My Novel, Fish Out of Water

The author, I am learning, is not just a creative being. He or she is not simply one who imagines, writes, and edits. He or she is also a business person, a sales person even. If he self-publishes, he is his own writer, editor, team recruiter, publisher, marketer, and possibly even cover designer. No matter what, he is his own marketer, a position that writers often do not enjoy taking up, but have to.

As long as this is not to puff your own ego up, there really is no dilemma in marketing yourself, so to speak. They say your name is your brand. Even then, you really aren’t marketing yourself. Just as Rhett MacLaughlin and Link Neal have promoted “Rhett and Link,” authors’ names become in a sense separated from them. The names become the names of their book businesses. It is the books the author is promoting ultimately, not themselves.

Likewise, the author’s very face becomes the face of his business. And this is not something to necessarily hide. I wonder, however, at the making-relationships-with-your-readers part. Must you have your “author name” as the title of your website and Facebook page? Is your voice not sufficient? Must your show your face? Doesn’t it all depend? It does all depend. What matters most, I think, is that you are reaching out to others. As writers, books are a natural part of the way we reach out and communicate with others.

I just noticed I have been switching up first and second person throughout these three paragraphs. Oh well.  In any case, I am most discomforted about something. In a lunch I had with a friend recently, I learned the perspective on author business above. Yet I also learned something else, which sticks inside me like an unnatural object I cannot sit on top of in peace. The topic? The promotion–rather, the non-promotion–of Fish Out of Water.

Yes, the novel I wrote and published and sits displayed on a neighboring page on this website.  The novel I have talked down on for months. The novel I said no one can get past Chapter 4. Let me explain by clearing up some lies and listing some truths.


  1. No one can get past Chapter 4. (Everyone I’ve talked to about the book has gotten past Chapter 4 all the way to the end. The two people who didn’t get past that chapter didn’t because perhaps they’re not the right audience or because of circumstances.)
  2. The romance in cheesy and cringy. (That may be me, and there can be some improvement and there always can be in anything, but no one has complained that anything was wrong with the romance. It’s just me.)
  3. The book is unsatisfactory. (The book has a conclusive ending.)


  1. The book is very exciting and very unpredictable.
  2. The book is lighthearted and funny.
  3. The book has flaws, just like any other book.


  1. Everyone I know who has read the book through its entirety has liked it. By everyone I mean my mom, my best friend’s dad, my best friend who co-created the book with me, my two friends who edited the book, and two other friends who’ve read through the book. Who am I to say it isn’t good, then?

Yet there is nothing wrong with seeing the problems of a book and wishing to see it in its best form possible. My friend I had lunch with said that how I present my book not only says something about the book. It also shows something about my relationship with God. If I did the best I could with the means given to do this work which I was called to do (and that’s the ultimate drive to do anything), then I should not hide that light.

There is no doubt that my first book could be better. The cover could even be better. It would be nice to create a second edition of the book, since I can see its problems. At the same time, some of those problems I see may not be there, and the problems it has doesn’t cancel out its good marks. As for now, I’m leaving you to be the judges.

Before I leave my rambling, a couple updates: I happen to have a Facebook page now by the name of Catherine Rohsner Writes. I also am thinking of adding a Monday afternoon/evening weekly post called “Beautiful Scenes.” It would contain a quote from either my works or other works that I find appealing, at random more or less. Something you’d be interested in? So long now; I’m going to do some projects.