I've almost made it through month one of my debut release. The month has been an exciting, exhausting, and emotional whirlwind. I have lots of blog post ideas spinning through my head about the experience, what I've learned, and what I'd do differently.
But first I thought I'd give you a brief overview of what my debut month looked like.
2016 Update: I'm more than ten books into this journey now and these stages still apply, though I have gotten better at managing them. :)
The Five Emotional Stages of a Book Launch
Week One: Book Release Euphoria
You're so damn happy, you can't feel your face anymore because you're smiling so much. Your book is out there! People are talking about it, blogging about it, authors you're a fangirl of are tweeting congrats to you. You walk into your local bookstore and there it is--your book on the freaking shelf! You vacillate widely between wanting to cry and wanting to break out into song in public. You're so busy, you're lucky if you remember to eat and sleep. But who needs those silly things?
Week Two: Obsession
You're guest blogging like a madwoman, responding to comments, tweeting about your blog tour, and trying to do you normal writing too. But that's not why you're at your computer. Nope, you're there because now you're obsessed. What's my Amazon ranking this hour? What are reviewers saying? How many ratings do I have on Goodreads? Ooh, is that a new review? What are people saying about me and my book? I need to google myself again. Must. Check. One. More. Time.
Week Three: Burning Out
This is when the flip side of weeks one and two rears its ugly head. In all your obsession, you've realized not everyone thinks you're made of awesome and sugar cookies. It's inevitable. We anticipate that. Hell, we're writers. We're built on rejection. How much did we see to get to this point? But anticipating it and seeing it on the interwebs are two different things. Rejection up to this point hasn't felt personal. It's been more like structured feedback or the general "no thanks" from the agent. But online, people have no qualms about making it personal, saying mean things, or even making assumptions about what kind of person you are. For some people that stuff rolls right off. For others, it can affect your mood and distract you from whatever you're supposed to be working on. That's why you hear many authors say they don't read reviews. Reviews are for readers not for you. But it's admittedly hard not to look, especially if it's your debut book. If you know you're going to be affected by bad reviews, skip looking or have a friend screen them for you.
Week Four: Collapsing in Exhaustion and Cocooning
You're tired. Really bone tired, but also creatively and emotionally drained. You crave to get back to your routine and your life. For me, this meant a bit of cocooning or insulating myself. I stepped away from the week two obsession. If someone brings my attention to something great, I'll read it. Otherwise, I don't need to go out and see everything anyone has ever said about me or the book. And I don't need to say yes to everything. And I don't need to be everywhere at once.
Week Five: Finding Balance and Re-Focusing on Why You're Doing This In the First Place
You realize the reason why you're doing all this stuff is because you love to write. This is the job you want. So you back away from all the hoopla and get back to your keyboard and your story. Then, when your next book come out, this cycle will start again!
So those are my thoughts after four weeks, about 50 blog posts (counting guest posts and my own blogs), comment answering, completing copy edits on two books, plus trying to draft another with a tight deadline. *downs a shot of tequila*
So what do you think? If you're published, have you experienced any of this? If you're hoping to get published, what do you think will be your biggest challenge during your book release?
"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series