Anticipation—The Thrill and the Stress of a Book Release
For an author, one of the most exciting (and nail-biting) times is the period leading up to the release of a new book. On August 28, my fifteenth book, Fool For Love (St. Martin’s Press), will burst into the world in both print and digital formats. I’ve been anticipating this release for months, but most intensely these past few weeks. It recently occurred to me that although I’ve been down this road several times before—some things never change.
- Knowing that the story you poured your heart, time, and energy into will soon be available to readers.
- Worrying that some readers will be disappointed.
- Anticipating reviews.
- Dreading reviews.
- Garnering several enthusiastic responses regarding a blog tour.
- Having to write several different guest posts for said tour as well as answering interview questions without repeating yourself.
See a pattern? For every high there is low. At least there is for me. Another source of pre-release syndrome: Obsessively googling for new reviews and checking your Amazon and Barnes and Noble rankings. Thrilling when you see a positive lift in pre-orders. Stressful when you don’t. I’ve tried to break this particular habit over the years as those sales rankings are really quite vague, but alas.
New to me this time around was the thrill and the stress of social networking in anticipation of a release. There’s a certain expectation from publishers regarding a goodly amount of self-promotion. And I realize that, after all these years, I take that task as a given. Personally, I find building interest and excitement through social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to be one of the most pleasurable aspects when it comes to promoting my books. I truly enjoy the interaction with friends and readers. However, once again there are highs and lows.
- Sharing your new cover, your latest reviews, you blog tour, your pre-order links, your buy links… and whatever exciting news pops up regarding your beloved literary baby prior to the big day.
- Striving not to overload (bore, turn-off) your “Friends” and “Tweeps” with too much Exciting News!—News that starts to sound like a blatant and annoying sales pitch.
All that said, I wouldn’t trade these weeks of excitement and nail-biting for the world. Bottom line: Anticipating a book release, the day when a story of your heart becomes nationally or globally accessible to readers, is an amazing rush! One thing that helps me through this period is immersing myself in my next project. The anticipation of that release is months and months away.
Excerpt from Fool for Love (St. Martin’s Press)
Manhattan, New York Upper East Side
“How many years do you think I’d get for death by Cuisin art?”
“I’m serious, Monica. I want to kill him.”
“With a hand mixer?”
“I don’t want it to be quick.”
“Or easy. How exactly would that work?”
Chloe didn’t know—exactly. She wasn’t thinking rationally. Her brain was choked with visions of Ryan licking vanilla-bean buttercream frosting from her beaters—frosting she’d prepared for a celebratory cake—right before announcing he was leaving her for a Parisian “tart.” (Chloe’s description of the other woman, not his.)
Heart full of equal parts grief and fury, Chloe squeezed back tears as she continued her long-distance tirade with her closest and oldest friend. “Maybe you’re right,” she said into her smartphone. “Maybe I should skewer his traitorous heart with my meat fork. Or pulverize him with my tenderizer.”
“That’s just grisly. And totally out of character. You’re a pacifist, hon. Zero tolerance for gore. You threw up when we accidently ran over that squirrel on Route Twenty-two. Remember?”
Senior year of high school. Driving home from a rehearsal for West Side Story. Monica had swerved, but not enough. Chloe had screamed when she’d felt the thud, then, looking out the rearview window and seeing the furry roadkill, had puked all over the backseat of Monica’s 1992 Camaro.
“Sort of,” she mumbled, letting out an aggrieved sigh. Monica was right. Violence and gore wouldn’t do. Just thinking about that squashed squirrel turned her stomach and soured her killer instincts. Once she was depleted of rage, Chloe’s knees buckled. She slumped onto the love seat she and Ryan used to cuddle on, misery pouring over her soul, slow and thick like the homemade maple syrup Monica had shipped from Vermont.
Two years. Chloe had invested two years of her life in this relationship—her longest serious liaison ever. She’d had a severe falling-out with her dad when she’d moved in with Ryan, and she’d lost touch with a contingent of her NYC friends when she’d given up partying for domestic bliss. She hadn’t expected a conventional union, what with Ryan frequently traveling oversees for his job, but she hadn’t expected this. She hadn’t suspected an affair, hadn’t felt Ryan’s affections straying. She’d thought they were a solid couple, destined for marriage. She felt like the biggest freaking idiot on the planet.
“Listen, Chloe. I know you’re crushed. The bastard cheated on you. That sucks. And he’s leaving you for her. Sucks worse. But . . .”
Monica blew out a breath. “Okay. Here comes some tough love, sweetie. You had a comfortable relationship, lived a comfortable life, but did you seriously want to spend the rest of your nights with a guy who couldn’t find your G-spot?”
Chloe flushed. “I had orgasms.”
“With the shower massager. Doesn’t count.”
“I shouldn’t have shared that with you.”
“Why not? I told you about the time I got off sitting on top of the crazed washing machine.”
“Are you trying to make me feel better? Because, news flash, you’re not.”
“I’m trying to tell you Ryan Levine isn’t worth twenty-five to life in the state penitentiary.”
“Don’t worry. The murderous urge passed.”
“Now I just want to curl up and die.”
* * *
Beth Ciotta is an award-winning author who specializes in romantic comedy with a twist. Her work includes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and steampunk romantic fiction. “I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than writing stories where everyone (except the villain, of course) gets a happy ending!” www.bethciotta.com
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