How I became a writer (5) – Fail and success

Everything was finally ready in January 2018. The website: all the pages, all the plugins, all the pictures, a few articles to start with, the Paypal integration, the order processing, the distribution logistics using the post office, the pieces, the risks, the bill, all checked. The book: spellchecked, edited, paged, proofread, clear eye, the cover and the print, all checked. The company that I created for a legal distribution of the book: checked. Ok, I will stop here even though I am far from over because just remembering all these gives me anxiety. Let’s just say that all was in order.

I sold a few books to my friends before the launching date, but selling a few paperbacks to people I know was hardly my goal. My big chance was with the 9gag community. From my last post, I had gathered about 670 tags from people interested in the story and the paperback. So I prepared a post to announce the big launching day. Prepared a nice speech for the comments section, thanking everyone for their support and the tags. I also made the book on Amazon free once more so that everyone could get the chance to read it. Yes, I know I was giving away profit for free reads, but I was more interested in people getting the chance to read my story than to make a profit out of it. So I uploaded the post and the comment and the tags…

What I did not know is that 9gag changed a lot in the past months. Firstly, multi-tagging was no longer allowed. No more than three tags on a post from a user. So all the people that wanted to see the story evolve had no chance to see it, except those who followed the Afaris Facebook page that I made last year. At that point, I had two options: to create over 200 accounts and tag three people at a time or to hope that the post reaches at least the Trending page and that those who read Afaris will remember it. But 9gag decided that my post promotes a product outside of the page and did not allow it to go up, even though posts get moved to trending after reaching 50-60 votes, and mine had over 300, which is quite a huge number for the voting page. And so came a big disappointment.

But other good things came along. A few dozen people from Facebook saw the posts and bought the book from America, Europe and Asia. This raised my hopes a bit. Another moral boost I got during the time I worked on the book in the past few months. Many publishers in Romania heard of my work and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, five of them decided to contact me and talk about a publishing deal, while I had no intention to publish it here. Some even put an offer on the table and in the end, I decided to take the offer of a small publisher who plans on making out of Afaris it’s the biggest success. The reason why I went with a small publisher with limited promoting potential is that I can talk with them. We made plans, shared ideas, talked over and over about what should we do to bring it to the world. The big publishers expected me to give them my work for a huge royalty (and by huge I mean almost a one-month minimum wage) and never bother them again unless I have a new book ready.

So at this moment, I have my first publishing contract and the book should get in all libraries from Romania and Moldova in a few weeks. I still have many plans for Afaris. I will soon start searching again for publishers outside Romania, to try and bring Afaris to as many libraries in the world as I can, while also distributing them through my website. Who knows where this path will take me in the future. I keep my hopes and dreams up and maybe one day I will have the pleasure to see Afaris on a movie screen.

Btw, I am down to the last chapters of Afaris 2, which will be called Seed of Aora. Maybe by the end of the year, it will be translated and published.

To be continued…

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