It’s May 17th and that means that THE MURDER THAT NEVER WAS is officially on sale! With that comes excitement, anticipation, joy… and more butterflies in my stomach than you can count.
You’d think I’d be over that extreme reaction. After 27 published novels, you’d think that the release of a new book would bring with it a warm glow, not a blazing inferno. You’d certainly think that opening night stage fright would be a thing of the past. Well, for me, neither is the case.
The writing of each of my books is a work of fierce commitment, of hard work and endless hours. There are up days and down days, love days and hate days. But when all is said and done, it’s a year-long bond with characters and story lines that I create. So, in a sense, I feel as if each book is a little piece of me, and I’m like a new mom with her new baby—awed, attached, and nervous about sharing my newborn with the outside world.
Release day is that day of sharing. It’s wonderful and thrilling, and it’s apprehensive and nerve-racking. I’ve poured everything I have into this book—how will it be received? Will my readers love it the way I want them to? Will they love—or hate—my characters the way I’ve intended? Will they thrill to the plot and eagerly cling to the storyline as the pages fly by? Will they feel compelled to recommend the book to their friends, families, book groups, etc.?
And that’s just the emotional inferno.
So now, let’s talk sales. They matter greatly, not only for the tangible reasons of feeding the family and paying the mortgage, but as indicators of how the book is being received. Obviously, the greater the sales, the more readers I’m reaching, and, hopefully, introducing them to my works, or giving them another of my books to savor. That’s a huge responsibility and an even huger challenge. I have to poke my apprehensive head out of my secluded world and check out the realities. First, we have reviews. Truthfully, I’m not a huge fan of reading my own reviews, because one harsh review in a sea of fabulous ones is enough to kill my creativity for the day. I’m also not a big numbers watcher, because the sales process changes minute by minute, and so many factors go into those numbers that the highs and lows are too overwhelming to contemplate, much less to follow. I’m grateful that I have business savvy, objective, level-headed people to do that for me.
Last comes the fact that I’m definitely a control freak, and this entire process is so far out of my control that it’s maddening.
All I can do is write the very best book I can, reach out and share the news with my readers, implement my marketing and my publicity campaigns, and then release my book into the world with the highest of hopes, a bevy of excitement… and a gazillion butterflies in my stomach.