Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ramblings of a Newborn Author

These days I find, whenever I make a post it always starts with, “Well, it’s been a while since I last wrote a blog.” But how else can I start? I apologize. I really wish I had kept up with the blog all of these years because there has been so much to tell. There is always something exciting going on, but since I started writing my book I find I have had no spare time for any extra writing. I regret to say, that since the family journey ended nearly 4 whopping years ago my journals have seemed to dwindle down to occasional notes on my Iphone… Okay, by occasional I mean a blur of random notes constantly being thrown down on a piece of paper or somewhere to get lost and mixed up.
I was always so obsessed with my journal writing that I feel I kind of lost a piece of my soul when it stopped. I just cannot find that same rhythm or routine I did while I was on the road. Journaling takes a whole lot of discipline and I think I used up all of the self-discipline I have on writing the book. I am so grateful that Mom forced me not only on the trip but to write a journal all of those years because I don’t think I could’ve written the book without them.

The book release in Vancouver was spectacular and I was shown such incredible support. I was so excited to open that very first box with five proofs. They were beautiful. And each of "The Originial Four" were given a copy. Bre quickly snagged her copy and immediately ripped open the cover, flattened it open and began scribbling all over it. “ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD!” “#1 BEST SELLING BOOK SERIES IN THE WORLD.” Although I was cringing with pain at the sight of my freshly born baby being abused in such a way, it was very sweet of her. I of course, anal as I am, hardly even opened my copy, preferring to keep it perfect and 100% intact. If I had the money I’d probably seal it safely away in a diamond encrusted glass box.

I was surprised more than a couple times during the month of releasing my book. In every direction I turned people were helping me and showing me the way. I never believed a self-published book could get into bookstores but I was proven wrong when Bre started calling all of the bookstores in and around Vancouver. She was accepted again and again and we ran around dropping off books in store after store. Some of the bigger chains such as Indigo and Chapters were obviously a little harder and we were rejected every times on the basis that we need a Canadian distributor, but there is still hope because in the spring they do consignment, so hopefully by then they will be willing to give us a chance.

The North Shore News photoshoot.

Through Bre’s connection with The North Shore News, having been featured for The Best Job in the World before leaving to Australia, she managed to get us an interview with Jane Seyd.
You can find that article here on pages 3,9,10,11 just turn the pages by clicking the right hand side of the picture. http://issuu.com/pmcommunity/docs/nsnsun20121014
An hour appointment with the newspaper turned into 2.5 hours. It probably would have gone on longer had it not be the end of the work day. There is just so much to tell and with the four of us together we could talk for days on end. A photographer was sent to Bre’s new house and we had a few photos snapped. Our moment to shine! And it felt great. After all of those years being in the dirt, suffering on long bus rides, washing our laundry by hand and dreaming of one day writing a book, my dream seemed to have been completed in that moment, holding my book up for the camera, surrounded by my three best travel buddies and showing off our passports. It was a moment I had imagined and hoped for, but thought would probably never happen.
For those that don’t know, Sihpromatum, [pronounced SIP-ROW-MAY-TUM], means in more common terms, "a blessing in disguise." The world is full of sihpromatums and I can give you one small example off the top of my head that happened while I was home. I had delivered 20 books to Black Bond Books in Vancouver which were then sent to their warehouse. Not long after I was contacted by the owner saying a couple of my books had been damaged in transit… Poop! Right? I mean, that sucks… now I’ve got two damaged books. I can’t afford to be having losses already. But then, the manager at one of the stores asks me if I could give/lend one of the damaged books to one of the employees who really wanted to read the book. I agreed that this woman, Melanee, could read it. Why not, right? I mean, it’s already a dead book.
Well, shortly after I received a phone call with a woman literally beside herself with excitement, nearly screaming at me on the phone like a crazed fan that somehow got a hold of Oprah’s number.
“Oh my gosh!! Is this Savannah?!?! You are a fantastic writer. You are going to be the next best selling author, I know it. I just know it! You are incredible!” Of course, my initial thought was “Are you sure you’ve got the right Savannah?” “You’re talking about MY book!?” She had read and absolutely LOVED “Sihpromatum”. Wow, my first real fan!
“Do you remember the part where-OH of COURSE you remember!! You were there!!!” she squeals excitedly. She had jotted down notes and recorded passages and pages she loved.
This was another moment where I just had goose bumps running up my arms, chills of overwhelming delight. All those years of writing, doubting, not knowing and dreaming became so real and worth it. I had dreamed and envisioned such scenarios a millions times, praying to have a solid real book in my hands.

With Melanee, our #1 Fan.

