We Have a Book. We Think It’s Pretty Good. Now What?

We now have a book. We’ve gotten good feedback from people who’ve read it. Recent reviews have been very positive. So now what? People who are experienced in the book publishing world will probably laugh at us, but when Robin and I started writing our book we did not think about getting it in front of the people who would actually want to read it. I know that makes no sense. What is the point of writing a book if you don’t have a plan to promote it?

The truth is, Robin and I actually never thought beyond writing the book and self-publishing it. The goal was just to get it finished. Many good things have come from this process. Most importantly, Robin has told her story. She has done her part in fighting the stigma of mental illness by courageously making herself completely vulnerable. She has shared the most embarrassing details of the way in which her illness has affected her life and continues to do so. At times, this has been difficult for her. Sometime I should ask her to write about this (sorry Robin, you can say no). But she has received incredibly supportive and amazingly positive feedback from her friends and family. I firmly believe that the process of telling her painful story has helped Robin achieve a new level of healing. She remains stable and content.

For me, writing this book helped me become a better writer. I have journaled since I was ten years old. But writing in a journal and writing for an audience are two different things. It was foreign for me at the start of this process to think about being descriptive or focusing on telling a story. I actually had fun working on learning to write in a new way.

Another positive outcome has been sharing a project with Daniel, my nephew who edited our book. He is now in graduate school, but it was fun to learn how good he is at writing and editing. It was a connecting experience for Daniel and I to work together on this book. So for different reasons, whether we ever find our audience and sell lots of books or not, Robin and I are both viewing this project as a complete success.

Robin is working on a blog post or two in which she is telling the story of what made her decide to move to Florida, and how she is doing now. I will be commenting on my own reaction to her announcement that she was planning to make this major move! It is important for our readers to know that she is still doing well. Robin is mostly done with spending time on our book, this blog, and the painful reality of her mental illness. Instead of living in her past, she is now focused on enjoying her new life. I don’t blame her for wanting to put the most painful years of her illness behind her. It is very healthy for her to move on.

I, on the other hand, am feeling compelled to try my best to get our book in the hands of the people who can be helped by it. So without any previous planning, I have found myself immersed in the foreign world of book promotion. I am a psychologist. I am not a book promoter. Talk about a learning curve! To make matters worse, I am in my fifties and have no clue about the whole social media thing. I’ve never been on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Do I really need to be? Yikes! We will see…

I will continue to update our readers about my feeble efforts to promote the book, but for now I just want to thank everyone who has bought or read it. If you have read it and are willing to post a review on Amazon, Goodreads or both, Robin and I would be eternally grateful!

Stay tuned for Robin’s update!




About Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D.

Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Purdue University. She spent ten years doing full-time clinical practice at a community mental health center with primarily adults. She then spent eight years working as an administrator at that same community mental health center while continuing to maintain a small caseload of therapy clients. She now provides clinical services in long-term care facilities in addition to writing, consulting and spending as much time as possible with the people she loves.
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28 Responses to We Have a Book. We Think It’s Pretty Good. Now What?

  1. manyofus1980 says:

    sharon, can you give me a link to it? I’d like to buy it? on kindle or audio? xx

  2. Dawn D says:

    What an achievement!
    I have a publisher friend who may be able to give you tips… Ok, I haven’t asked her about it, but could (no guarantees!) if you wanted.
    Let me know 😊

  3. Rayne says:

    Hi Sharon. I’m going to be purchasing the Kindle version of this book just as soon as I’m able to.

  4. Sirena says:

    YES! you need social media!! I have no idea about promotion unfortunately but social media is a must.

  5. dyane says:

    The social media aspect is daunting – I won’t lie — but if anyone can grapple and it do *well*, it’s you, lovely Sharon!
    I suggest checking out “Social Media For Writers Guru” Frances Caballo – she comes highly recommend by the San Francisco Writers’ Conference. I watached an interview she did online last year for her “Conversations with Frances” series and I liked her knowledge and how she expressed herself. Take a look at that section on her website:


    (Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books)

    And this seems really cool – it’s from her home page:

    “Free Email Course for Authors
    Social media can be confusing for authors. That’s why I created this free email course to show how you to use social media to engage your readers and find new readers. You’ll learn: How to get started the right way on social media
    My top strategies for succeeding on social media
    Fabulously free image sources for authors
    Blogging tips
    And more!
    When you sign up, you automatically get a free ebook, Twitter Just for Writers. So just enter your email below for the free course and book!”

    Let me know if you try it, Sharon & if it helps! 🙂 XOXOX Dy

    • Thank you SO much for all your suggestions, Dyane! I’m slowly making progress, learning, and am thrilled to have a number of reviewers who have agreed to read the book. I can’t help feeling like I’m behind in the process, but I am trusting the Universe to make happen whatever is supposed to happen. I so appreciate your ongoing support, as always! ❤️

      • dyane says:

        ♥️ You’re so welcome, dear Sharon! Trusting the Universe sounds like the way to go for both of us. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the virtual options. 100 years ago it would’ve been SO MUCH simpler! Although with no computers back then, I doubt I would’ve finished a book!

        However, I could be wrong about that!

        Hang in there – and be extra-proud of yourself & Robin!!! 😻

      • I cannot imagine writing a book 100 years ago! I’ve enjoyed the whole process…the social media thing is just the next step. I can’t wait to read your book!!

  6. Scout says:

    Once sales have some momentum, try getting it in the hands on a (appropriate) traditional publisher. They are more likely to pick up a book that has already shown sales potential (because it’s less of a financial risk), and marketing and getting books into shops is where their strength lies. You’ll also be in a better position to negotiate royalties because it’s already a complete book. Unfortunately my publishing expertise isn’t with fiction (and I’m out of the game, and not from the US), but I might be able to help you with some of your questions (except the social media ones, I’m useless with that).

    • Hey–So good to hear from you! Thanks so much for all these suggestions. I agree that eventually I should look for a publisher. It’s getting the momentum going that is the issue. I’ve gotten lots of suggestions and have a long list of things to work on. I will write a blog update soon!

  7. I’m late to the party here, but have to say CONGRATULATIONS. I really, really enjoyed your blog, and I’m excited to read the book too – Amazon here I come.

  8. Pingback: ‘Despair to Deliverance’ by Sharon DeVinney & Robin Personette | Mentally Questionable

  9. Congratulations on the book! Promotion really is a whole monster on its own…hope everything has been continuing to fair well!

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