It's hard for me to explain how important feedback is for someone who has just released a book. So I'll paint a picture for you using the vehicle of sex.
Imagine the situation.
You've fancied someone for a long time. Finally he asks you out/she says yes to a date.
The courting, (love that word, so old fashioned) moves along smoothly with no horrible surprises, (He's a "violent, bigoted drunk", she has a "psycho crush on a boy band" sort of thing) and all seems set for the last hurdle, (or first with some girls... if you're lucky...) into an unknown future together.
So the hour of intimacy is upon you and the act is consummated. Contented and spent, you lie back and ponder on what just happened. For you it was great, every thing you thought it would be and more, but how does your partner feel?
"How was it for you darling?" (I never use the word Darling, unless quoting Blackadder, of course).
Wordlessly he/she stands up and leaves the room.
... and that's how it is when you release a book. Months of slow build up while you write, (courting), thinking what would please the reader, (buying gifts), fine tuning and editing, (making yourself presentable) and then finally release... literally!
But after the release, after you've burst messily all over the public platform, what then? Is it good, will it sell or is the magic simply not there?
That's where I am right now.
The book is out there but the bathroom is silent.
OK, admittedly it's only been out since Good Friday and Amazon did have me down as Ricahrd Rhys Jones so my fans had no way of finding it... ahem, (coughs) but it's out there.
However, apart from the feedback from my great beta readers, Bob and
gave me the standard, "Yeah, s'alright", and George who corrected my
laughable grammar and bounced ideas at me, I have nothing to go on.
She's still in the bathroom either weeping her disappointment or whooping at the mirror in exhausted, sweaty glee!
Well, OK, that's not strictly true actually.
Yesterday I received two very encouraging messages on Facebook, (the only contact I have with the outside world while I'm working. I lead such a troglodyte existence). I'll not name names but the two gentlemen informed me that they have the book and not only that, but they're enjoying it too!
It's not quite a whoop from the bathroom yet, but it is the shuffle of feet doing a happy dance.
The real test is what she tells her girlfriends...
Take it easy. (Wish I could).