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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Aftermath of a Book Launch


So you’ve written a book and snagged an agent who sold your book to a publisher who helped you revise and copyedit and promote, and now three years later, you have an actual book in the world! Most people might assume that after this long roller coaster of a journey, the writer can finally breathe a sigh of relief and just coast. But in my experience, this is just the beginning of another roller coaster, much shorter in length but with the same amount of ups and downs--the post-launch.
The first “up” in my post-launch rollercoaster was my launch party held at The Doylestown Bookshop last Saturday. I debated whether to have a launch party at all—I’m not one for being the center of attention—but I would encourage anyone with a debut coming out to have one, if only to remind yourself that you have accomplished something that the rest of the world sees as kind of awesome. It was so wonderful to have friends, family, and even some of my students come out to support me, to chat and sign, eat scones and drink wine, and basically just celebrate with the people I love. Major, major high point! A huge thank you to all who ventured out on that rainy day to help me celebrate; it was amazing!


And now for the “lows.” I’m sure there are many writers who navigated this post-launch terrain with more perspective and maturity than I did, but I also know I am not alone in becoming a dysfunctional mess of a human being during the first week after my launch. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I was on spring break; if I’d been teaching I would have had more distractions. But right after my book released, my world suddenly became very small, a bubble of minutiae that no one else really cares or knows about but that can become all consuming for the writer.
I’m talking about the internet, of course. Every morning I would hop on the computer to see if my Amazon ranking had gone down or if my Goodreads ratings had gone up (and then cry when I realized the opposite had happened). I obsessed about sales and reviews and blog comments, hoping that my little book was thriving out there but knowing that, for the first time in this entire process, I couldn’t do a single thing about it.


Because once a book releases, it’s no longer yours. Unlike the end of a pregnancy when a woman gives birth and has an actual baby to take care of, a book is immediately out of your hands, for better or for worse, and the only thing the writer can do is wish it well and get started on the next project.
I am happy to say that now, two weeks after my release, I have returned to the land of the living. This past weekend I threw myself into revisions on Book 2, and today I head back to school. Normal life has resumed.
And I know that a year from now, I’ll be going through this roller coaster all over again. But next time I’ll be armed with this knowledge and experience, no longer a green “debut author” but a seasoned writer who will have learned not to fret about things beyond her control. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself…
Has anyone else had a less-than-relaxing post-launch experience? Any tips on how to avoid the madness?

11 comments:

Essay Writer said...

This is really a great experience when you see you see your first book released with great success. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Eve Marie Mont said...

Thanks so much, Essay Writer! The book launch party was a fantastic day.

GinaRosati said...

I'm so glad A BREATH OF EYRE is out in the world and I can now own my own copy!! I'm leaving room on the bookshelf for A TOUCH OF SCARLET and A PHANTOM ENCHANTMENT!

Eve Marie Mont said...

Gina, you are the best fan to have! Thanks, my dear!

Hannah said...

I'm glad the launch event went well!! Don't stress too much about post book life - my belief is that while the book is no longer yours, a part of it still belongs to you and it will forever be your baby! Haven't had the awesome pleasure of reading the book yet, but can't wait!

Eve Marie Mont said...

Thanks, Hannah! And yes, I still feel like A Breath of Eyre is my baby, but it's out there on its own now, and I worry about it getting beaten up on the playground.

Heather Anastasiu said...

It's such an amazing book, Eve, I'm sorry for all the post-launch stress. I keep hoping that at SOME point the stress of this whole writing-books-thing has to end! But I do really appreciate you sharing your insights into this step in the process. I've heard going to the bookstore and staring at copies of your book on the shelf helps too. It's a real book, out in the world, on actual shelves, just like we always dreamed about!

Alex Villasante said...

Congrats on the book and the book launch. I'm only sorry I just heard of your book which seems PERFECT FOR ME. as Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and Doylestown Books one of my favorite bookstores (after Farley's in New Hope.) So sad I missed the book launch, but I'm heading out to the store today to pick up a copy!

Eve Marie Mont said...

Heather, I think we could probably find something to stress about through every step of this process, but some moments are definitely more intense than others. But you're right--this is an incredible moment, and I don't want to let stress overshadow that.

And Alex, it's great to "meet" another local writer and Jane Eyre fan! The Doylestown Bookshop is wonderful. I haven't been to Farley's but I'll have to check it out when I'm up that way. And I'm so glad you like the sound of my book; I hope you enjoy it!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Launching a book is CRAZY-MAKING!!! No tips, but try to enjoy the ride! And focus on your fantastic accomplishment. It's so hard to lose sight of that when the reviews come in and Goodreads is out there. :-) Just remember that you did your best work, that you have a publisher and editor who loves you - and that your next book will be even better!
Congratulations, Eve!!!

Eve Marie Mont said...

Thank you, Kimberly! I feel better already, although I still have "down" days, but I think that goes with the writer's territory. And I'm sure you've already seen this, but I was very thrilled to see this mention of you! http://writerunboxed.com/2012/04/06/the-writers-life-is-full-of-second-chances-or-abandon-despair-all-ye-who-enter-here-3/

So excited for When the Butterflies Came! Totally sounds like my perfect kind of book. :)