Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The End is in Sight--Almost

Hm. I hope that's not the end of ME.

Instead, it's the end of my debut launch, a monthlong marathon I haven't been sure I would survive. There are still a couple of major hurdles until my Time of Trial falls on May 15, but I can see a tiny pinprick of daylight.

Roughly, here's how the numbers broke down:

Guest blogs and online interviews that have run: 25
Guest blogs and online interviews still to run: 10 (two not yet written)
Personal blogs of the shameless self-promotional variety: 25
Print-media interviews: two..maybe three, I can't remember now
Novels whose copyedits had to be completed in four days: one
Novels whose final galleys had to be completed in seven days: one (a different one)
Book signings: 8 down, 2 to go. Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia are done. Oregon and California, here I come.
Brand-new novels due to editor by May 15: One
Brand-new novels due to editor that aren't finished: Yep, that same one.

Which is why the slide to May 15 will be interesting. "Interesting" is one of those words,  you know the ones. They can mean horrific things.

So many of the folks here at Southern Magic are far ahead of me in their publishing journey, and I can hear you saying, "Yeah, yeah. We can top that."

My author friend Roni Loren, who runs a brilliant blog called Fiction Groupie, recently had her own debut launch and I have to steal a bit from her here. She says that, like the stages of grief, there are five emotional stages of a book launch. You can read her full column here, but basically, they are:

WEEK 1: BOOK RELEASE EUPHORIA. It's out! I made it! Ain't I wonderful? I'm so special it amazes even me. I'm made up of awesome sauce!

WEEK 2: OBSESSION. OMG, have any new reviews showed up on Goodreads? Who is that person who said my book was a pile of crap? Can I ridicule her online? No, better take the high road. Let me check the Amazon rankings again. Can't Amazon get BookScan to update any faster?

WEEK 3: BURNOUT. Yeah, okay, people hate me. I suck. Why did the publisher even want me to begin with? Abject failure is imminent. Glad I still have a day job.

WEEK 4: EXHAUSTION and COCOONING. And here I am at almost a month after release. I don't want to go to the west coast. I want to stay home and sleep. I don't want to turn on my computer. I don't care if I have new reviews on Goodreads. I don't care about that May 15 deadline looming like the Eye of Sauron over my house of Mount Doom. Well, okay, I do care about that one. But Must. Nap. First.

5) FINDING BALANCE and REFOCUSING. I'm not there yet. But I will be. After May 15 and a long, long nap.


LynnRush said...

Wow, this is good!! I'm at the very start of a book release (released yesterday), but it's my second book, so yes, I can relate to nearly all of these.

It coincides with athletics, too. Training for the race, the race, and then the depression of after (not having a structured thing to train for--lower intensity of the training).

This writing gig is an exciting up and down journey, isn't it? One I'm glad to be on, though. :)

Write on, my friend.

Rachel Firasek said...

This perfectly describes the stages of a new release! We all go through this, I think. You are so not alone. Now, on your second release you'll through a new stage of: "I know what I'm about to do is crazy and I'm not sure how I'll survive another month of release frenzy."

It's a completely different emotion and it's layered with excitment, angst, dread, and a bit of giddy love. :) Congratulations, girl!

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Lynn....Yes! Congratulations on the release of AWAITED yesterday! It is an up and down journey, but the ups outweigh the downs.

@Rachel--Oh boy...I don't even want to think about number two yet! I thought Roni's breakdown was brilliant, and it made me realize we all go through this!

Roni Loren said...

*hugs* for surviving and thanks for the shout out. As you know, I've been there, hence my original blog post. (And I ended up having to ask for an extension on my book, so I feel you on the deadline crunch.)

Now I have two releases coming in the next two months and I think I've invented a new stage--head in the sand. I'm excited about the books coming out but SO don't want to tumble into these stages again, especially those middle ones. I'm trying to figure out how to be more balanced this time. We'll see if I can figure that one out.

Heather said...

Suzanne - you are super woman. That is all I am saying. This was a great post.

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Roni--These were so brilliant! And I hear you about the releases. I have one June 12 that's coming up fast...and I had to get a deadline extension too. It was due May 1 and NO WAY that was happening. We'll look back on it, though, and think "exciting times."

@Heather--LOL. I feel more like a juggler (or a clown) most days, and some balls have been dropped!

Lexi said...

You are ah-mazing! What a crazy and wonderful ride. Cheering you on!

Carla Swafford said...

A weird and crazy ride, ain't it?

Carla Swafford said...

HEY! Lexi! I swear I didn't read the comments when I did mine. Too funny. Thus why we're buddies. We think a little too much alike. LOL!

Chris Bailey said...

You're worthy. Keep plugging away!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Suzanne-What you've accomplished it amazing and grueling. Congrats on surviving it.

Readers have no idea just how hard authors work. No, it's not just writing the story and dealing with deadlines and editing. Part of the job is promotion. And that's hard because you have to be *on* and cheerful on each site. Hard to do because most are also dealing with edits and deadlines for the next contracted book. Then there is family and jobs to balance. You quickly realize that Superwoman's cape is much to small to carry you through it all.

The euphoria of a new release carries only one so far especially when you feel like you are living online and your muse is yelling at you to get back to work.

You deserve a nice long nap. :-)

Stephanie Thornton said...

You've almost survived--it sounds like the worst is over and that nap is on your horizon!