I’m In The “Jessica Simpson Playing The County Fairs” Stage In My Life.
How I went from Published Author to US Book Distributor.
My name is Summer and I am 27 years old. Like most middle class Gen Y kids sitting behind their Apple laptops right now, I am not where I thought I would be in life.
First of all, I’m in rural Australia. As an American who grew up watching Sex and the City every Sunday, I truly thought I would be spending my twenties making out with Wall Street suits and struggling artists in their respective lofts in the Big Apple. Nope. I ended up falling in love with a coal-ming Aussie, marrying him, having his babies and calling a town with a population of 12,000 home. However, I did manage to channel my inner Carrie and got my memoir, Summerlandish: Do As I Say, Not As I Did, published in Australia and the UK.
Having a book published is amazing. But I must warn you- just because a reputable publishing house prints a bunch of copies of your book, doesn’t mean that you are going to be Tina Fey or JK Rowling overnight. Or even a year later. Yes, I saw a lot of success after my book hit shelves. I was nominated by (prayer hands, please) COSMOPOLITAN magazine as one of their Fun Fearless, Females, invited to tons of Writers Festivals as a speaker and even had my memoir mentioned (along with Lena Dunham’s) in the Sydney Morning Herald. And I still have an amazing amount of love from readers and enjoy seeing their #SummerlandishSelfie(s) on Instagram.
However, I am not technically a “Big Deal” or “Best Selling Author” and that makes me sad. What really kills me is that I don’t have US distribution. I know that it’s hard to make it in the book world, but this is something that I can’t stop thinking about or working for. Writing makes me happy, reading kind reviews makes me ecstatic and seeing my book next to one by Benjamin Law makes me proud. I know it sounds ridiculous, but more than anything, I want my book to be sold in airports. I desperately want to be someone’s escape while travelling for work or packed in their carry-on until they hit the beach in Mexico.
With that being said, I totally feel like I am in the “Jessica Simpson playing the county fairs” stage in my life. There are no flashing bulbs yet, no limos, no swanky cocktail parties. Just good ole grassroots YouTube videos, blog posts, weekly newsletters, cold emails to the press and now, my own online store where anyone in the world can buy my book. (If I can’t find a US distributor, then by gosh I shall be one myself!) That decision has me up late at night working for that moment where things will tip and I will be on a book tour around the world reaping all the benefits of putting pen to paper.
And you know what? I would not have it any other way. Not being a success over night has shown me just how badly I want it. And when I do get it, I know that I won’t take any part of it for granted. (Expect for the free wine, but whatevs.)
If you feel like you are tired of reaching for your dream, please do not give up. I know that it looks like it came easily for everyone else, but I really think it is just an Instagram filter. It’s okay to feel defeated, but know that you are not. Even though it does not feel like you are in the right place in your life right now you are- this is the time where we can binge eat a churro and win a stuffed animal all while learning who we really are and what we really want out of life.
WATCH my show, Confessions of Another Blonde on the Internet to learn more about my decision to ship books myself!