My NA debut, I SEE LONDON, released from Harlequin HQN on February 3rd and so far it has been a crazy busy week. Since my brain is a little mush right now, I thought I'd share some of my lessons with you.
First Step: CELEBRATE!
This step is the most obvious but honestly, the easiest to forget. Whether it's your first book or your twentieth find a way to celebrate you :) You wrote a book and it's definitely something to be proud of. In the midst of all of the craziness, find something special to commemorate the moment. Go out to dinner with friends or family, treat yourself to something special. I *may* have bought myself a book-shaped Great Gatsby clutch. Whatever it is, enjoy your moment.
Second Step: THANK EVERYONE.
This really should be step one but my brain is, as I said, mush, so just think of these steps as not being in order...or more like guidelines, really (sorry, Pirates of the Caribbean reference). I pun when tired. Basically, remember everyone who supported you and encouraged you. Publishing a book really does take a village. Celebrate the people who were there with you along the way (agent, editor, friends, family, critique partners, etc.). It really is as much their moment as it is yours.
Third Step: PROMOTE YOUR BOOK.
Be prepared to talk about your book A LOT. If you have a blog tour you will write many, many posts about your book. If you are smart (so basically do the opposite of what I did) you will write these far, far in advance so you have some ready to go. Honestly, at some point you will be sick of talking about yourself. Especially if you're an introvert :) You may even want to sit in bed and eat cake and talk to no one (hypothetically, of course). But remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You got this far, so just push through what will be a hectic, sleep-deprived week (or two or three) and enjoy being a part of the enthusiasm surrounding your new release.
More than anything THANK the people involved in your blog tour, etc. Comment on all posts thanking bloggers for hosting you, thank them on Twitter, give them imaginary hugs. Bloggers are AMAZING champions of books and they do it because they're so passionate about them. They deserve ALL the cupcakes :) Same goes for other writers and readers. You will be blown away by how supportive and kind people are. It's the absolute coolest feeling in the world to hear from a reader who loves your book. So thank them too. Basically thanks for everyone :) And give them cupcakes.
Fourth Step: STAY SANE.
Kidding. Kind of. Stay hydrated, eat some chocolate, pace yourself. It's just a little overwhelming. In an awesome way, but also in a "my brain is so frazzled that dinner is consisting of Lay's potato chips, I can't string together a complete sentence, and I haven't washed my hair in four days" sort of way. (Hypothetically. It has been three.) So yeah. You're going to get reviews that love your book, hate your book, and everything in between. It'll be a bit of a roller coaster and that's totally, 100% normal, so just enjoy the ride. Do things that make you happy and take little breaks.
Fifth Step: GET READY TO DO IT AGAIN.
I've learned that no matter what project you have in the works (querying, submission, newly released) the answer is ALWAYS to have something else queued up. That way no matter what happens, good, bad, or ugly, you always have something shiny and new waiting for you. At the end of the day, it's one book out of hopefully a long career filled with many books. Enjoy the moment, celebrate it, and then get ready to work on the next one :)
I'm off to eat a cookie and get back on Twitter and try not to check Amazon obsessively. Have a great day and thanks to everyone who has made my release week SO special. Peace! Also, I just realized this would have been so much better with gifs. Sigh.
Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, was released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, on July 7, 2014. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook or on her own website.