Often I see, hear or read about authors and their amazing experience about publishing their first ever book. It always entertains me and I feel happy for these people. I can imagine that having your first book published, in whatever way, is a great experience.
I understand this sounds weird, because I am a writer, and somewhere along the line I had my own, first book published too, right?
Absolutely right, and it is quite a while ago.
It is about 10 years ago now. I was on a mailing list for amateur writers and I had written a funny story (non naturist). Someone asked when I was going to publish that story as it was so funny. Since that was not the plan, I told her to pack it up and leave it somewhere. She didn’t. For literally months on end she asked me, nearly every day, when I was going to publish the story.
In the end I caved and published my very first book…
At least that is what most writers see and feel when their first book gets out into the public. For me it was a little different.
I went online and looked up how you could publish your own book without too much hassle. I found a site called Smashwords, shoved a Word document to their book processor, found a simple image that would do as a cover and said “right, there it is, and make it free”. They did. The story was published.
I told the lady who’d been bugging me about it and I felt good. I felt good that she was off my case, not that I had actually gone and published a book. Remember, I’d only done that to successfully get someone out of my hair.
That is how I published my first book. I had all but forgotten about it when the same lady asked if I had looked how often it had been downloaded. That was about 2 weeks after “publication”. I went to the Smashwords website and discovered, to my shock, that the story had been downloaded over 500 times. People had found it even as it just sat there., no advertising for it or nothing.
Since then I also put it on Amazon. That first booklet has been downloaded over 100,000 times by now. Isn’t that crazy?
In case you’re curious about it, you can find information about that story on this webpage. (I admit that I improved the cover image a bit afterwards.)