How do I convey to someone reading this entry that following your dreams is the most rewarding, fulfilling, inspiring, exciting journey you will ever take? I know how, I will give you a glimpse into the year I’ve had.
On December 31st 2013 , I had no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no Pinterest, no YouTube, no Goodreads, and drum roll please- no Amazon account. My New Year’s resolution was to take the manuscript I’d named LOVE IN REWIND and try to publish it. My family and friends knew about it, read it, and some even liked it. I’d decided that it was time to set it free.
After reading every article I could get my hands on about self-publishing, my thought was, I was definitely not doing this and that it was time to tell my little dream to wake up! I had no idea that there were hundred of thousands of self published books out there. Why would someone buy or choose to read my book when they could read books by amazing authors? My husband, who’s my forever optimist, simply said, “They’ll read it, because it’s good!” Well, the truth is, he’s never read my book, therefore his pep talk didn’t sway me much; I knew I was doomed.
The best thing I did for me and for my novel starting January 1st 2014 was build what I like to refer to as my “Dream Team.” I allocated a small budget for my dream of becoming a published author and treated that dream as a business, not just a romantic fantasy. Initially, my Dream Team consisted of three people, including myself, but along the way it’s grown to a village, that’s now comprised of supportive readers,, bloggers and authors.
The first member of my Dream Team was a web savvy, sassy, editor, who explained to me that what I needed was branding! A book doesn’t just sell itself, especially when the author is a virtual unknown like me. Readers need to connect with an author on some level and agree to take a chance on them. That’s how the concept of branding ‘Tali Alexander’ came to be. We did everything that a mega publisher or a PR company would do for their clients; we created a website, graphics, high-end cover, good editors, ISBN numbers, advertisements, costum made swag, a blog tour, a book trailer, FB author page, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, YouTube, Goodreads, Amazon, iTunes, B&N, KOBO… we did it all! Next, she asked me who my favorite author was? I named off at least five authors who were all at least fifty years dead. She then asked me to name a living-breathing author I want to be like when I grew up? I had just finished reading a great book by a wonderful author and I naturally named her. You may ask, ‘who cares which author you like?’ Well, here is the thing I’ve learned, if you want something in life find the people who do it best and learn from them. The first member of my Dream Team was finally smiling and that was the beginning of following my dream.
Over the course of time leading up to my May 20th 2014 release date for LOVE IN REWIND, I did everything I could to become an expert in self-publishing. I submerged myself in a pool full of amazing women from around the globe who not only took a chance on me, but also worked their asses off to make sure everybody and their cat wanted to read LOVE IN REWIND. I went from not having any Facebook at all to having thousands of Facebook fans , many of whom are now, my friends.
On September 6th 2014, my little book, my little dream, my little ‘what if’ hit a ranking of #1 on the Amazon charts in three different categories. Imagine the girl who started out sitting on a beach writing her fantasy, then less than a year later, that same girl selling thousands upon thousands of her dream novel to women around the world. Not even in my wildest delusions did I foresee this. My reality surpassed any of my dreams. My hope for you is that your realities will transcend your dreams, too.
Work hard and surround yourself with positive people who will be the backbone of your dreams… and then, take that leap …