…I’m actually not in a state of constant freak-out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had (and will continue to have) all the same worries about time management, publisher expectations and so on that Lisa Schulman expressed so well in Monday’s post, but I’ve been experiencing a weird thing in recent days – a weird thing called confidence. (or is it overconfidence?)
You might be one of those people who think confidence isn’t weird, and I’m tempted to make a snarky comment about how that makes you dead to me, but that would be silly considering my current state of mind. I’m feeling strangely optimistic about Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities, not because I think it’s guaranteed to top the bestseller charts and be made into a box-office smash by Steven Spielberg, but because I think it’s actually a pretty good book.
There’s a way in which it feels terribly risky to say that, as if the universe will rise up in furious anger and smite me without pity for my absurdly high self-regard. Silence, you arrogant little toad! Some of this is surely rooted in the twisted workings of my own psychology, of course – my mildly pathological people-pleasing behaviors, my vast insecurities about how I’m perceived by others, and other equally unattractive psychological traits. It’s really a miracle that I’m not under my desk in a fetal position right this very moment.
There’s no doubt that in these days of hyper-connectivity and untrammeled information distribution, it’s easy to be perceived as a smug donkeybutt, and even easier to be publicly, thoroughly reprimanded for it. But maybe that’s okay? Or maybe I’m wrong, and people won’t think I’m a preening idiot just because I feel good about my book’s prospects. Maybe I’m just being paranoid! Oh no, will people think I’m a paranoid idiot?
I’m feeling okay, though. That’s not to say I feel abundantly informed on how to go about marketing Geeks while still maintaining enough time to write the next book (or two, or three) – I usually feel like I have just barely enough time to write the books in the first place, let alone engage in a fever-pitch homegrown marketing campaign.
What I do feel very strongly is that I should try and hold on to my current social media philosophy and apply it to the post-launch marketing blitz, whatever that ends up looking like: do the stuff I like doing; do it as much as it feels reasonable to do; allow myself to stop doing any part of it that feels unenjoyable, counter-productive or bad in any other way; and never prioritize it over writing the next book.
Of course I haven’t had any real conversations with my publisher about this stuff, and I know that I’ll start hearing about it at some point. Maybe they’ll assign me a publicist or throw a “manual of publicity” sorta thing at me, or otherwise push me to get cracking in a non-Mike’s-social-media-philosophy way, which is fine – I’m a team player, know what I’m saying? But stuff is already happening, yo! I’ve heard through the grapevine that my editor has talked me up at SCBWI events; I’ve got a great cover, and the interior illustrations are apparently in progress; and I should hear about copyedits any day now. It feels like there’s a lot going on, and more to come, so maybe I’m not freaked out because I’m, you know, distracted.
Hey look, a bunny rabbit…