As if I hadn’t told y’all about 100 times, my book is out now! And that’s awesome and exciting and…really bizarre. I’ve crossed a threshold and yet…nothing is really different–yet. Most of the differences are in how I’m feeling: jittery and super-overwhelmed.
Does every author feel this way?I’ve worked on this one book for nearly 3 years and yet I still have moments where my heart beats faster and I get all shaky and am just convinced that my book is terrible an no one will ever love me and I’d better just go pick out a nice box under the freeway already. Then I swing to the opposite extreme: my book is the best in the world and I’ll be the funniest guest on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and I’ll have publishers knocking on my door, on their knees.
Of course the truth is nowhere near as dramatic. I’ve sold–actually sold!–a handful of books in a variety of formats and got my shipment of 10 copies to give away to family. I’ve got some great reviews on Amazon and the beginnings of interest on Goodreads. That’s progress.
But there have also been problems: a friend who I’d given the book months ago finally got around to actually reading the book, and she found an error, which was embarrassing. Then my cover artist finally got her copy and noticed a formatting thing that I swear I never saw before… combined, these two things rendered my 10 giveaway copies practically useless. Luckily, CreateSpace’s tools made it easy to fix the error and replace the cover, but it’s still not exactly how I dreamed it would be. It wasn’t perfect.
My husband (rightly) points out that things are often not perfect (hey, I found a blatant typo in my 20-year-old copy of Ender’s Game!) and that I’m being too hard on myself. I’m trying that whole “it’ll work out” ethos.
I’m trying to keep that same tenacity with the marketing stuff. Man do I hate talking about myself–and, it turns out, promoting my book. But of course it’s necessary: even the greatest book won’t be bought if no one knows about it. I just spent about an hour on different social media platforms, just doing simple things–posting about my book, talking with readers–and yet by the end of the hour I was shaking like I’d downed four cups of coffee. My veins were thrumming with “what if they don’t like me? what if? what if?”
Deep breaths. Just keep on keepin’ on.
Those of you who’ve survived this stage, what do you recommend? Help me out here.