So what, if anything, have I learned now?
#1) Marketing. Need to increase education in this area. Still doing the throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks method, and it's not ideal. In better news, I now have a list of worthwhile investments of time/funds. (And a list of worthless ones....)
#2) Newsletters. I was like a monkey doing a math problem trying to set up my sign up newsletter signup form, new email (because something about yahoo is gnarly with mail lists), and creating and editing my first newsletter. I hit send only to realize....I sent the test newsletter. Ugh. Author fail. Dude, aren't there people to help with this kind of stuff?
#3) Covers. IMHO, these covers need a hot dude, smart lady, mountains, a bad guy oozing yellow smoke, snow and/or avalanches, a puppy, some nondescript people looking on in sympathy/awe, an old bald guy and molten lava. Why my editor believes that all of these critically important features won't fit on a standard thumbnail image is beyond me. Luckily, I don't design my own covers, or it'd be a flaming, hot mess.
#4) Crushes. Kind of have one on each hero while I write them. Didn't really expect that to occur.
#5) Terror. Just because I wrote a few books doesn't mean I can keep doing it. Maybe the juju runs out after a while. What if, one day, I can't come up with a new description of "heaving breasts" or "throbbing members"?
#5.5) What the heck is a "member" anyway? It sounds like a club to join. Like I should wear a patch on my jacket: "Members Only" (if you've been alive more than 30 years, you know this reference). Uh, then yes, that would be super duper yucky.
#6) Terror, part 2. What if my non-writing life meets up with my writing life? What if family members, coworkers, conservative (read: 'sex doesn't exist') acquaintances, and blue-haired elderly patients find out? No, seriously, you don't understand. Dr. Jill has a reputation for being sweet, super nice and quite square. Patients and parents love it that way. Jillian David looks for evil, disgusting stuff that goes bump in the night and then freakin' HUGS IT.
#7) Small world. Just like in medicine, where all docs are 2 degrees of separation from each other. Same thing in writing. I'm amazed at the connections I've already made, and in such a short period of time.
#8) Business. Also an educational deficit. Do I need an agent: yes or no? Should someone be advocating for my career or do I just need to go bull-by-the-horns and manage everything? Contracts? Huh?
#9) Green eyed monster. Forget that Author X has worked their ass off for 20 years and dedicated 100% of their lives to writing amazing books. And, fair enough, it doesn't help that I'm insanely competitive through every fiber of my being. (Don't judge -- intense desire to succeed comes in super duper handy when a patient needs an emergency c-section or that baby isn't breathing. You want your doctor unable to accept anything less than their best performance. It's just a bummer that I cannot shut off that particular valve.) I'm just calling my green-eyed spade a spade, that's my point.
#10) Excitement. After I go through the writing/editing bipolar swings: "I can do this, it sucks firecrackers, hey not that bad, why would anyone want to read this crap." Once that internal dialogue is done and the books are put to bed, I've simply let them go, and what a good feeling. Then, I've started crafting a new series!