Thursday, December 16, 2010

Waiting for that sweet release

The publishing industry moves at the pace of a drunk snail crawling through Vaseline, so celebrating small milestones can help you keep your sanity.

That’s assuming you had any to start with.

Yesterday I heard from Sourcebooks about my official release date. Though they’ve said from the start that MAKING WAVES will be an August release, I never had an exact day to mark on my calendar.

Add to that the fact that several authors I know had their release dates change along the way – my agency sistah Kiersten White learned last June that the scheduled September release of PARANORMALCY was switching to August. Two authors blogging with me at The Debutante Ball (a group blog chronicling the debut year of five authors from different genres) have had their release dates changed, with Eleanor Brown’s THE WEIRD SISTERS recently moving from February to January, and Sarah Jio’s THE VIOLETS OF MARCH switching from August to May.

And though those examples might suggest it’s more common for a release date to move to an earlier slot, I’ve heard the opposite is true – that you’re more likely to get bumped a couple months later than originally planned.

On top of all that, there will always be part of me that remembers my first book deal – the one that disappeared when Harlequin/Silhouette cancelled the Bombshell line one month prior to my scheduled debut of February 2007 (go here if you don’t know the story).

All that buildup is my great big caveat to announcing that MAKING WAVES is officially scheduled to hit shelves August 2, 2011.

Part of me is doing a happy dance over having a date to mark on the calendar.

Part of me is gun-shy about the whole thing. Experience has taught me things can change. That it’s more likely they will change than won’t.

But the happy dance part is winning, and frankly, always has. That right there is the single biggest factor I can point to for any successes I have – the fact that even in the face of the most brutal rejections and heartbreaking setbacks, I never seem to lose faith. Even when logic has screamed at me that another disappointment was inevitable, a silly, hopeful part of me always hung in there expecting the best.

I’m not suggesting a moving release date is anything like a rejection. It’s not that big a deal, and if a publisher decides to make a switch, there’s typically a strategic reason behind it. I’m only pointing out that there are a million little uncertainties in publishing, and a million ways the pessimist inside you will insist you shouldn’t pin your hopes on anything.

But what fun would that be to never kick back and enjoy the fantasy something great is going to happen? You can’t let fear of disappointment keep you from enjoying the possibility you won’t be disappointed. That much I know.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist by nature? Do you allow yourself to celebrate little milestones even when overwhelming evidence suggests a less desirable outcome is likely? Please share.

My inner-optimist and I will be busy re-hanging the calendar on the wall.

24 comments :

Penelope said...

Congratulations!! Your release date is in the same week as my birthday, so Happy Early Birthday to me! I can't wait to read it.

Patty Blount said...

Circled the date! Party on Twitter!

Congrats.

I waffle between pessimism and optimism, depending on the day. There are days it's easy and days I really have to work hard to see silver linings in all my clouds. Those are the days I turn to my twitterati for help. Best med? Elisabeth Black's blog; she sees wonder in everything.

Patrick Alan said...

I stopped eating pessimists years ago, so I am pretty sure I don't have any inside me anymore.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

I consider myself a cynical optimist: if I expect the worst, then I am usually pleasantly surprised.

Sarah W said...

Congratulations! How nice to have a date - even if it's as ballpark as most due dates.

After good news, I give myself half a day to do the Crazy Happy Dance before getting back to Real Life(TM), without which things to Crazy Happy Dance about tend not to happen.

Linda G. said...

Oh, congratulations!!! Now I can't wait for August. Or whenever they wind up changing it to. :)

I'm another silly optimist. Do you think Michelle attracts people like us?

Avril Ashton said...

Whoot, whoot! Congrats!!

Sierra Godfrey said...

Congrats, Tawna!

Isn't life much more fun when you're an optimist about things? That's been my experience.

Nate Wilson said...

Surely, your book being released on my birthday is a sign. Next August, for the first time ever, I will buy and read a romance novel. It might even be yours.

(That is, unless your release date changes. Then I might decide to wait a couple months before taking the plunge.)

T C Mckee said...

Congrats! Doing a happy dance for you and I may have wine. Is 11am too early? It's for you after all. I just feel like you'd want me to have some:) I'm a pessimist turned optimist. I think believing in ourselves is a process that just happens over time or it just doesn't. For me, being optimistic is the one way I can prove to myself that I do believe in me and in this business you have to have that most of all. Love the drunk snail in the Vaseline analogy!!

