At first, I wasn't going to participate. Why? Because I was scared to death to hear/see what people were going to say. I'm a little bit paranoid and a lot less confident than I appear, but aren't we all? I mean, authors are always a little insecure about their work, right? Please say I'm not the only one.
At the time of the book discussion, A Hustler's Promise 2 was done and ready for me to hit publish on KDP. But as the discussion progressed, I realized that I couldn't release the second part of A Hustler's Promise as is. There were topics brought up in the discussion that made me realize that if I released this book as is, I was going to piss off a bunch of readers.
And I couldn't do that.
Saturday is when I realized the importance of not just reading Amazon and Goodreads reviews but actually LISTENING to your readers. It was truly an eye opener. Even though I loved how the second part turned out, I deliberately left out parts that I felt weren't important. Turns out, I was wrong. The same elements that I thought were not important enough to be included in the sequel were the exact same elements that my readers wanted to know.
So I put them back in. I stayed up until 3 in the morning, rewriting a couple of chapters, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Only after I was completely satisfied that I had answered reader questions without taking away from the story, did I hit publish.
And that's when I freaked out.
I've never written a sequel before. A million or two scary thoughts filled my head and wouldn't allow me to sleep. What if the 2nd part wasn't as good as the first. What if I woke up and had nothing but 1 star reviews? What if...what if...what if...the scenarios were endless, almost to the point of tears.
By the time I finally fell asleep, I had convinced myself that my book was horrible, no one was going to read it and I was a very bad author. And there was nothing I could do about it because that little box on KDP that says "unpublish" was grayed out. No changes could be made until I got an email from KDP saying...
"Congratulations, you have successfully published your book, A Hustler's Promise 2: Promises Kept....view it here"
I didn't actually breathe a sigh of relief until late Monday night. Looks like A Hustler's Promise 2 is exactly what my readers wanted.
I hope I'm not speaking too soon. (see, still a little paranoid)