As soon as I heard the happy Book Deal Offer, I couldn’t wait to share. Erin told me I could tell close friends and family, but nothing could go public until the announcement went up in Publisher’s Marketplace.
So I told my husband, my kids, my parents and my sister. I told my colleagues at school. And I told my 4th grade students that I was going to be a published author.
Oh, the hugs! The cheers! I couldn’t stop smiling.
Until my 4th graders surprised me with lovely, heartfelt, hand-made cards. Cards with crayon-ed hearts and flowers and rainbows. And Expectations. Big Ones.
“Oh!” I said. “Well, I don’t think I’ll become famous, or anything.”
My class looked doubtful.
I went on. “And sometimes books don’t sell super DUPER quick. You know how it is.”
No, they didn’t know.
“Wow,” I told them. I suppose my book could sell out in minutes. Does anyone know how many minutes are in a year? Two years? Ten?
I laughed at my own joke. They didn’t. (Or maybe they were aghast that my Book Deal Announcement had somehow morphed into a mathematical word problem. *shiver*)
Finally, someone who realizes that authors go through lots of trouble to get published. Oh, yeah. LOTS.
So I said, “Authors DO work hard to get published.” And I said (AGAIN), “But not all of them become famous. In fact, most of them…do not.”
Okay, so one of them got it. Mrs. Lorenzi won’t really be famous. But we still love her. I can live with that.
Once Publisher’s Marketplace carried the announcement, Erin spread the news and I posted on Verla’s, where writers know what it means to publish a book. Where I don’t have to explain 24 times that I don’t think my book will be famous, nor will it sell out super duper quick. (There is a chance it will sell out in minutes, I just don’t know how many thousands of minutes…)
Then Mike comes along with his happiness post and that fabulous Marianne Williamson quote. And I start to think.
I think about published writers who say that having a book out does not signal the end of writer-ly stress. Sure, it’s not the querying kind, or the fear-of-never-being-published kind, or the not-hearing-back-from-acquistions-just-yet-because-one-of-them-is-climbing-Mount-Everest kind.
Published authors worry about bad reviews, puny print runs, sagging sales figures. I don’t doubt that I’ll stress over similar things once my book is out on the shelves.
But not quite yet.
Thanks to Mike’s post, I realize that I’m in smack in the middle of publishing’s sweet spot. I’ve got a top-notch agent and a savvy editor. My book will be published by a house whose books I have admired and used in my classroom for years. I won’t have to worry about reviews or marketing or school author visits for at least another year.
So in the meantime, I plan to enjoy it. You only get to be a pre-published debut author once. Maybe I’ll be famous. Maybe I won’t. Maybe my books will sell super duper quick. Maybe they won’t.
Or maybe I’ll hold a book signing at the bookstore down the street from my school, where I’ll sell 24 copies to 24 kids who think I’m famous and I will feel famous, if only for a day.