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I’m thrilled to be able to introduce my book, Not What She Seems, and tell a bit about how it ended up on the NYT’s best seller list.
I’m not really a writer. At least, not like some writers who were born to write. I’d always thought it would be cool to write a book, but never got around to it. Then one day I injured my back. It completely seized up and I literally could not move. I was on bed rest for a week, with nothing to do. I’d read all the novels in my house. I had no interest in sending my husband out to get me something from the library (I’m a picky reader). So I decided to write that novel I’d always wanted to write.
I stuck a pillow under my knees, fired up my laptop and started typing. One week later, I had a completed novel. I was silly enough to think the first draft was it. I was done! Luckily, when I was looking around online for how to get my perfect book printed, I found Critique Circle.
I quickly learned I knew nothing about how to write a novel. The wonderful authors at Critique Circle ripped my baby to shreds. Ouch. That hurt. But it was the best thing for my book. I spent four years submitting chapters, learning about writing, and learning how to critique others. I wrote and rewrote so much I don’t think there’s much of my original first draft left in Not What She Seems (luckily for you).
During those four years, I also researched the publishing industry. I found out how difficult it was to get an agent, a publishing deal, and actually have a book last in print longer than a few months. I didn’t want my book to go out of print, so I only sent out a few query letters, got two rejections, and shelved it.
When I found out I could publish my book by myself on the Kindle, I was thrilled. I had that thing up for sale in less than two days. It wasn’t an immediate success. I sold seven books my first month. (This is the part that encourages you to not give up.)
Eleven months after I published, my book hit the NYT’s best seller ebook list. It stayed on the list for six weeks. Even though it’s no longer selling like gangbusters, it’s still selling and today I can say I’ve sold over 147,000 copies.
I wrote a short book on how I think my book had such success, and a large part of that book talks about what I learned on Critique Circle. I credit CC for everything I achieved. And I don’t think it’s all about the critiques I got while at CC. I credit much of my success to learning how to give a good critique to others. If you can learn to spot problems in the writing of others, you'll get better at recognizing and correcting the same problems in your own work.
If you want to check out my novel, here’s a link to the Amazon ebook: www.amazon.com/dp/B003HS5LRO