Recently I have been looking back on when I got started and thinking about what I thought it would be like. And thinking about the reality now I am over a dozen books in. My past beliefs and current understanding are not the highly overlapping circles of a venn diagram. This is my experience - results may vary across different authors.
My first book Clever Moo (illustrated by Malcolm Evans and published by Scholastic) came out in 2006. So, what did I imagine would happen?
1) My first published book would fling open doors to publication of further work
2) People out in the world (also known as the general public) would come to know my name
3) My book published here in New Zealand would also get picked up overseas.
4) I had written a book that everyone would want to buy
5) I was on my way
Ahhh, how fresh faced and innocent I was ... And what do I know now I am 13+ books in, in 2020?
1) Each book must cut the mustard and stand on its own merits (which is as it should be really). I have been more rejected than accepted if I consider all the work I have written, and submitted. However I do acknowledge that the door that has been opened is the one where publishers do know who I am and they know that the bookie community knows me too which is an advantage. It helps that I have a history and I have done what I can to make it a good history and I am still hard at work doing what I can to keep it growing.
2) Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha - lol - gasp - no. This is an uphill journey, for which I have not yet found the right crampons. There is a distant peak, which may or may not be a mirage, that I am aiming for. Who knows if I will ever reach it ...
3) It is not the norm to have your book picked up overseas and if it does happen it does not always mean instant riches (or gradual riches either).
4) I am still praying I will someday write this book. Tis the holy grail all authors yearn for ... Please note that even if it does happen, 'bestseller' status does not automatically confer riches, or any kind of notoriety or longevity.
5) I wasn't 'on my way' in terms of fame and fortune, but I guess I was on my way in terms of having a writing career. The clash of reality vs expectations has resulted in some disappointments but I am still holding on like a very determined limpet. Maybe those things aren't unrelated.