She went on and on praising me beyond belief. I promised to come to Black Bond Books in Lynn Valley where she works with the whole family to sign the copy she had purchased. What an exciting visit! When I walked into the store to meet her she was literally hanging over the counter trying to sell a young woman my book. Hahah, what a situation to stumble upon.
“I can’t even explain to you what it’s about. It’s incredible! You will love it. You just have to buy it…” She was saying when I walked in and announced I was the author of the presented book.
Even though I am an absolute unknown author I didn’t need to have a billion dollars to feel like J.K. Rowling. There is no amount of money that can give you that same thrill as somebody complimenting you on your work.

Long story short, Melanee has been selling my book like food at the end of the world and I am so grateful to have her as part of my team. All thanks to those two damaged books which were hardly damaged.
Melanee, who has dubbed herself my #1 fan, is one of many examples of feedback I have been getting from my readers. She has kept contact with me through email, ending each one with Your #1 fan Melanee. It almost feels a bit weird, because who am I to deserve such attention and praise? It’s still hard for me to believe and accept that I really wrote something that brings joy, excitement and emotion to other people. What better gift is there in the world? Every so often I get an email from a reader telling me they cried or got teary eyed. Is it slightly cruel that it makes me happy to make people cry?! Basically I have accomplished my goal if I make someone cry. What a strange job I have!! Though, every day I tell Kees “Okay, don’t bug me, I’m at work” while sitting at my desk at any given time of the day. He always laughs that I take it so seriously and believe I’m at work sitting either at my desk or 5ft away in our big bed in my pyjamas, hair flying everywhere. I suppose I need to earn at least one cent before I can call it “work”, eh?
I am so grateful and happy that I have been getting such incredibly positive feedback from readers, though marketing and promoting is still a major battle in the world of publishing. It is comforting to know that I have a good product but all of my time since being back in Holland has been given to Twitter, writing interviews for blogs and requesting reviews. It’s amazing how time consuming it is.
You can find the reviews on Amazon at www.amazon.com/Sihpromatum-Grew-Boobs-China-Volume/dp/1479236659/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353261838&sr=8-1&keywords=sihpromatum though I also receive feedback from those on Twitter.
I don’t know how hours go by and I still seem to get nothing done. Well I do but...see.... I feel like I do nothing because all day I'm planting seeds in the ground and at the end of a long day (10am-11pm) I still just see a big, ugly, brown field exactly how it looked when I got there. Nothing seems to have happened or been accomplished until months later when I’ll start to see some green sprouting. I am hoping that time is coming soon.
I have to find balance between the marketing and writing, because I’m getting lots of pressure to get #2 finished. I have hardly even started. It’s all still in my brain storming up, but one of these days it will spill out onto the page. Basically what I’m trying to tell you guys is that every single moment of every single day my brain only thinks “BOOK!” I’ve actually become quite a slave to it. I eat, breath, dream and sleep talk boooookkkkk. It’s funny because while travelling I constantly had dreams about keeping my journals safe and having nightmares they were getting wet. Now I dream of book reviews on Amazon, newspaper articles, statcounter stats and how many copies I’ve sold. There’s nothing else on my mind. My whole world revolves around…okay, I think you get the point. 
But now I have to get serious and there is only one place to start, and that place is Chapter 1. So I am off to see the wizard.
PS. I have recently been dubbed “Odysseus Grace” by a fellow self-publisher who has just read and enjoyed “Sihpromatum”. I think I might stick with that one, lol!

To get a taste of some of the interviews/reviews I have been doing here are a few: www.bookfangirling.blogspot.nl/2012/10/author-interview-savannah-grace www.davestravelcorner.com/interviews/savannah-grace-author-traveler www.tumblinginbooks.blogspot.ca/2012/10/author-interview-sihpromatum-i-grew-my

For those who haven’t yet, you can follow me on Twitter @Sihpromatum
Also I’d LOVE if you took the time to LIKE my FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sihpromatum-I-Grew-my-Boobs-in-China/367565703312088?ref=ts&fref=ts And you can connect with me on FB by friending me at Savannah Grace : Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Believe me, it means the world to this author. ;) Author!!! It’s kind of official now, isn’t it?!
Oh and of course, go visit my website if you haven't already.


At 8:48 AM , Blogger LindyLouMac said...

So pleased the launch was a success for you.

At 6:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I keep you please!!! You are so fun and funny and adorably great!! I'm so proud of you. I just read your blog out loud to mom and Donavin and we all laughed and loved it...especially the #1 fan part. lol

Next task for me is dressing up as a jingle santa babe at the Christmas crafts show!! Ding Ding!!

Donavin and I read another chapter last night....at the part when we hiked up the hill to pee ahahah Miss you so much!!

Cant wait to read through some more of our journals together.

p.s Hey Hey Fellow humans....stay tooned as there is much much much excitement to come!!!

Grab your copy Fast because they are going like hot cakes!!!

Random Goofy Bree Butt

At 4:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh and I love the part about me and my copy of the proof book!!


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