I'm sitting here in my home office, listening to The Hives on Spotify, wondering what I'll have for breakfast in a few, and writing my first blog post ever. Wish me luck.
My debut novel comes out in 3 months. I'm nervous and excited. Mostly nervous. June 20th is the release date. Then what? If my book were a record, I'd play a release-day concert. If my book were a movie, there'd be a red carpet premier or whatever. Books aren't like that. At least, books by debut authors aren't like that.
An author-signing is an option. But not necessarily a good one. Have you ever walked through a book store or Costco and seen an unknown author doing a signing? If so, you saw a man or woman sitting at a fold-out table, next to a stack of unsold books, hoping and praying that someone (i.e. you) would stop and buy their book. You probably tried to avoid eye contact. Or maybe you slowed to look at the book title, decided you weren't interested, then thought, "Crap, I just made eye contact," then scurried away to buy something else.
It's not that I'm unwilling to be that guy at the table. I just wonder if it'll do me any good.
Maybe YouTube is a better platform for reaching people. Or maybe I should do school assemblies. I think Brandon Mull did a lot of school visits. (Or still does.) He drummed up a lot of interest in his books that way. His books are great, of course, so that helps. But I think my book is pretty darn good/great too. So why am I so nervous?
Maybe I should adopt a nothing-to-lose attitude. Woody Allen said "80% of success is showing up." He could be right. Maybe I will do a book signing (i.e. sitting at a table while shoppers scuttle by, avoiding eye contact). Or maybe I'll visit schools. Or start a YouTube channel.
I love my little book. I think it's fun, and funny, and clever, and captivating. It was good enough to nab an agent, and then a publisher, and that publisher happens to be called Disney-Hyperion. (Whooooooa!) That's a big deal. I should be excited, excited, excited.
But still... I'm nervous.
What if no one reads it? That's my only concern, really. I'm convinced that anyone who sits down with my book will be swept up in the story, the characters, the jokes, the mystery, the adventure. But how do I get the book in people's hands?
Maybe I'm worried about the wrong things. Maybe Disney-Hyperion has a great marketing plan in place, and the New York Times will publish a glowing review of my work, and millions of eye balls will see that review, and those eye balls will seek out -- and purchase -- my book. And maybe...
...every author hopes for that. Even the ones whose books no one read. Whose books are out of print. Who used to have dreams but now say things like, "Most writers just can't make a living at it." I don't wanna be that guy. But neither did that guy. That's my point.
I hope you'll buy my book. And read it. And fall in love with it. And buy a copy for a friend or family member. And she or he will read it. And fall in love with it. And tell a friend. And that friend will buy it. And read it. And fall in love with it.
I hope my words can wiggle their ways into your life, and bring you joy.
June 20th. It's coming.