What the first week of Book Launch looked like from the author side:
Saturday: *turns in manuscript for Book 3*
Monday: I… I think I feel Ok. Is it OK that I feel OK? Am I panicked and excited enough? Am I doing this right? Should I have remembered to take tomorrow off work? Do most people go to work the day their book comes out? Uh… I better clean my house. *cleans house*
Tuesday: OMG MY BOOK IS OUT!!! EVERYTHING IS AMAZING!!!
Wednesday: Did this really happen? IT DID! IT DID HAPPEN!
Thursday: I am a complete failure and everything is terrible.
Friday: …hey, people are reading my book… THAT IS AMAZING. I GET TO KEEP DOING THIS!!!! *also cleans house and does errands*
So did I have expectations? Of course I did. I also had hopes. My expectations have always been that this will be a slow burn of a series and that it will have a modest start that will continue to grow over time, boosted by each successive book. I think everyone hopes their book will be the exception and it will be an overnight blockbuster. It isn’t a REASONABLE expectation, but neither is expecting to actually win the lottery when you buy a LOTTO ticket. Thursday was pretty much my brain throwing a pity party that unreasonable hopes did not magically manifest into being. It was also very temporary. I woke up feeling good on Friday and ended the day feeling AWESOME.
I struggled with writing this post, because my first inclination is to pretend Thursday didn’t happen at all. I decided that was lying by omission and an omission that is harmful, both to myself and for anyone looking to my experiences for some kind of “normal”. I’m pretty lucky, in that this isn’t my first rodeo. It’s my first novel, but I’ve had many other writing milestones before this one and I know that a temporary “everything is terrible” after the initial launch excitement has been a normal part of things for myself. Did knowing that make Thursday any easier to deal with? Not really. It did help me to just accept it and keep going. In the past it was trying to pretend that wasn’t actually a thing that has caused me the worst harm. I don’t have to like it, but it’s easier to hug the little prickly hedgehog of feelings until it wanders off on its own.
My book is out in the world. People are reading it, and will read it in the future. Characters and a world that have only existed in my head are out there being shared by people—Some of them even like them! I feel incredibly blessed and excited. I now get to focus on helping people discover this already existing thing and to launch the next two books out behind it. It feels pretty awesome, and each new reader discovering it is this growing snowball of awesomeness.
Round Up Of Links About TAKE ON ME:
Publisher’s page. (Links to buy everywhere plus the first 5 chapters to read free!)
Interview with Me at The Quillery
My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal’s Blog
Post at Stellar Four about how my writing and museum job interact in mysterious ways (like knowing what dried human plasma looks like on sight causes odd questions about your personal life)
Conversation between myself and editor Brian White (in case you missed it)