A month from now my sophomore novel, Can't Help Falling, will have just been released. Coming just under six months from the release of my debut novel, Close To You, has made for a busy year!
I was thinking recently about the main differences recently between your first and second book releases and thought I'd share four of them today :)
Your debut novel is a crazy exciting terrifying time. Your first book baby is being released into the world and you have no control over how readers are going to react to it. However, readers also don't have any expectations based on previous reading experience as to what they expect from a "X Author" novel. You have a blank slate as an author. This changes with the sophomore novel. People have thoughts, opinions and hopes as to the kind of story you might be deliver. Now you feel the weight of hoping, praying, that your new story will not be a disappointment to those who enjoyed your first.
You Know How Really Hard It Is To Get Readers To Take A Chance on a New Author
With your debut novel you knew this in theory. As a reader you knew how hard it was to convince you to spend your hard earned money on an unknown author when your budget didn't even reach to all those authors you already know and love. But you naively hope that between sheer force of will, your great hook, and feeling like you're wallpapering the internet with all your guest posts/interviews/articles that readers will flock to your story.
With the sophomore novel, you've learned in the trenches that you are the rule, not the exception. You've eyeballed sales figures that have you wondering if the system lost a digit somewhere. You've let out many a silent virtual scream at people assuring you that they can't wait to read your book, they're just waiting for the e-version to be made free. You've seen much coveted positive reviews in sought after publications give your sales figures a low double digit bump that week. You've learnt from experience that this author thing really is a long game.
You've Toughened Up
You thought that after your years pursuing publication, horrible contest scores, harsh judges' remarks and countless rejections from agents and editors that you had a pretty tough skin. Then came your first one star review, then the next, then the next and you got to process public criticism available for the world to see. You've learned never to look at reviews on a bad day and that life is too short to worry about people who don't know you personally but feel they have a licence to not just review your book but also pass comment on your character.
You know there is little better than hearing from a reader that God somehow used your inadequate words on a page to speak to them and that makes all of the tough stuff worth it.
I'm giving away a copy of the winner's choice of Close To You or Can't Help Falling to one commenter. If you're an author I'd love to hear what was different for you between the first and second book. If you're a reader I'd love to hear what has finally made you take a chance on an unknown author :)
Winner will be drawn on 17 September and announced in the comments on 18 September.
Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Her debut romantic comedy, Close To You, is about a disillusioned academic-turned-tour-guide and an entrepreneur who knows nothing about Tolkien who fall in love on a Tolkien themed tour of New Zealand. Her sophomore novel, Can't Help Falling, is about about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England. When she's not working her day job as a public servant, chasing around a ninja preschooler and his feisty toddler sister, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She loves to connnect on her website, on Facebook at Kara Isaac - Author and Twitter @KaraIsaac