I’m sure it’s the same for any author, whether one’s work is published by a traditional publisher or it’s been self-published. After all those months (or years) of dedication to a project and enduring numerous drafts, revisions, and corrections, it’s a special moment when the UPS man pulls into the driveway and brings a box filled with books, books that you’ve created.
My wife Cindy was having a yard sale when the UPS man scaled our driveway (our house is on a steep slope) with my books. Of course she had to be the one who opened it, which I didn’t really mind. Even though it was me who wrote, re-wrote, edited, and published the 160-page masterpiece. But that’s OK. She was thrilled like it was Christmas. She was very proud of me and of them, the first order of 30 paperbacks of Hurst’s Wurst. She showed them to her friend and her mother who were both helping with the yard sale. I love to see her happy with something I’ve written.
I’m not one to promote myself, to gloat or say, “Hey, look at me! Look what I’ve done!” (Which of course is bad if you’re responsible for the marketing and promotion of a self-published work.) But Cindy has always been my biggest supporter in everything I’ve done. She has promoted my books to anyone on any occasion. She is proud of what I’ve done; I couldn’t help but have an inner sense of satisfaction and accomplishment myself.
Writing a book is something everyone says they want to do (writing the “Great American Novel”) but often never do. Anyone who commits themselves to cultivating an idea, building and taking away from it, nurturing it through thought, research, and imagination, and sees it to a published end deserves to feel that sense of accomplishment. The reward is to open that cardboard box and see books with your own name on them. The financial rewards don’t hurt either. Still nothing can quite compare to opening that box.