Two years ago almost to the day I was chomping at the bit because my debut novel was within a week of coming out. As I near the release of the paperback of my second novel, THE DECEIVED (out next Tuesday!…makes a wonderful gift!), and the release of the hard cover of my latest novel, SHADOW OF BETRAYAL (out July 8th…also makes a great gift! – for those of you in the UK, this book is entitled THE UNWANTED and will be out July 2nd!), I started thinking about what my old friend and new Murderati blogger, Steven Schwartz, is going though in these next few months leading up to his debut release date.
The excitement, the nervousness, the feeling like the day will never get here. I’m sure all of that is starting to take hold of him. It’ll build up, and build up all the way to that release date to the point he’ll almost burst. If he’s like me and a lot of other novelist I know, he’ll see that date as this awesome stone marker on the timeline of his life. And it is. But the actual pub date will more likely come in quietly than with a roar.
Unlike when a movie opens, or a TV show debuts on the tube, a book launch is gradual. There is no public notification that something big has happened. No mass rush to the theater (or in our case, the bookstore) to get a view of your story. Most people probably won’t even buy your book on the first day it’s out. And if you go out to do some drop-in signings (that’s visiting bookstores just to sign stock), you’ll find that more than one doesn’t even have your book out on the shelves yet. Hell, I went to one place nearly a week after my pub date, and they hadn’t even unpacked my novel yet.
Still, there is nothing like that first pub date. And I’m so excited for Steve as he goes through his.
None of that is to say that subsequent publication days are not exciting. They are. They all are.
With SHADOW OF BETRAYAL coming out soon, I’m once again thrilled. I can’t wait until it comes out, and I hear what people think. There are things in this story that set up things in the next book, and in books three or four down the line. And, yet, like always, it stands alone so that new readers don’t have to read the first two Quinn books to know what’s going on.
But unlike when my debut came out, I also now feel other things.
I’m concerned about (in no particular order): how the fans of the Quinn series will react to the new story, the state of publishing, how well will the new book sell, a new contract that’s still a year away, what do I need to do to extend my reader base, writing a new stand alone or series so that I can up the amount of output I have each year, writing a new Quinn novel, not loosing track of all the ideas that keep jetting through my mind, the future of publishing, the future of publishing, the future of publishing…
And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Most other authors I’ve talked to have the same reoccurring thoughts and concerns. Our own Tess has often blogged both here and at her own blog about her worries each time a new book comes out.
By saying all this, I’m not trying to belittle the struggle all writers go through to try to get published. I’ve been there for sure. And I know I’m lucky to be where I am now.
What I’m really saying is that I envy Steve in the fact that he’s living in the moment of his debut year. It’s a great time, and Steve, you should cherish it all! But in even so, I kind of like being where I’m at now. As much as the future scares me, it also excites me. There are so many possibilities, so many potential opportunities. In a way, it’s like reading a good book, you really don’t know where things are going to go, but you can’t help turning the page.
For all of you who are still chasing that first pub deal, I hope for you the best so that you, too, can experience that rush that comes with your first book release. And when it comes time for your subsequent releases, you’ll know what I mean about the other stuff.
If all has gone as planned, I’m back home now…but just barely. So if I don’t answer comments right away, it could mean I’m still asleep, or just…well…loopy. (No cheap shots, Rob!) Still, would love to hear your thoughts.