Today was the big day. Launch Day for Shadow King. It was a journey that took nearly two years from when I entered my manuscript in the 2016 Launchpad Competition to now. What a wild and amazing ride.
And the journey has taught me a couple of things.
Amazing things happen when you try.
When I entered Launchpad, I did it hoping to get some decent feedback from the judges. I never -- in a million years -- ever imagined I'd make the Launchpad Top 10. So, if you're thinking about trying something new, go for it. You just might surprise yourself.
You have more friends than you think you do.
As part of Launchpad, I had to crowdfund my book. Holy cow, is that harder than it sounds. I had no idea how to do it, no strategy, I just flailed around asking for orders (and everything I learned from that is fodder for another post). But what amazed me was some of the people who helped. Like many of us, I have high school friends on Facebook who I connected with but never were really close with in high school. People I haven't seen or talked to in over 20+ years. And when it came time to crowdfund, I hesitated to reach out to them thinking, "we hardly knew each other back then and after 20 years I call and ask them to buy something?" But I asked anyway because I was more afraid of not getting Shadow King published than I was of hearing the word "no." The amazing thing was a whole bunch of them said, "Of course!" and they made all the difference for me in my campaign. Get comfortable with waiting. Once I knew I was getting published, and turned in my manuscript, I thought, "Great, the publisher says production takes about six months. This is going to be awesome!" What I did not factor in was that there were a whole bunch of other authors in front of me, all waiting for their turn with the editor. It was close to a 12-month wait for my turn. I tried not to bother the publisher (although I'm sure there were days they were tired of getting emails from me). So I spent that time working on other things, and working to lay the ground work for promoting Shadow King. But ultimately it was very close and personal practice with the art of patience.
Enjoy every last second of the journey
Going through the competition and the production process has been an amazing journey that I wouldn't trade for anything. I have learned so much. Grown so much. Met so many amazing people and authors.
Finally getting my box of books was a feeling I really can't describe: Amazing. Gratifying. Thrilling. Humbling. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. And I'll be doing it all again soon. I funded a second book in the 2017 Launchpad and -- as I patiently wait for it to have a turn with the editor -- I will enjoy the adventure again.