The 5 Emotional Stages of a Book Launch

This week at RWA Nationals I was on a panel called The Girlfriend's Guide to Debut Authorhood. And in the presentation I referenced this post. So since I'm still buried after coming back from a week away, I thought it'd be a good time to rerun this post. And let me tell you, these stages don't change much. I learned a lot with my debut release, but the release of MELT INTO YOU still came with many of these stages too. 

On to the post...

From January 2012:

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.


The Five Emotional Stages of a Book Launch


A Big Smile
Photo by Anil Mohabir
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.

facebook engancha
Photo by Olga Palma
Week Two: Obsession

You're guest blogging like a mad woman, 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. It's maddening.

Geo Burn Out-1
Photo via gb_packards
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. Maybe one day that stuff just rolls off, but at least for me, I found it affecting my mood and distracting me from whatever I was supposed to be working on. (I'll blog about this in more depth another day.)

Felix hiding under the covers
Photo via Tracey Adams 
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 a review, 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.

Balance of nature
Photo by James Jordan
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. You would like to make a living doing it. So you back away from all the hoopla and get back to your keyboard and your story. I'm not totally here yet, but I'm hoping by next week I will be, lol.

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? 

Does SWAG Sell Books?

Some swag I kept from RTSo it's the time of the year where I start preparing for my trip to RWA Nationals. This year will be my third year attending, but the first time I'll be attending as a published author. (Yay!) It's my fave conference of the year because I get to see so many writer friends I only get to see once a year, so I'm really looking forward to it.

But one of the things I need to tackle sooner rather than later is deciding on what kind of promo or swag (stuff we all get) to create and bring. The standard is post cards, bookmarks, and pens. But when I start looking at the prices of the stuff, I start thinking of that big bag of junk I end up with at the end of conferences. And honestly, most of those bookmarrks and paper swag ends up in the trash or left in my hotel room. The pens I keep, but do I ever really look up that author's name who created the pen? Not really. Same goes for things like post-it notes. I may use them, but it doesn't necessarily make me find out more about the author.

What does work on me is if I see an author give a workshop and I like what they have to say, I look them up and possibly buy one of their books. Or if I meet an author and have a conversation, I may then look for their books. But the free pocket flashlights, stress balls, key chains, cups, etc. do nothing. Even an excerpt booklet usually goes unread.

Even the buttload of free books that I come home with aren't immediate sales tools. I still have so many that are on my shelf that I haven't had time to read. (This, btw, doesn't mean that I will not happily take home more free books from this conference. Let's not talk crazy now. Free books. Free books! That's like waving heroin in front of an addict.)

So that leaves me wondering if I should even bother spending money on stuff people are probably going to throw away anyway. I know I need business cards for people I meet, but other than that, I'm not sure the rest is worth it.

But maybe I'm an anomaly. Maybe other people love that stuff. So I'm throwing the question out to you guys. Has swag ever sold you on something? If so, what was it? And what do you do with all the swag you get from conferences?

*Btw, the swag in the picture I kept because I either already like/knew the author, saw the author give a workshop and wanted to remember to look them up, or I wanted to use their swag to research my own potential swag.

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Writing Links of the Week


Did I miss the train?

Photo by Son of Groucho

  Need to catch up? Since I skipped last weeks links post, I have a biggie for y'all today. Hope you enjoy!

On Writing:


On Publishing:


On Social Media/Promotion:


Because It Was Interesting:


What You May Have Missed Here: 


So that's what I've got this week, what were some of your favorite links of the week? Hope you all have a great weekend!

Are Book Giveaways and Contests Effective Promotion?


Car Giveaway 

Photo via NewsbiePix (creative commons)

So I know everyone loves free stuff. I mean, who wouldn't? But I often wonder as I cruise around the blogosphere how effective they actually are as a promotional tool.

When I've featured new authors on my blog and giveaways of their book, I tend to get a scant amount of comments and entries as compared to normal post days. I've done more wide scale contests with lots of books and those do pretty well, but those don't really promote the authors per se.

And then when I see authors giving away their books on Twitter and such, it seems all they are really doing is preaching to the choir. They're giving rewards to their loyal followers and fans and that's awesome, but it's not necessarily introducing their writing to someone new. 

I know that if someone gives me a free book (like the ones I got at RWA), I am more likely to try out that author and give them a chance, which may mean I become a fan after reading the book. So in that way, I know free books can be effective. But when it's in a blog contest form, I'm not sure it's the same kind of effect. I'm much more likely to try someone's book because they had an interesting blog post, and I saw the blurb and liked it.

But maybe I'm just being biased because I'm not one to click over for contests unless it's an author I already know and a book I already want or a blog topic that hooks me. So I have a few questions for you:

1. When you enter a contest and DON'T win, are you more likely to go out and buy that book because you're now interested in it?

2. If you see someone promoting a contest featuring an author and a book you've never heard of, does it make you click over to that link?

3. Have you ever won a contest and became a fan of the author after trying their book?

You guys tell me, I'm curious. :)