Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Releases are Murder...and Marvelous

Two days from now, I'll be celebrating the release of the newest Shinobi Mystery, Flask of the Drunken Master.

Most people probably think a writer spends a book release like this:

Yay! Party time!

Or maybe like this:

Cheers!

Or, possibly, like this:

If you'd had too much to drink, you'd see a penguin in this picture.

With the rise of social media, release day sometimes looks more like this:

Waiting for real-time comments on a guest blog.

Between the social media feeds, guest blogs, virtual tours, and other online activities (not to mention edits on the next book--usually well under way by the time of the previous book's release) it's easy to succumb to the temptation to spend the book's birthday laboring at the keys.

Given the many (apt) analogies between a book release and giving birth, laboring might be appropriate, but it's not much fun.

You know what else is no fun?

Coming down with the sinus flu a week before your book release.

Trust me, this is about how I look right now.

Which means my week-before-book release looked a lot more like this:

Actually, I wish I could sleep this soundly.

Authors often have high expectations for book releases. Will readers like it? Will critics love it? Will sales numbers meet the publisher's (often high) expectations? Will anyone comment on guest blogs? Will anyone CARE?

Iga Castle Tiger Cares.

In the midst of all the excitement and anxiety, it's easy to forget what a book release really means--especially when you've got a couple of previous book releases under your belt.

Releasing a book is seeing a dream made real.

It doesn't matter how many times you do it, or how many books you write. The day your story goes on sale, you open a door to the world you lived in (mostly alone) for weeks, or months, or years. You invite other people in to look around and stay a while.

Book releases breathe life into an author's curated dreams. They let us share our characters and our stories with the world. Some people may tell you that magic isn't real. Well, Virginia, I'm here to tell you those people have never had a book release--or any other dream become reality.

It's easy to push the joyful moments of our lives aside. To be too busy, too cool, or too knocked out on NyQuil to take the time to truly celebrate. Not just with booze and penguins, but with real joy--in whatever form it takes for you.

And remember: this doesn't just apply to book releases.

Several times, on my recent trip to Japan, I stopped and reminded myself to savor the moment. To stand in the forest and simply enjoy the trees.


Near the peak of Mt. Mizen--Miyajima Island, Japan
I don't yet know what I'll be doing Tuesday morning, when my newest novel hits the bookstore shelves. But this much, I can tell you: book releases may be murder, but they're also a good reminder to celebrate all of life's accomplishments and dreams.

--Susan...who probably took a little too much cold medicine before writing this entry.


18 comments:

  1. Love this Post! Very inspiring to me as I am thick in the editing process, dreaming of my book release next year.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - and good luck with your upcoming release! I hope it's as magical for you as mine always are for me.

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  2. HOOOOORAYYYY! Where is the picture of the cover? Show everyone. It's perfect!!!

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    1. I was afraid it would be too much BSP - also? I blame the cold medicine. Seriously. This flu might just be the death of me.

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    2. MIE allows, encourages really, BSP when we have a new book launching. Let's have it. I, for one, really want to see it all here in one place. I have plans for what I will do with it. :)

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  3. This is charming! You have just the right amount of all the emotions and reactions of the writer homo sapiens involved ---plan to share it with friends! Thelma Straw in Manhattan's Writing Scene!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it!

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  4. It all looks very civilised to me! No singing? No dancing in the street? Nobody chucked out for heckling?

    Congrats on the new book. Always anxious to see if they sink or swim once out in the big wide world but I'm sure it will all be fab.

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    1. Thanks Caro. I fear the flu has put a damper on my street dancing. Probably for the best. I'm one of those dancers with three left feet...

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  5. Take more medicine until you've had sufficient to remember to tell us more about the book. Then get back to work. What do you think we're paying you for???

    (Best wishes! :-)

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    1. Thanks Everett!

      Someday I'll remember to actually put something about the book in the book release post. Maybe.

      We're going to have dinosaurs on the dinosaur tour, too. Eventually...

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  6. Take more medicine until you've had sufficient to remember to tell us more about the book. Then get back to work. What do you think we're paying you for???

    (Best wishes! :-)

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  7. I saw penguins and stars. I guess that means "Flask of the Drunken Master" is a shoe-in success in Antarctica! CONGRATULATIONS, and enjoy the well-deserved moment. Cute cats, too.

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    1. I'm big with the penguins. Seriously. I'd tell you my penguin name but even I'm not sure how to pronounce it. It involves a lot of flipper waggling.

      As for the cats...I'm pretty sure the white one wants me dead. But then, she's my husband's cat (a white Persian, in case it wasn't obvious) and I think she believes her life is a Bond film.

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  8. I love the photos, Susan. Congratulations on the new release. I sure hope you feel better soon. Sinus trouble is bad enough without flu symptoms too.

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  9. Congrats Susan and where's the cover? Want to see and share!

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