Psst. Guess what? Today is the release day for my newest book, THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS! Cue the confetti, fanfare, and raucous cheers!
Can I tell you a little secret? Of all the surprises that awaited me in the publishing industry, none has thrown me so much as the deception of release day. Okay, maybe that’s putting it a bit harshly--no one has lied to me. But pub day is nothing like I thought it would be, and even eight books into this writing gig, I always flounder a bit on my book baby’s birthday. Maybe that’s normal. Maybe not. Maybe some people do pop the cork on a bottle of champagne for breakfast, do a reading in some premier indie book store, and watch their Amazon ranking dip into triple digits (double? single?). For me, release day is usually a mug of hot coffee, a quiet house, and a little time to reflect...
The truth about release day:
- It’s anticlimactic. Although this book may have taken you a year to write and another to publish, it’s unrealistic to expect two years of hard work to culminate in one magnificent day. Pub day usually isn’t all that magnificent, and it’s not fair to expect it to be. For most people, I suspect pub day is a pretty normal day.
- It’s important. That’s not to say that you should go about your daily tasks as if northing special is happening. This is your day, and like any momentous event, it deserves to be celebrated. I give myself a free pass on release day. I eat what I want to eat, do what I want to do, sometimes buy myself a little something special... For one day I get to shrug off my everyday responsibilities and bask in some serious “me” time. And at the end of the day you can bet my husband and I will enjoy a glass or two of wine.
- It’s a little terrifying. People will start to receive and, therefore, review your book on pub day. There will be tweets and Facebook posts and congratulations. There will also be indifference and even nastiness. People will “talk” as if they are having private conversations (it’s the internet, nothing is private) and as if you’re not listening (of course you are--at least, today). You’ll probably waffle back and forth between watching the drama unfold and trying to reclaim some distance and normalcy. Go for a walk. Have lunch with a friend. You won’t be able to avoid it entirely, but it helps to back away and gain some perspective.
- It’s also exhilarating. Some (many?) of the reviews, posts, and publicity around your release day will be positive. Your friends and readers will likely surround you and encourage you--and that is a beautiful thing to witness. Enjoy it. Bask in it. They say it takes 10 compliments to combat every negative comment you receive, so store up all those lovely, positive things that people have to say about you and your book.
- It’s just the beginning. I used the think pub day was the finish line. I threw my arms up in the air, triumphant, only to realize that what I thought was the end of the race was really the shot of the stater pistol. Although this book has been a part of you for years, and the goal was publication (achieved!), now the real work begins: getting your book baby into the hands of readers, connecting with them, answering their questions, attending their events, and allowing the book to become real and alive for the audience you intended it for. In some ways, it’s not your book anymore: it’s theirs. Who knows where it will go from here?
And that, my friends, is where I am today. A tangle of emotions. Utterly different and yet completely the same. I made breakfast for my kids, took my littlest to preschool, poured myself a cup of coffee. This afternoon I’ll drive some friends to the airport and come home for a soccer game. But in between it all, THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS will be taking steps out into the world, as tentative and wondering as a new colt standing. I’ll be hoping all the while that she doesn’t just gallop, she runs.
Thanks for reading.