I’ve had quite a few surprises over the last couple of weeks:
- I got the full-on dreadful flu, despite having gotten my flu shot, and lost a week of my life. (blech)
- I still managed to finish the final author query round for BE A CHANGEMAKER. (okay, I was a teensy bit late, but they forgave me—see above bullet.)
- Even though I’ve read the manuscript countless times, of course, I actually enjoyed going through it yet again! Most of the other read-throughs have been piecemeal and focused on particular areas, but this one was straight through, cover to cover. Plus, I’ve had some time away from it. I was worried that I’d hate it by now. I’m happy to report that I really like it, even more than before.
- I found out I get to present at YALSA’s YA Lit Symposium in November with some of my favorite authors like Cynthia Levinson, Kelly Milner Halls, and Bruce Coville.
- I got to see the jacket design for the hardcover version of BE A CHANGEMAKER for the first time.
- I got to see the latest layout and illustration roughs for MY DOG IS THE BEST. I’m here to tell you, illustrator Paul Schmid is the best! (can’t wait to show you)
- I found out BE A CHANGEMAKER is already available for pre-order on Amazon.com, and it showed up on Goodreads, too, where people (both friends and strangers) have already added it to their to-read shelves! (eek)
- I noticed that someone who hasn’t even read the book yet (it’s on to-read shelf) already gave it a 2-star review on Goodreads. (what?)
- A friend and fellow author whom I respect told me she downloaded the ARC of BE A CHANGEMAKER from NetGalley. (gulp)
- I was introduced to the marketing department at my publisher so we can start working on promotion plans, including where to send ARCs.
- I got permission to share the cover for BE A CHANGEMAKER…
As you can see, these are mostly all wonderful, amazing, exciting surprises! I’m thrilled, ecstatic even, but also… TERRIFIED! This is the weirdest feeling in the world. Half of me is jumping around shouting at the top of my lungs, “I WANT EVERYONE TO READ MY BOOK!” while the other half is cowering in a corner, wide-eyed, whispering, “What if someone reads my book?” Elation and gut-wrenching fear, all wrapped up together in the same moment.
We write books to be read, of course, but they’re so personal, so revealing, that at the same time it seems ridiculous to share this precious creation of ours with perfect strangers. It’s not even necessarily whether they’ll like it or not. It’s just the vulnerability and “out-there-ness” of it. There are no take-backs, you know? And it’s like a piece of me. I’m a pretty modest, private person generally, and soon I’ll be baring my soul to the universe. Yowzers.
Of course, there is the whole review thing, too. What if people don’t get it? (Some won’t.) Worse, what if they hate it? (Some will.) Even worse than that, what if they hate ME? (Some will.) And there will, of course, be people who do hate it (and me). But it would be worse if no one read it at all, or if readers didn’t have any reaction to it at all, right? Or would it? AHHHHH! It’s all enough to drive even the most stable author stark raving mad, I swear.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just do something like this with the negativity?
And I sure hope Mark Tyler Nobleman keeps making his “Children’s Authors Read Online Reviews of Their Own Books” video series for us:
I know many authors who say they don’t read the reviews of their books at all. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who can do that. I hope I’m the kind of person who can shrug them off and let them go, both good and bad. After all, at the end of the day, I did what I could, and it is what it is. If it resonates with ANY readers at all–if a little piece of them connects to this little piece of me–then that will be good enough.
I hope so.