Nerd Girl was released on December 1, 2013. With some trepidation, I reached out to my friends and family, letting them know what I had done. Many of them didn't even know I had been writing a book, let alone had just self-published it. I then reached out to my local community which included neighborhood bookstores, local newspaper, school community, and old Microsoft colleagues and friends. Nerd Girl continued to be well received. My local Queen Anne bookstore ordered some copies, the local community paper wrote a feature article on Nerd Girl and self-publishing in general. Girlfriends keep telling me about how they've suggested the book for their book clubs. The outreach, support, and encouragement has been uplifting.
I decided then to be brave and reached out to a select list of book bloggers. The thing with Indie authors, especially those written for the romance genre, rely heavily on book bloggers to write reviews and get the word out. I follow several book bloggers on my own and of course I reached out to them first. I randomly found many others on Goodreads. I think I probably sent out about 15 requests for review and received about a 50% response back. Not too bad, given I was a no name. Many of them told me they wouldn't be able to get to the book for 6-8 weeks due to their extensive 'to-read' lists, but that was fine with me. Some read them right away. The 48-72 hours of waiting time from the time the blogger says they've started your book to the time when they finally reach out to you to give you their review, is nail biting. I hate it. Someone has my book, the one I worked tirelessly for over a year on, and they will summarize their feelings in a few paragraphs, either telling me they loved it, hated it, or thought it was just... meh.
Fortunately, bloggers have been supportive and on the most part positive. I'm so appreciative that they were willing to invest their time to read Nerd Girl. Their enthusiasm for the art is awesome. They are passionate, silly, critical, and the best cheerleaders one could hope for. I am forever grateful.
And then there are the not so good reviews. These hurt. In fact, they're downright mean and cruel. I've learned quickly that authors need to have a very thick skin. I've chosen to not read these reviews because unfortunately, most of them are hurtful and not productive in any way. Fortunately, they are the outliers, that 10%. I appreciate that people like different books, so I'll leave it at that.
The next part of my journey is a book blogger tour. What is that you ask? I wondered the same thing. This is just another new leg of my journey. Bloggers sign up to feature Nerd Girl on their blog. They provide reviews, book excerpts, author interviews, and guest posts. I'm doing a blog tour for Nerd Girl, with the support of Indiesage. The blog tour dates will be Jan 27 - Feb 7. The following is the list of participating bloggers. Wish me luck!!