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So you've written a book and snagged an agent who sold yourbook to a publisher who helped you revise and copyedit and promote, and nowthree years later, you have an actual book in the world! Most people mightassume that after this long roller coaster of a journey, the writer can finallybreathe a sigh of relief and just coast. But in my experience, this is just thebeginning of another roller coaster, much shorter in length but with the same amountof ups and downs--the post-launch.
The first "up" in my post-launch rollercoaster was my launch party held at The Doylestown Bookshop last Saturday. I debated whether tohave a launch party at all—I'm not one for being the center of attention—but Iwould encourage anyone with a debut coming out to have one, if only to remindyourself that you have accomplished something that the rest of the world seesas kind of awesome. It was so wonderful to have friends, family, and even someof my students come out to support me, to chat and sign, eat scones and drink wine, and basically just celebrate with thepeople I love. Major, major high point! A huge thank you to all who ventured out on that rainy day to help me celebrate; it was amazing!
And now for the "lows." I'm sure there are many writers whonavigated this post-launch terrain with more perspective and maturity than Idid, but I also know I am not alone in becoming a dysfunctional mess of a humanbeing during the first week after my launch. It wasn't helped by thefact that I was on spring break; if I'd been teaching I would have had moredistractions. But right after my book released, my world suddenly became verysmall, a bubble of minutiae that no one else really cares or knows about butthat can become all consuming for the writer.
I'm talking about the internet, of course. Every morning Iwould hop on the computer to see if my Amazon ranking had gone down or if my Goodreads ratings had gone up (and then cry when I realized the opposite had happened). Iobsessed about sales and reviews and blog comments, hoping that my little book wasthriving out there but knowing that, for the first time in this entireprocess, I couldn't do a single thing about it. Because once a book releases, it's no longer yours. Unlike theend of a pregnancy when a woman gives birth and has an actual baby to take careof, a book is immediately out of your hands, for better or for worse, and the onlything the writer can do is wish it well and get started on the next project.
I am happy to say that now, two weeks after my release, Ihave returned to the land of the living. This past weekend I threw myself intorevisions on Book 2, and today I head back to school. Normal life has resumed.
And I know that a year from now, I'll be going through this rollercoaster all over again. But next time I'll be armed with this knowledge andexperience, no longer a green "debut author" but a seasoned writer who will have learnednot to fret about things beyond her control. At least, that's what I'm tellingmyself…
Has anyone else had a less-than-relaxing post-launch experience?Any tips on how to avoid the madness?
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Published on April 09, 2012 03:14 • 109 views

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