Monday, April 24, 2017

Things I Learned After My Book Release

Under Locker and Key is out in the world!

It's at Barnes and Noble, right there on the shelf! The B&N here let me sign a few copies!

And the next day, I had a launch and a signing!

It went well. I had a good turnout (most of the guests were friends and family, but they were super-encouraging and all the cupcakes got eaten, which is nice) and I didn't embarrass myself too much signing books. It's a good thing I practiced my signature before the book came out.

This is wild. It really is. I thought it would feel real when the book was out, and it does, but no more real than it has been feeling. Then again, I haven't had a lot of time to sit and dwell on it. It has been a few very busy weeks, which taught me the first lesson of post-release life:

- Life goes on despite the release.

See, I knew this already, but it's interesting to see it happen. I have the release, the launch, everything, and then I have errands to run and chores to do and my actual day job to work, so I haven't had time to get ice cream and sit and smile that I am now a published author!

That will have to wait until life slows down a little. I did have a launch party, and there was cake, but lesson 2:

- The release and launch are work, not play, for the writer.

Holy cow, Tuesday and Wednesday were exhausting for me. I'm not even that sure why. Tuesday I had no events; the book just came out! But for some reason I was so tired at the end of Tuesday. Maybe it was the social media notifications, or just the emotions of the day. The launch itself meant I had to be on all night, and even before that, I had to help set up. I slept in the next day! However, lesson 3:

- The launch is fun!

It really was! I had a great time. I was working, and it took a lot out of my introverted self, but I really enjoyed presenting about my book, running a giveaway and activity, and signing copies later. If I didn't think too hard about it, I felt like I belonged there, signing books. It felt right, and I loved talking to people as they came by. I would love to do more book events, and I'm trying to set some up.

And now? What's happening now? Life goes on, but it is a little different. Lesson 4:

- The book isn't mine anymore, so I have to be more careful online.

They tell writers not to read our reviews, so it's not so innocent for me to go on Goodreads anymore. I still do, but it's hard to see the number of reviews going up while doing my utmost to ignore it. People are talking about my book, and they will say good and bad things about it. None of it will help me be a better writer, so it's better to let it go for now.

As for the future, here's what I learned:

- This is only the beginning.

There will be other books, other launches, other reviews...this isn't a one-time thing. I have a sequel coming out, and between now and then, I'll be visiting schools, bookstores, and libraries, trying to get the word out about my book.

You know what? That's fine with me. As tiring as the launch was, I loved it. This is the work I want to be doing, and I'm finally doing it.

Here are this week's debuts:

Middle Grade:
Sarah Jean Horwitz - Carmer and Grit: The Wingsnatchers (4/25)
Patricia Bailey - The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan (4/25)

Young Adult:
Kes Trester - A Dangerous Year (4/25)
Joanne O'Sullivan - Between Two Skies (4/25)

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