I remember the day I pressed ‘publish’ and imagined a tiny pulse of electricity leaving my laptop, flashing along optical cables, bouncing off a satellite and changing a ‘0’ to a ‘1’ somewhere in Amazon HQ. Suddenly, my book was available online, in the largest digital bookstore in the world.
There was no fanfare, no applause; not even a satisfying beep to signal what I had done. Later, a multitude of Facebook likes and shares, Twitter retweets and (now) old-fashioned text messages helped me realise that the single click of a mouse button had really sent my novel out into the big bad publishing market.
Today, I watched a nice lady at my local bookstore – Midleton, Co Cork, Ireland – make some room on an eye-level shelf in the Fantasy & Sci-Fi section. Squeezed between Orson Scott Card and David Eddings she nestled copies of Mrs God. I snapped a pic to prove it was true.
As I left the bookstore, I felt much more excited than that day in front of my laptop. Amazon has perhaps 140 million titles for sale; my local bookshop possesses maybe 0.00001% of this number. But still, the achievement of having a real book on sale in a real bookshop, sitting there on a real shelf, ready to be really handled by browsers, made the whole self-publishing project more…
UPDATE: My book is now available in my home city, too. A great bookshop called Liam Russell’s in Cork City has just taken delivery of copies of Mrs God.