My debut novel, The Duke’s Shadow is due to be released this Saturday 1st March, as some of you may know. As the date approaches, I must admit that I’m experiencing a small(ish) fit of the vapours. Although this isn’t my first foray into the world of self publishing – I belong to an online writers group, Writers Abroad and we have published an anthology for the past four years – this feels very different. Mostly, it’s a lonely place to be. Although I have stacks of support from my writing pals, friends and family, only I can make this happen. No design department, no marketing manager, no eager editor and no pristine publisher to help pull it all together and hold my hand (or slap it to stop me biting my nails).
However, one of my persistent nightmare-like feeling is ‘but what if they hate it?’ I watched an interview with a famous actress not long ago – Judi Dench I think – and she was saying how she never watches her performances and never reads the reviews. She finds it all too difficult. Now I’m not saying I’m going to reach anything like the dizzy heights of Lady Dench in the writing world, but I do feel like hiding behind my sofa. And whilst I don’t personally use reviews or critiques of books or films to influence what I read or watch it seems to me that, for self published authors, this is what I shall be measured by. But that’s the world I’ve entered and I may well have to seek out those large shoulder pads of my younger – and possibly more confident days – and take it on the chin. Or of course, just stay in the dark, dusty but safe confines, behind the sofa.