An Accidental Author

My first Goodreads blog post upon becoming a Goodreads Author:

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22045002-an-audacious-alphabet)

I’ve always liked to draw and I’ve always liked to read. Given my druthers, that’s how I’d spend most days (with breaks for food and naps, of course).

Years ago, I joined an online community of fellow book lovers who delighted in the idea of registering books so they could be tracked before being released ‘into the wild’. That community had a forum through which I befriended like-minded people all over the world. Over the years, I’ve chatted and shared books with people as far away as Australia and Iran. I’ve attended conventions at which I met some of these incredible people in person. During those years, I’ve shared in these friends’ triumphs and joy as well as their tragedies and grief. My life has been much enriched by knowing them.

My Facebook friends list is comprised largely of these fellow book-lovers. Recently, I started posting photos of my doodles and art. In typical supportive fashion, one suggested I make an alphabet book and the rest jumped on that bandwagon with similarly encouraging, enthusiastic posts.

At first, I had no grander plans than compiling drawings for each letter of the alphabet, putting the alliterative description of each below it, printing these out, stapling them together, and mailing them to those few lovely friends who were interested. However, to my surprise, the list of people in my friends group who voiced a wish to have a copy kept growing. One friend suggested I start a ‘go fund me’ type site to pay for getting the book printed. Another suggested I self-publish.

Asking for help has never been a strong suit of mine, so I asked a lot of questions and did my own research on self-publishing. After a few weeks of looking around, I finally decided to go with Amazon’s CreateSpace and started preparing everything to upload.

When I ran into a glitch with text resolution, I went to a friend of mine who had spent years living a real-life version of the show Mad Men before moving to my home state. After working in New York City as a Madison Avenue ad man, my little project was easy-peasy. He loaned me his laptop complete with the design program sophisticated enough to handle my needs, and set up the template I’d need to put everything together. He not only gave me some good advice, but the blurb for my back cover as well.

Even after I uploaded the files and received the first proof of the book, the concept that I was an author hadn’t really occurred to me. Friends had asked for an alphabet book and, because there were too many people interested in it for me to provide it on my own dime, I found a cost-effective way to make it available. That was it.

Once the book was proofed and approved, Amazon prompted me to make an author’s page. An author’s page? Wow. I’m an author? I’m an author! “So act like an author”, my husband and friend insisted. “You don’t publish a book and then not talk about it! This isn’t Fight Club.”

I started a public group page on Facebook for the book and invited my friends – not just the Bookcrossers, but ALL my friends – and they have told two friends, and they have told two friends, and so on, and so on! Wow again.

This is how I landed here, making yet another ‘author’s page’ and feeling just as gobsmacked as the first time. The concept that I’m an author is so odd to me when what I thought I was is just someone who loves to draw and loves to read (and really likes alliteration a lot) supplying a bit of entertainment to friends who asked for it.

In a nutshell, what I’ve learned here is this: I’ve become an author because I have a wonderful, supportive, enthusiastic group of friends. So thank you, friends – those I’ve met, hugged, laughed with, and cried with – and those who I may never meet but who are no less dear to me because of it. Thank you for making me an accidental author.

To my best friend – my dearest, darlingest husband – I’ll repeat what I’ve told you over our many wonderful years together: Thank you for always ‘buying my chairs’. ❤

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