Wednesday, September 7, 2016

In case you've wondered what it's like to be an author with a new book release

I occasionally lament how exhausting book release weeks can be, and it’s true there’s a lot of busywork like writing guest blog posts and doing giveaways.

But sometimes I find myself in the days following a new book release going, “Why in the ever-loving hell am I so drained? I’m not doing THAT much, am I?”

So I decided to tally up some of the things I allow to consume me in the days surrounding the release of a new book (in part so you guys can tell me to knock it the @#$% off):
Did I mention I have a new book for sale?
  • Wake up at 3 a.m. on release day and immediately check to see if any reviews have gone live.
  • Read first positive review. Swoon.
  • Read first negative review. Swallow hard. Try not to cry.
  • Repeat process every 30 minutes throughout the day.
  • Check Amazon ranking every 20 minutes, even though it’s updated hourly. If rank has moved in a positive direction, rejoice. If rank has moved in a negative direction, feel certain my writing career is over and I’ll never sell another book.
  • Read more reviews. Listen to my mother, husband, and agent tell me to stop reading them. Covertly sneak looks at more reviews the way some people might sneak glimpses of online porn.
  • Send frantic emails to editors, agent, publicity team, and critique partners about whether there’s anything I/we can do to generate more sales or reviews.
  • Instantly regret 90% of aforementioned emails for making me sound desperate/needy/neurotic.
  • Realize I’m posting too much on Facebook and Twitter about my new release. Post something about dropping food down my shirt, blurting unintentional sexual innuendo at a colleague, running into a door, or dipping the hem of my dress in a toilet. Feel fortunate that one of these things happens to me every single day.
  • Tell myself not to read reviews.
  • Read reviews anyway.
  • Give myself a profanity-laden pep talk before pouring every ounce of energy into day job project, new book writing, or family time. Succeed for a little while.
  • Check Amazon ranking again. Panic.
  • Repeat process every day for a week.
  • Wonder why I collapse into an exhausted, jittery, emotionally-drained heap by the end of the week.
  • Repeat entire process again when the next book comes out in a few months.

I should probably start saving funds for my inevitable stay in an asylum. In that case, perhaps you'd be willing to purchase (and review!) my new book?! 

I hear mental health services are expensive.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hey there! Remember me?

So I've become that author.

The one who blogs only when she has a new book release or something big to announce.

Six years ago, I blogged daily about everything from garage porn to peeling bananas with my toes. I had a surprisingly devoted group of readers for someone whose first book was still a year away, and I took time to reply to every single comment.

Times have changed.

Well, I still post daily with dick jokes and details of my own social awkwardness, but I do it on Facebook now. While I used to tweet dozens of times a day, I'm lucky if I hit Twitter a couple times a week now. Prize giveaways and book announcements happen mostly in my newsletter (you can subscribe here), which didn't exist six years ago.

Some of this is a matter of changes in social media. The marketing geek in me knows blogs aren't as popular as they were six years ago, and I'm hardly the only author who flocked Facebook as a better way to reach readers.

Some of it's just life. Six years ago, I was in a different marriage with no kids and an expectation that life would continue pretty much the same way. Today I'm happily remarried with two awesome stepkids whose presence in my world is a daily source of amazement. If you'd told me in 2010 that this would be my life now, I would have assumed you were under the influence of a strong hallucinogenic drug.

Six years ago, I was a weird career limbo between a December 2009 layoff and my October 2010 hire as the part-time PR manager for my local tourism bureau. I was essentially a stay-at-home writer, which was weird for someone who wouldn't see her first book on shelves for another year.

I still have that day job, even though I've reached a point where I could live on the author thing if I wanted to. I don't want to. My long road to reach this place (coupled with the fact that I really, really like my day job) keeps me trucking along, plus regular human interaction keeps me from getting weird.


In any case, it's true my time is more stretched these days. Between kids, a newish marriage, a day job, and a writing career that's seen me crank out 14 books in 5 years, I've dropped a few balls. That's unfortunate, given my fondness for balls.

So this is me, popping in for the first time in three months to say, Hey there! Thanks for reading. Sorry I'm not around much, but I hope we're connecting through at least one of those other channels I mentioned. Oh, and did I tell you I have a new book out?  Kirkus Reviews kinda liked it, calling Now That It's You, "A funny, poignant reminder that the baggage our exes leave can’t stop love from moving us forward.”

You can find the audiobook, eBook, and paperback versions right here.

Either way, thanks for reading. This blog, my books, my Facebook posts, my drugstore receipts . . . whatever rolls your socks up.

Until next time, friends.