Joyce Tremel said...

Congratulations on the release date! I'm looking forward to reading it.

I'm either an optimist or extraordinarily stubborn. I refuse to give up.

Mark Simpson said...

I once had a release date moved up for good behavior, though that's hardly ever been the case.

Maybe I'm off topic.

Congrats Tawna... by August you will be due for a high-seas caper/vacation of your own.

Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations, that's awesome. Now I'll have something to celebrate in August (because you know there are no major holidays in August).

And I am definitely a pessimist in real life, but a foolish optimist in my writing life.

Melissa Gill said...

Great to have a date! I've been telling my book club we need to read one/all of your books, but wasn't sure when they'd come out. Looks like we can plan on reading one next fall! Yeah.

Douglas Morrison said...

Think of everytime they move a relsea date as another reason to have a Wha-Hoo! day.

Your date also says the want to include you in "Summer Reads", a powerful sales sector.

As to your positive personality, it's not only what makes you great, it's what the industry is going to be looking for now.

One of the most powerful literary agents in the business actually says this on his website under what he's looking for:

"Happy, upbeat subjects. I believes a lot of misery memoirs, terrorists bent on destroying civilization, and post-apocalyptic disasters are going to be difficult to sell."

If you were any more upbeat, you'd be Max Weinstein (Springsteen's drummer)

Tomorrow, your fans will see once again your positive outlook (and that your oars don't quite touch the water :-))

See you then!

DougM

P.S. - I still like the other version of your page. Maybe I should send it to Pythagoras as a "guys" version? lol

Christina Auret said...

Congratulations, I'm pretty sure that this is the kind of news for which all manner of happy dances is appropriate. I hope you enjoy them all.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Congrats! I try to be an optimist but that doesn't always happen.

Danica Avet said...

Congrats, Tawna!! Your book will be an early birthday present for myself! *beam*

For most of my adult life, I can say I've been a pessimist. Why get your hopes up for something only to have them explode in your face leaving nothing but a greasy smear on the ground where you were standing? However, since I've become a writer, since I've been cautiously optimistic. I have no idea why. Probably because I'm finally writing, finally taking charge of my writing destiny. Or, it could be that if I give up all hope for getting published, I'll become the bitter, wanna-be writer who drinks scotch and mumbles pseudo-intelligent things at people who will never understand me. And I don't like scotch.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Congrats, girlfriend! I can't wait to read it. And, I'm a total optimist. Why be anything else?

Tawna Fenske said...

Penelope, it's 10 days before my birthday, so we should probably just celebrate the whole month!

Patty, I agree, Elisabeth Black IS the best!

Patrick, have you tried a laxative, just to be sure?

Terri Anne, not a bad approach!

Sarah, I should probably start working on cooler moves for my Crazy Happy Dance. Right now I just look like I'm having a seizure.

Linda G, funny you should say that, I DO think Michelle draws natural optimists. As you know, she doesn't take on many new clients, and the ones she DOES take on seem to have the optimism thing in common. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Avril, thanks!

Sierra, indeed it is! It's also more fun when you have monkey toes. Just sayin'

Nate, yaaay, August 2! I take this as a good omen.

TC Mckee, it's never too early for wine. It's always 5:00 somewhere.

Joyce, in my experience, optimism works best when combined with a bit of stubbornness!

Mark, funny, I think I remember exactly the occasion you're referring to.

Anne, WHAT!?!?! There are no major holidays in August? My birthday, hello!!

Melissa, happy to chat with a book club, just tell me when and where!

Douglas, looking forward to showing off the interview tomorrow!

Christina, this really seems like an occasion for a naked happy dance, doesn't it?

Nicole, at least the intention is there :)

Danica, even cautious optimism will carry you far in writing. It's the pessimists who struggle, IMHO.

Debra, where have you been all my life, girl?!!?! Missed you!

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I wish I could say I was an optimist, but I'm more of a the glass is half empty kind of person. In fact, I'm wondering why my glass hasn't been refilled yet.

LR said...

Congratulations to you! Really looking forward to reading it. :)

Will mark August calendar now.

Abby Minard said...

Yay for a release date! So exciting! I hate to admit it, but I think many times I'm a pessimist. But I try to be optimistic...I really do.

Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

Of course you should celebrate even the smallest milestone (especially in this business) but your release date is anything but small!

CONGRATULATIONS! Can't wait to see it on the shelves!