So I finally published a book. I don’t know if it really “counts”, since the book was published on amazon.com with next to no oversight from anyone except myself, but it’s there, people can buy it, and I can earn money from it. I decided to finally do this, after much waiting, thinking, organizing, editing, and writing—a year and a half for this book, with a lifetime of practice thrown in for good measure—because I was walking around the neighborhood three days ago in the late afternoon, picking up my one and only suit from my in-laws’ drycleaning place, feeling nervous about the first day of university work after two months of vacation, and possessed with an unusually powerful desire to stop waiting for reviews and just go through with it. The book had been completely ready to go for two or three weeks at that point, minus a few helpful corrections from a very perspicacious volunteer reader I haven’t seen since high school (I’d mispelled “moai”), and several other readers were ready to vouch for it on amazon.com—which subsequently deleted half of their comments for reasons I don’t quite understand. Uploading it to that website took five minutes. Amazon then asked me to wait twelve hours for someone (presumably) to look over it, and when I woke up at five the next day, too excited to sleep, I checked my email and found that it was for sale.
This is the first book in a series, with the sequel and a third standalone historical novel also ready to go, and I would have published them all together if not for the endless generous advice from another friend, who believes I should wait a month or so for feedback before taking the plunge yet again. I whored myself out to the internet, sent annoying but apologetic emails to all the leading Korea bloggers, requested reviews, the opportunity to publish excerpts, even an interview from a journalist back in Maine, posted a thread on Dave’s ESL Café which received its first (and inevitable) negative comment an hour or two ago, and even deigned to discuss the book with friends, acquaintances, perfect strangers, and students—despite the writer’s desire to do nothing more than retreat into a shell and write. I didn’t really want to annoy any of these nice people with my own self-aggrandizement, but any kind of success would have been impossible without it.