Six Things That Will Happen a Few Days Before Your Book Comes Out

EXILECover_Large

So the announcement on the Apocalypse Ink blog has made it all official: I’ve got me a book dropping on July 14th. That’s July 14th on the American West Coast, though, which means it’ll be July 15th for those of us here in Australia. Blame the international time zones at work.

What this means is that there’s just four or five days, depending on your location, before Exile is available for sale and the Flotsam trilogy is underway. I have that, oh, shit, new book feeling deep in my stomach where I’m all eager for things to go live and people to start reading it.

And, at the same time, I’m totally not.P

It’s a weird feeling, those days before a book comes out. Even weirder when it’s four years since the last time you had something out on the shelves. Still, I’ve been here before, and I recognise the familiar terrain, thus I’ve put together short list of things you should expect to be feeling a few days before your book goes live.

I’m sure some other author will come along and correct me if I’ve left out a step or two,but this seems pattern seems to match my own experience and the experiences of friends as they release novellas/collections/novels.

ONE: YOU GET PARANOID THAT YOU HAVEN’T MENTIONED THE BOOK ENOUGH

Or that you’ve mentioned the book enough, but haven’t been clear enough about its contents. Or that you’ve been clear about its contents, but somehow managed to make them sound like the least interesting book on earth. Authors are responsible for their own publicity these days and what if…what if…what if…

This is one of the curses of being a writer: when faced with the unknown, we fill the emptiness with narrative and those narratives are very rarely positive. Writers just aren’t positive people. It comes from having a job where you create imaginary friends, then spend hours figuring out how you can fuck with their lives until a reader winces in sympathy.

For the record, this is what you need to know about Exile:

Keith Murphy is a hit-man who eliminates things that go bump I the night, and his last hit just went very, very wrong. He’s on the run, trying to escape the cult of the sorcerer he just killed, and the safest place to hide is the last place he wants to go: The Gold Coast. Australia. AKA: Home.

It’s been sixteen years since Keith last saw the Gold Coast. Sixteen years of exile after he walked out on the demons he used to work for and left behind the girl he loved without an explanation. He’s almost certain that one of the two will try to kill him now he’s back, but death is almost preferable to the trouble he’s got coming after him…

If you’ve got any other questions, fire away in the comments. I’m more than happy to talk about the book at this point.

TWO: THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME KICKS IN AND MAKES YOUR LIFE HELL

“This time,” you think to yourself, “this time they’re bound to discover that I’m hack, and they’ll finally come along and tell me my writing career is done. This is the book where I’m finally exposed.”

And even though you know how the Imposter Syndrome works, weaselling its way into your thoughts and making you paranoid, you keep on thinking it. Even though the book you’ve got coming out is the first book in a trilogy and work’s already started on getting the second book ready for publication.

THREE: YOU WORRY THAT PEOPLE WON’T BUY THE BOOK

To be fair, this is something you will continue to worry about long after the book has come out. You will worry about this even if your publisher informs you, somewhat delighted, that people are buying the book. You will worry about this even if your publisher emails you and declares the book a spectacular success.

FOUR: YOU WORRY THAT PEOPLE WILL BUY THE BOOK, BUT BOTH YOU AND YOUR EDITOR MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE BY RELEASING IT INTO THE WILD

If you’re particularly dumb, you’ll go and read a copy of the submission manuscript. You will sit there, on the floor of your apartment, wondering where the story you had so much fun writing went, and why someone seems to have slipped this god-awful pile of shit in its place.

You will curse your hubris for letting things go this far.

You will spot the inevitable typo that you missed when you were doing your final proof of the manuscript.

FIVE: YOU WILL CONSOLE YOURSELF WITH THE THOUGHT, “EH, I HAD A GOOD RUN.”

You will do this even though it is a blatant lie. Your ambition will not be satisfied by releasing a handful of novellas. You still have stories you want to tell. Some of those stories will be really fucking good. In fact, some of those stories will be outstanding. They’ll involve giant robots and psychotic otters and…well, shit, there’s the third novella in the trilogy that needs to be written yet, and that’s when you finally deliver on the premise of what happens when the apocalypse gets started on the Gold Coast?

“Screw it,” you think, “I’m not done yet.”

SIX: YOU GET ON WITH THE NEXT PROJECT, ‘CAUSE THAT’S WHAT A PROFESSIONAL DOES

And you are a professional, even if it doesn’t feel like it when you’re sitting there, waiting for book to drop.

And so I go back to working on the next manuscript that needs finishing. See you all tomorrow

  2 comments for “Six Things That Will Happen a Few Days Before Your Book Comes Out

  1. jeremyszal
    10/07/2014 at 5:05 PM

    Fantastic read. Got a few things to look forward to when (if) my novel does come out.
    Now I just need to polish those final few chapters….

  2. Xxxxxxxyyy
    26/09/2014 at 7:02 PM

    maybe one gets to like one's own name for the first time when it happens to decorate the cover of a book–from X

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