So last week I talked about how great you all are, and this week I’ll share what authors are usually up to before a book comes out. Really, if you think we are all successful, well-adjusted and basically lofty individuals and you want to hold onto that delusion, please read no further. It only gets ugly from here.
Now most authors I know spend the two weeks before their book comes out fussing. Not just fussing, but pacing around. Waiting. You see we’ve spent months, years even waiting for this book to come out, for this story to get told and the closer the date gets the more anxious we get. All the excitement over the new contract, the thrill of starting a new book, the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing and mailing it in all sort of take a vacation. Or basically end up in that dead letter bin that I am sure we all have in the back of our heads. No, you’d think we’d be filled with excitement, filled with pride to see our work on the bookshelf. I hate to tell the truth, but mostly we just act up. Or throw up.
Because through all that time, doubts have crept into our confidence, and when the good intentions go on vacation, oh those doubts just have a field day. And of course, instead of telling ourselves that this book is great, special, or even reminding yourself of how much you loved it, even saying, “Heck Elizabeth, you cried when you were writing it,” we instead just resort to feeding those doubts. By surfing.
Now I have a stock rule that I don’t Google myself, I don’t read online reviews and I don’t go looking for trouble. But all bets are off just before a book comes out, because I just can’t help myself. I was over on the Rhapsody site the other day on the pretense of seeing if they had Tempted by the Night up yet (Well, of course they did. And I knew they did. But did that stop me? No.) Because they also have reviews of my other books up there. Before I got into the back handed compliment world of “I don’t really like this author, but this book was good” online chatter, I called my friend Laura Lee Guhrke. The conversation went something like this:
EB: My book is coming out.
LLG: Are you online? (Laura is like that, right to the point and more importantly, on point.)
EB: No . . . Of course not . . . Well, maybe . . . Just Rhapsody.
LLG: Elizbo, step away from the keyboard, take your hands off the mouse.
EB: Just one click. I just want to see one thing wrong with my books and then I’ll be better.
LLG: Don’t make me come to Seattle and slap you upside the head.
And she would. That’s why every writer needs a friend from Idaho. Those Boise girls are tough. The best sort of wing-man a writer can have. But then again, in about 30 days, my sensible, level-headed friend will be out on that ledge of insecurity, fussing over the cover, the title, the font of her next book, Secret Desires of a Gentleman. Yes, we even fuss over the fonts. Well, maybe Laura doesn’t, but I do.
Of course to spread the wealth of doubts and insecurity, I spend the two weeks before my book drops driving my website team crazing asking them to fix every little nitpick I can find or imagine on my website. Because I’ve been surfing and looking at everyone else’s sites. Luckily Wax doesn’t mind that I believe in spreading the love . . . or the angst around.
So please, it isn’t sucking up to tell me how much you want the book to come out, I adore hearing it. But I’ll get back to you after the 26th. In the meantime I’m feeling the urge to visit Google.
How do you act up before something important happens in your life? Who’s your Idaho buddy that talks you off the ledge? And they don’t even have to be from Idaho . . .
Remember to keep commenting. Every comment before August 25th is an entry into my Contest.
P.S. Sometimes Google does turn up something good–like this review of Tempted by the Night done by Andrea Williamson for Romance Novel TV. Drop by and leave a comment there–just because it’s good karma.