Before I hand things over to Katie, I just want to say BRAVO to her! Wildflowers from Winter  is a wonderful debut novel. I read it in a few days and it is one of those stories that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until you’re done. Maybe not even then, because I’m still thinking about Evan and Bethany and Robin, and wondering where their journeys will take them. Lucky for me, there’s a sequel coming, so I’m sure I’ll find out!
I’m thrilled to have Katie here again to chat to us about what it’s been like for her since her book hit the shelves. So here she is…

Hi, I’m Katie!

My debut novel has been out on shelves now for three weeks.

Being a published author has been everything I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be.

Everything I Thought it Would Be…

 * The excitement. There’s much anticipation and excitement that occurs around a book release, especially a debut. Emails from readers. Good reviews. Seeing the lovely little thing in bookstores for the first time. All of these elicit much excitement.

The support. From fellow writers. From my publishing house. From family. From friends I hang out with in person and friends I hang out with online. I strongly suspected my life was filled with incredibly supportive, encouraging people. Having a book published has only confirmed my suspicions. Case in point. My mom is a pharmaceutical sales rep. Lately, drugs aren’t the only thing she’s been selling. Me thinks an inordinate number of doctors are ending up with a copy of my book.

* The hard work. Marketing. Spreading the word. Trying to start a buzz. All in the midst of writing and maintaining a livable home and being a wife and a mother and pursuing adoption. Writers have always said getting published brings on an entirely new level of busyness. It’s really not a lie.

Nothing Like I Thought it Would Be…

* The insecurity. I thought being published would finally be the validation I needed. I thought it would build my confidence. Um….not quite. If I were to put my insecurity on a balance scale—with my pre-publication insecurity on one side and my post-publication insecurity on the other—it wouldn’t even be a competition. There’s so much more to worry about after our books hit the shelves. God is teaching me so much about trusting Him and making Him my ultimate goal.

The reality check. We live in an age where marketing and platform are huge buzz words. Writers feel immense pressure to build an audience, as if the entirety of our success rests solely on our shoulders. When it comes to social media and blogging, I think I’ve done a respectable job. But here’s the deal. We can do social media until we’re blue in the face. We can expend enormous amounts of time and energy building a platform/readership. But our efforts are still just a drop in the bucket when it comes to selling the amount of books we’re hoping/expected to sell. It truly is the equivalent of bringing 2 loaves and 5 fish to an entire hillside of hungry people. (Thank you, Dan Walsh, for this beautiful analogy.) At the end of the day, the multiplying belongs to God. Our motivation for connecting has to be about people. Because if it’s about numbers and rankings and sales, then our social media efforts will leave us sorely disappointed.

So there you have it.

A few things that haven’t surprised me and a couple things that have on this side of publication. There’s lots more I could share. But for the sake of brevity, I’ll leave it there.

Let’s Talk: Do any of these surprise you? What do you or did you expect life to be like after publication?

About Wildflowers from Winter

Bethany Quinn was happy to leave her small town ten years ago to create a new, successful life. But when tragedies strike at home, she is forced to return and face the pain of her childhood. Out of options, Bethany tries to find a place where love and faith make sense again.

 About Katie

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.