Release Day Jitters

Book birthdays.

For those of you who don’t know, it’s when a book an author has poured hours and hours of life into, releases. To those on the outside, it seems so glamorous.

-A book!  – Yay!

– A writing career! – A tough, lonely slog at times.

– I’ve always wanted to write a book! – All you have to do is sit down with a blank sheet and try.

– Do you get a lot of free time? – Not really. I write eight hours a day and squeeze life in around it

– Isn’t it glamorous writing a book? – Not so much. The pay can be crap and the hours long.

Luckily, most authors don’t write for any those reasons. We write because we have to. Physically have to. No, not like someone is holding a gun to our heads, but in the way that if we don’t write, we feel lost. Like a piece of our soul is missing.

So what’s up Buttercup?

The fact is, most authors are fraught with nerves in the days leading up to a book’s release. Like a mother giving birth, it can be scary, exciting, and nerve racking. Am I doing enough? How will my book stand out in a sea of other debuting books? How will I ensure my precious gets the attention I believe it deserves? Often, we cross our fingers and hope. Marketing on Twitter and Facebook used to work, but no longer. Facebook only allows a small percentage of fans to see your post unless you pay to ‘boost’ it. And Twitter is a hotpot of noise with everyone yelling, “Look at me! Look at me!”

Everyone wants to feel special on Release Day. We want our hard work acknowledge by readers and bloggers reviewing it. We want sales, but we don’t know how to get them. And sales is how we judge how well our “baby” is doing. Sales. Sales. Sales. Especially on the first day when your “rank” on Amazon can rise and get you into the mythical Amazon promotion machine, or you could fall just outside it, never quite making past the 1,000 mark. When this happens it can be a feeling of soaring success or complete desolation.

What to do?

Take a deep breath. Then another. Your book is out there. It will find an audience just like children eventually make friends on the playground without their mother’s help. Tell your close family and friends (word of mouth sells books like no other). Savor the day because like a birth, today, in your world, is all about you and your book. The jitters eventually go away. And you, yes you, will create something fantastically wonderful again. Which means you get to go through the process once more.

But here’s the secret: It never gets easier. You never fully learn what to do because the rules are always changing. You can, however, control what you put out in the world. So go for it. Write another book. Be proud of yourself! You brought your creative love into the world for other people to judge. You are brave. And you deserve to eat the whole box of Oreos if you want.

~dawn

P.S. You can find my latest book, HITCHED, here.

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