John Berry Novels Blog
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The Next Step

It has been a little while since I blogged.  I’ve been heads-down on getting all of the finishing touches on the manuscript completed.  Publication time is now arriving!  The Kindle edition will be out next week and the rest of the formats will follow for Nook, Kobo, iPad, etc.  You know, publishing a novel has been a dream of mine for a very long time – literally more than 25 years.  To be at this point is amazingly gratifying.  Truth be told, this is actually the fourth novel I've completed and I'm hoping that, in my case, the fourth time will be the charm.

While I’m very happy to pat myself on the back and bask in the sunlight of the accomplishment, I know that the journey is still in the early stages.  As I think about how good it feels to have the novel not only complete, but in great shape for publication, I also remember the very beginning when I had the daunting task to research, outline, draft, and then revise the story to get it completed.  But for me, it's not merely wanting to simply be published.  My personal ten year plan is to both “get published” and “live off my fiction.”

I realized a number of years ago that the goal was "to get published," but that was only part of the goal.  The real goal -- the 10-15 year plan -- is "live off my fiction."  To expand the goal from doing something to living something adds an entirely different perspective for me.  I not only need to write, but I also need to publish.  I not only have to publish, but I have to sell in volumes large enough to obtain a writer's lifestyle.  Believe me, I’m very excited to be at this point of getting my first novel out to the public. As I celebrate this achievement, I also gently remind myself that this is the next step.  A very important step –  but one step in a journey. 

Now comes mastering the use of website, Twitter, blog, and other social media tools.  Now comes the other part of the writer's work to identify all of the places where my core audience might be to attempt to reach them with postings, articles, and other means of communication.  Actually, now comes the wonder of what and how the first or second or third book review will read on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!  Or will I even get a review? Now comes the next steps, different but just as important as the writing of the novel.  And I'm learning new skills and expecting to find new joys and challenges and learnings through it all. 

So this morning and this week, I eagerly anticipate the formal publication of A Night of Horrors.  I expect, my family, friends, and I will have a grand ol’ celebration next weekend to mark the publication.  But, then as this is one step, I'll immediate begin the next step of promotion, on this journey – a journey to live off my fiction.

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