Top Ten Ways To Survive a Book Launch

Full size coverOn the eve of NAMING THE STAR’s book birthday –  appropriately on Labor Day – here are the top 10 ways I plan to survive NAMING THE STARS launch tomorrow.

10) Exhale: the long process of publishing a book — everything that happened after signing the publishing contract, and the months of getting it all ready– is over.

9) Pat myself on the back, not just for sitting my butt down in the chair and writing hundreds of pages, but for all the years and years of starting and stopping projects, listening to others’ feedback, the disappointments, the self-loathing for not getting anything done. Also a pat on the back for members of the family who put up with all of the drama that comes with living with a writer.

8) Begone any remaining inner critical thoughts. It’s out there now, in the hands of readers. That is a very different place from where it was when it lived in my mind, then on my computer screen.

7) Take a hike any worries about how the world is going to react to the work. I have no control over readers’ minds and hearts. I plan on reading their reactions without reacting (as best as I can). “That’s interesting,” is as much as I plan on saying, even if a reviewer says – “THIS BOOK SUCKS”.

6) Take the next step. I did my darnedest to put my creative vision into words. But like any creative work, it’s just another step on my artistic journey. I want to take what I learned from this exercise, and then decide what my next experiment is.

5) Make no comparisons to what’s happening with any other writer’s book sales, rankings, and reviews. That’s their journey, not mine. Best of luck to everyone.

4) Say thanks to my editor and publisher and everyone at Curiosity Quills Press. Thank you for finding my book a home and living with me and my questions.

3) Say thanks wonderful world of the Twin Cities writing community – the multitude of venues for witnessing creativity and learning from it. There are so many of you who invited me to attend or read or publish me here. Hamline University’s MFA program. The Loft. The Saint Paul Almanac. Writers Reading at the University Club. You continue to nurture me.

2) Say thanks especially to the Loft-McKnight Fellowship Program. I have never stopped feeling like I’m on cloud 9, writing wise. You gave me such a boost and though the fellowship, I was encourage to experiment, take risks, and write the book that will be born tomorrow.

1) Celebrate! I’ve earned at least one five-star review, so I gave myself one on Goodreads. “That’s interesting,” wouldn’t you say?

 

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What Writers Hate and Yet Must Do

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Crowing About Myself….Yet Again….

Heart sinks. Feeling behind on writer marketing and publicity tasks for the novel coming out this fall. Yes, I have good (actually unhappy so they are bad) excuses! But maybe the work I need to complete is not so terrible? After all:

  • Events are scheduled.
  • The book is finished.
  • Sure, maybe I could get my promotional materials (bookmarks, etc.) updated.
  • There’s that McKnight stuff to keep me going. A plan that will commence in a few short weeks. Still floating from the validation.

What has me a bit on edge is what happens now that the advance copies of Burnt Out are out in the world. Will they be cherished? Reviled? Ignored? I’ve had all three types of responses. The first response is wonderful for the writer’s ego and sales.

The second – well, we try hard to just forget about those. Bad opinions happen to good writers all the time. Everyone has their opinion. But when the right people have the wrong opinion about your book….well, you can figure it out. Aside from the ego bust, these are not particularly good for sales.

The third? At least it’s not the second response.

And my thoughts about writing have entered this new phase. I’m eager to jump into it, go beyond everything I’ve done so far. I wish Albert Park would find a publishing home and am  working hard on making that happen. But in my writing brain — I’m in that new era of the next book I’m working on. The published work (i.e., the mysteries) are almost a distant past to where I am now. Don’t get me wrong — I love Arvo and Christine and I know you are gonna love Burnt Out, but  the present ‘state’ of my creative mind is in travel mode. Arvo and Christine are still there in my writer’s hometown, but I’ve already passed through Albert Park and am off exploring places in the Big Cheesy novel (note that this last link concerns writing done half a year ago already! — much more has happened in the Big Cheesy novel not posted here).

Writing – from creation to publishing – is a longer journey than you’d believe. There are lots of rest stops, detours, Uturns, round-a-bouts and traffic jams. (Many, many traffic jams as there are so many writers with wonderful works on the same road I am.)

Deep breath. Dig in. OK, I will stop whining now.

The Infinite Journey of the Imagination

And so we move to the next phase. A box of books arrived today and we celebrate briefly on the patio.

Briefly.

Because nothing has really culminated, in the sense that there is an end result, even though the physical reality of the book suggests that.

What’s clearer than ever is that writing is all about process. There’s really no ending, no beginning, just a constant continuation, just like reading. One word leads to the next, one paragraph to the next, one page, then another, then chapter after chapter, and even when the revisions end and the book gets to that critical stage of FINALLY turning into a book, nothing is over really. You just follow all the steps to take it to the next stage. And after you reach that stage, you continue to the next.

 

This book has moved out of my imagination and is now in the world. I’ve done my best with it, and while there is a lot more that I can do to make sure it finds all the readers it can, those options and actions are finite, unlike the imagination that led to all of the words and the world in that book.

So come along with me, both on the infinite journey of the imagination, and the finite journey of a few hundred pages in a book. I’ll take you on another journey with the next book too. And the next one after that. And the next.

Admit One to “the Network of Literary Genius”

I stumbled across this description of my blog, made by a person completely unknown to me.

Hello Rhea Zwiebach. You are a college sophmore, apparently studying the interwebs this past spring when you came across my blog completely by accident.

And there under a description of someone far more prominent than me, you explained that my wit and charm make me beyond intriguing and added me to your “network of literary genius.”

Well thank you for that. I love everything you said and I hope I live up to it.

I love my new bio and I think I may use it on future occasions.

Susan is a published author, with works of fiction, memoirs and poetry prominent in her repetoir of successful literary accomplishments. She also maintains a blog online, and is wildly popular, though not necessarily mainstream. Her very light sarcasm, wit and charm make her beyond intriguing. She is currently working on her very first mystery, to be published on a future date.

“Wildly Popular, Though Not Necessarily Mainstream”

I stumbled across this description of my blog, made by a person completely unknown to me.

Hello Rhea Zwiebach. You are a college sophmore, apparently studying the interwebs this past spring when you came across my blog completely by accident.

And there under a description of someone far more prominent than me, you explained that my wit and charm make me beyond intriguing and added me to your “network of literary genius.”

Well thank you for that. I love everything you said and I hope I live up to it.

I love my new bio and I think I may use it on future occasions.

Susan is a published author, with works of fiction, memoirs and poetry prominent in her repetoir of successful literary accomplishments. She also maintains a blog online, and is wildly popular, though not necessarily mainstream. Her very light sarcasm, wit and charm make her beyond intriguing. She is currently working on her very first mystery, to be published on a future date.