Ah, yes. That sweet, sweet day when your book is finally released. At long last. I don’t care if your release is by traditional methods through one of the big publishing companies, or if you’re self-pubbing that baby. Could be your first book, or your tenth. There’s nothing quite like that Release Day. (Note the capital letters … signifies important stuff, y’know?)
A friend, fellow writer and WisRWA member, Liz Czukas, has just had her first book released. Ask Again Later is a young adult and the official release date was this last week. We had to throw a bit of a celebration for her, as you can see. Gotta make a huge fuss. It’s all part of the process.
Can you imagine what Liz is going though right now?
The excitement. Yes! I’ve spent years writing, re-writing, revising, submitting to agents and/or publishing houses. And now, finally, the book is polished within an inch of its life and about to be thrown out there. I’m finally successful. At last I can justify those hours and hours of work that took me away from my family, friends and activities. I’ll be rich and famous. Hollywood will be knocking down my door for the movie rights. Look out world … here I come!
The apprehension. What if no-one likes it? Other than family and friends, that is. They’re almost required to purchase, read and love your book. What if I go to my local bookstore and find it still on the shelves days or weeks after its been released? And what’s with the Amazon ratings? What the hell does that mean, and how does that relate to sales? Never been able to figure that one out.
And finally … the mind-numbing fear. You’re going to scour the internet for reviews. Never mind if nine reviewers absolutely love your book. It’s that tenth one … the one that says this book is dreck, the characters are cardboard and the plot is completely without imagination that you’re going to remember and relive time after time. You’re going to be convinced that you’ll never sell through and your publisher will tell you to never darken their door again. In other words, your book will be an utter flop.
Then there’s the fans. If you’ve been previously published, they were probably champing at the bit for this book. Hell, if it was part of a series, many of them were probably buggin’ ya months ago with information of when your follow-up was coming out.
How’s that for a roller coaster ride?
Its been a number of years since I last had a book published, but I still remember all of the above. This is what authors live for. The excitement, the adrenaline rush … and yes, even the fear and apprehension. There is such a deep sense of satisfaction that day when your book is released.
So … for you authors out there. What was your experience on your Release Day? Readers too. Did you go out of your way to attend a book signing of a favorite author … despite the fact it was a three (or more) hour drive? Did you wait for that day when you knew a favorite author had a book coming out? And then rush out to the bookstore to purchase it? Or download it to your e-reader? I know I have.