Monday, January 20, 2014

2014: Going Public

2014 is going to be a big year for me. It's my debut year. Sometime this fall, SWEET UNREST, the little Young Adult novel I wrote way back in 2010. The book about Voodoo and the South, love and regret, bravery and fear, and hot, green-eyed French guys from the past--the book that got me my first agent--will become a book-shaped thing.

Debuting is a funny thing. On one hand, it is so important. You want to do everything and get everything right. On the other hand, my book is currently on a list on Goodreads with 220 other debuts--and those are just the traditionally published debuts that opted to be on the list or who had someone vote for them. (Feel free to go vote for it, if you want.) That's 220 debuts-- just people who have first YA books out. Forget about counting the hundreds of people who are already publishing and have YA novels coming out in 2014.

Some days, the book feels like the Biggest Thing That's Ever Happened to me. Some days, it feels like a drop in the ocean.

But I did all the things I was supposed to do:
Made the requisite website.
Posed awkwardly for a couple of hours and get an author picture ( you can see them HERE).
Signed up for my first conference as an author- I'll be at RT!
Created an author Facebook Page.
And a Tumblr... even though I don't have a clue how it works and can't post a GIF to save my soul.
And of course, there's Twitter.
Don't even get me started about Pinterest (which seems like a total time suck) and Instagram.

I'm kicking off my Blog on Feb 1, with lots of giveaways and interviews and people who are not me posting on it. And I'm on two group blogs: Tangled Up in Words and Fall Fourteeners, because I apparently have too much time on my hands.

And still... it doesn't feel like enough. It feels like too much. It feels like none of it really matters in the long-run.

Because here's the thing--so many of the authors who've gone almost viral on social media are fun. They are quirky and cute and have ironic glasses or colored hair or weird pets and seem like they're 22, even when I know they're older than me. I am none of those things. (And, no, I'm not looking for praise.)

I'm okay with being none of those things. I'm a professor, and I act like one most days--even the days I wear my Chucks. I've acted like one even back when I was still 22 and childless.

I have Thoughts and Opinions and Political Ideas that will probably get me into trouble on Twitter someday.

I don't want to stop rating books on Goodreads, because dammit I am a certified expert in literature. And I feel like even if I wasn't, I'd be entitled to an opinion as a professional writer.

I have kids, not pets, and apparently am responsible for their continued survival. This is what takes up most of my days...not figuring out how to post a GIF (though, seriously, if anyone out there understands them, I'm all ears).

So maybe it's okay that all that social media is a drop in the ocean.
And maybe it's not.

But 2014 is a big year for me. My first real book goes out into the world to be judged and loved or hated. I go from writer to author. From private to public.

And I'm not sure, exactly, what all that means, but I'd love you to come join me. :O)


Jamie Farrell said...

Congratulations, Lisa! And good luck!! :-)

Carla Swafford said...

Congratulations, Lisa! Debuts are fun. Don't worry what anyone else is doing. Enjoy it for what it is.

Tumblr: I have my blog posts automatically showing up there. So no worries for me to fill in the blanks there. Can't help you as I just clicked on "send to Tumblr" in Wordpress. Sorry, but I believe that's what a lot of people do . . . have stuff automatically show up there.

Ali Hubbard said...

Looking forward to it. Congratulations! And Iuunderstand what you are saying about social media. I thought a lot about how to "stand out" but finally decided just to be myself. Otherwise I'm wasting energy that could be better used elsewhere. And none of us have energy to spare. Best wishes to you this year!

Lisa Maxwell said...

Thanks, ladies :O)

Meda White said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. I frequently neglect Tumblr because I'm not quite sure how to connect with people there. I love Pinterest, but avoid it because like you said, it sucks me in- hours have passed when I return to the real world.

Best wishes with the book. You're going to be great.

Christine said...

Congratulations! Take Author EMS book launch course online next time it is offered. I'll send you the link whe she teaches it again. You're going to do great!! So happy for you!!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Congratulations, Lisa !! It sounds as if you have everything on the ball. There is such a lot to do these days to debut a book or even to keep a presence on the internet while you are waiting for that big debut.

I know you'll do splendidly!