someone will say, “Umm, no Katie, you can’t just proclaim yourself published. Didn’t anyone tell you?” For most of my life I’ve dreamed of being published, but in my head it meant attention from “the industry,” an agent, a hot shot editor. Not me alone at a computer late at night reading Smashwords Style Guides until my eyes crossed. Publishing felt akin to God on high descending on a billowing white cloud, raising a golden scepter and proclaiming me published. It just wasn’t gonna happen.
But then I started Underground Book Reviews, a blog where I met lovely, self-published authors who had written really great books. They were smart, normal and good at what they do. They were putting it all out there and reaping the rewards. They had readership, an outlet for their work and were having fun in the process. I finally realized they were just like me except one thing: I was afraid.
So I started examining my hidden fears. I was afraid I couldn’t get my book ready without the help of a fantastic editor, so I hired one. I was afraid to navigate the confusing mire that is formatting, so my husband and I slogged through it. I was afraid of what people would think when they actually read my book, so I got over it. One by one my fears fell away until all I had was excitement. And man, am I excited.
There are lots of great reasons to stick with traditional publishing, but I think I have found my path for now. The joy of reading that first five star unsolicited book review is something I will always remember. The path hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. And I’m happy to say I’m no longer afraid.
Katie French imagined herself an author when her poem caught the eye of her second grade teacher. In middle school she spent her free time locked in her room, writing her first young adult novel. Though her social life suffered, her love for literature thrived. She studied English at Eastern Michigan University, where she veered from writing and earned an education degree. She spent nine years teaching high school English. Currently she is a school counselor, doing a job that is both one of the hardest things she’s ever done and the most rewarding. In her free time she writes, reads great books and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She is a contributor and co-creator of Underground Book Reviews, a website dedicated to erasing the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional publishing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.