The emotions of a book launch surprisingly correlate to the 5 stages of grief, albeit not as painful or long-lasting. But I’m a writer, I tend to dramatize things. So, here’s a glance at the rollercoaster I’ve been on the past week after launching Violet Jenkins Crushes Middle School.
Stage 1: Denial
Denial that I’m actually going to go through with this! I’m setting myself up here for some real humiliation!
I want everyone to know I’m launching a book- it’s not something I should keep a secret. Let’s face it- as a budding indie author, I need all the love I can get. The problem is- everyone I know is going to know I’m launching a book!
They may think who does she think she is pretending to be an author? Or worse, they read my books and decide they're rubbish.
But I’m going to do it anyway! Because if that’s the worst thing that can happen (okay, zero sales are the worst thing but…), I can survive it. I am WOMAN- hear me ROAR!!!
On to stage 2!
Stage 2: Giddiness (Thankfully, no anger in this cycle.)
Okay, I’ve put on my big girl pants, faced my fears, and hit the publish button. It’s a brief moment of satisfaction or more accurately, complete joy in fulfilling a dream!
Annnnd it’s over. (That stage didn’t last long!)
Stage 3: Bargaining
However, we authors like to call it marketing. But would a rose by another name be as thorny? The answer is YES! Marketing is just as painful & ineffective as bargaining! But still a necessary stage to go through so I can see this thing through 'til the end.
So, I sent out the email blast, texted my friends and family, posted on social media, etc. All the things I could think of to get the word out.
AKA: BUY MY BOOK! And then as subtle as a brick: AND THEN PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW!
Stage 4: Depression
I’m a failure.
Why can’t I sell a million books like JK Rowling? Where are the movie deals???
What? I didn’t make the New York Best Seller List!
I have like 2 reviews.
I think my mom bought half my books! (Thanks, Mom!)
Stage 5: Acceptance (Finally!)
I give myself a little pep talk:
“You’re fine. Everything is fine. You wrote a story you love. Be happy. You’re closer to fulfilling all your author dreams than you were a year ago. You had so many people texting you and congratulating you. You have a lot of people cheering for you. You can do this!”
Stage 6: Gratitude (A bonus stage)
This critical stage may be tempting to omit, but it is the stage authors should live in the longest for a long, happy career.
I took the time to reflect on the congratulatory emails, texts, and DMs. I thought about all the social posts of friends sharing pics of receiving my books in the mail or their children holding up their copies with big smiles on their faces. I pulled out the sweet Violet art a young reader sent me. And my heart filled to overflowing, enough even to begin writing the next book.