It is exactly one year to the day since I released my first ever book baby into the wild. ONE YEAR! I can’t believe it’s been that long since this series of rambling posts (1 2 3 4). Heh. I can’t help feeling sentimental and nostalgic.
I was very afraid to even think of self-publishing then. A few years earlier I’d tried the traditional route (at the time, the only route I knew) of sending query letters to international agents. I received polite rejection emails if I was lucky, but for the most part I was ignored. Can’t say I didn’t expect that. I was peddling a 180k-word YA manga-Jdorama novel thing that I didn’t even know how to explain.
So I shared the book with the one person who knew I had written it, and asked if she would like to read it. You know, exclusively for feels. She knew why I’d written it in the first place. We shipped the same sunk ship, so she was super sweet and supportive. She got back to me with the book printed in short bond paper and ring-bound (maybe done in UP SC?) in two copies–one for her to keep, and one for me with little sticky notes of her thoughts and feelings.
We laughed, we giggled, we bonded over it, then the untitled book slept in my hard drive. (Aside: before the first draft was completed I lost my first hard drive and all the words so I had to write the whole thing over! But that’s a story for another time)
I kept coming back to it every once in a while. But I was already working on what would become Songs of Our Breakup then, and another thing based on another ship/crush. I started reading about self-publishing, and found Mina V. Esguerra and Marian Tee‘s blogs. I even sucked up the courage to email Mina and message Marian. Both were very sweet people (ILY guys). But it took me Easter 2015 before I got the just-do-it epiphany. Mostly because other people were doing it already, and were succeeding at it, and also because I was turning 30 then and I was terrified (I eventually got over this).
So I got to work. I pared down that monster of a manuscript to 65k from 180k (what was I thinking? I wasn’t writing a Westerosi epic!). I found people willing to help, cold-called some people (Mina, hello haha), and eventually, on a random day in July, hit publish. I made a lot of mistakes, but I was honestly happy to make them. Because the mistakes meant I’ve done it. I’ve written and I’ve published, and I can learn from these mistakes and be better. I also met lovely readers (they exist! Hurray!) and of course the wonderful #romanceclass people who make this writing thing all the more fun and crazy. ThankyouthankyouthankYOU everyone <3
Anyway. I said I wouldn’t ramble. Told you I’m feeling sentimental. The point of all this, really, is that I’m stoked and I thought to share my gratitude and happiness with a giveaway, YAY!
Otanjoubi omedetou Takeshi and Hikaru! お誕生日おめでとうございます。<3