(Steps In Reverse Order) by Matthew Quick Step 5 - You are going to need a lot of people to purchase your novel—and I do mean a lot! Like, more than you can even imagine. Yes, your father will buy copies for all of his business associates; your mother will tell (in great detail) every single person who comes within a twenty-foot radius all there is to know about you and your work; you will even be contacted by the caretakers of your late grandfather, and they will say he proudly pitched your novel to every doctor and nurse he saw until his last dying breath; your siblings and friends will do everything they can to support you, making signed copies of your movie tie-in edition the standard go-to birthday and holiday gift; but all of this will never be enough—even if your family is enormous and you have impossibly generous friends. You will need complete strangers to buy your work, to fall in love with your words and encourage others to do the same. Sometimes these strangers will write beautiful e-mails that make you ache and believe that maybe you really are on your way, but mostly these strangers will never ever contact you, as you pretend you’re not obsessively checking Amazon numbers and Goodreads reviews. You will have woefully minimal control over the millions of potential book-buyers in the world, even if you tour around; give many TV, radio, and print interviews; speak often; and maintain a healthy web presence. (Even if you miss spending your birthday with your wife for the first time since 1993 so that you can promote the film and MTI.) It’s like trying to control the weather with your hopes and dreams.