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Finding Readership One Reader at a Time

I just had a wonderful review of my book. No, it wasn’t from an prestigious publication or website. It was from an individual I don’t know. (I promise. This person is not even a distant relative.) And the individual said in the review something like this  (I paraphrase):

I got this book when it was free. I don’t usually write reviews for free books because most of them aren’t very good. But this one was different and I wanted to write a short review to support Mr. Sasse.

Wow! You can read the actual review for yourself on Amazon, if you like. But this one meant a lot. A person who had no expectations, perhaps low expectations, in the end takes a few moments of their busy life to support me as an author. You can imagine how much that means to me.

And that’s when it hit me. I’m not going to reach large groups of readers all at once. I’m not going to have full-page spreads in the New York Times or be part of Oprah’s book club. Oodles of non-descript readers aren’t going to suddenly jump on the Sasse bandwagon.

I’m going to gain readers one at a time. Individuals, who stumble upon my work and like it. The ones who have nothing to gain except enjoying a good read and tipping their cap to the author.

I am honored to find one more reader who enjoyed my work. Thank you for the encouragement. Perhaps this was the most prestigious type of review after all.

Proof is in my hand!

I must admit something. It’s quite an amazing feeling to hold one’s own novel in your hand. I received the printed proof in the mail yesterday, and I’ve been devouring it one last time to make sure everything is just right. As an indie author, that’s what must be done. But it’s worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the story, getting re-acquainted with the characters, and making just a few minor changes along the way.

When I think about everything that went into writing Beauty Rising, it’s hard to believe that the finished print product is just around the corner.   What did go into it?

1) graduating as an English major with a strong interest in creative writing (but being too afraid to do anything with it.)

2) 10 years living in Vietnam, learning the language, culture, and history which was vital in being able to write Beauty Rising.

3) Moving away from Vietnam in order to have necessary perspective.

4) Finding my current job which got me into drama and back into creative writing

5) Suddenly getting the right idea in the spring of 2011.

6) Writing the full novel in the summer of 2011.

7) Having my readers and editors go to work on it for months.

8) Having submitted it to many agents in 2012.

9) Writing my second novel in the summer of 2012. (I told myself I wouldn’t release it until I did it again.)

10) Proofreading and proofreading. Editing. Revising. Proofreading.

11) Releasing it digitally!

12) After a friend designed the cover, I designed the back and spine.

13) Proofing the proof.

14) Final release and marketing.

It’s been so much fun. I’ve learned so much in the process, and I’m so thankful for the many supporters and readers who have been so encouraging.

Available soon: Beauty Rising in paperback. Details to follow soon!

paperback beauty risingj