It feels like an age ago now that Boyfriend and I sat in front of my laptop, ready to submit What Happens in New York to Amazon and make it available to preorder.

I’d had it set up as a draft on KDP for a while. I never made it all the way through to submission process, though.

Initially this was because it was too early to do so (preorders can only be done three months in advance).

The second time, I chickened out.

The third time, I knew I couldn’t if I had someone to hold me accountable (and give hugs).

We went through the three-step process, taking the most time to decide what price point to set. We settled on £1.47 for the UK. Prices for the rest of the world would be worked out based on this.

After submitting it, I spent an hour or so refreshing the page relentlessly. I knew it would take longer than that to go live (they said about 48 hours), but I’m incredibly impatient, so I did it anyway.

Eventually I forced myself to go for a bath and read The Indigo Spell in a futile attempt to relax.

It was difficult. I was somewhere between nervous and excited — that’s why I’d chickened out before, and sums up how I’ve felt all along. I’m excited to introduce my story to the world, but also nervous about how people will react to it.

Sharing it with the world something I’ve spent almost a decade of my life working on. For someone with little self-confidence and faith in her own abilities, trusting that what I’ve got is good enough to publish is difficult.

Despite all of this, I’ve had tremendous support from the people around me. Not just my close friends and family, but more distant ones, too. Even people I’ve hardly spoken to in years messaged me wishing me luck and offering their support. It was a wonderful feeling.

How do I feel now that it’s been published?

Books lined up at the launch for What Happens in New York!

Books on sale at the launch for What Happens in New York!

To be honest, it’s still sinking in.

I spent months obsessing and stressing about the book, to the point of making myself ill. Publishing the book is something that I had to do for me. It’s the first book in a very large series, and I can already feel how much I’ve grown as a writer when looking at book two (titled What Happens in London).

In all honesty, I can’t bring myself to look at What Happens in New York right now. Every time someone mentions it to me, I clam up. It’s not that I’m not proud of what I’ve accomplished, but sadly, the book brings back bad memories of the stress I put myself through, and if I look at it too much, I’ll find too many things wrong with it. That’s the trouble with stress and obsession. Drawing a line underneath them to move on is difficult.

I intend to go back through What Happens in New York when I’ve finished on What Happens in London and do the second edition, ready for the launch of its sequel. In the meantime, however, I need to separate myself from it.

If you’re thinking about self-publishing…

If you’re contemplating self-publishing your novel and keep talking yourself out of putting it up for publication, I have one piece of advice for you: just do it.

Just do it, and don’t be afraid of it.

You’ve finished (or almost finished) the manuscript. You deserve to celebrate that by introducing your work to the world.

What Happens in New York is out now!