My Dad and My Book at Costco

nothing is under controlMy book baby is over a month old now.  Because I’ve been a part of Emu’s Debuts for quite a while, I knew that launching my debut novel wasn’t going to be like crossing a finish line, but more like crossing a threshold out of a now-slightly-familiar maze named I HOPE I GET TO PUBLISH THIS into a new maze, named something like HOLY COW, MY BOOK IS OUT IN THE WORLD AND I SURE HOPE PEOPLE LIKE IT.

As I explore the first twists and turns of this fresh jumble of experiences, please let me share some things I’ve discovered:

  1. I am grateful twelve ways to Sunday to have a group of fellow authors with Austin bookstorewhom to share this experience. I not only have my Emu Team, but also a big ol’ Facebook group of 2018 YA and MG debut authors called the Electric Eighteens. I can’t recommend it enough. Future debuters: do whatever you have to do to find an Author Friend Tribe. Shared worries get lessened, shared joy gets increased. And they’ll send you plenty of pictures of your book out on shelves in the wild. (This never gets old.)
  2. How many people buy and enjoy my book is not my control. Very little about anything at this point is under my control. (This is the same lesson I re-learn over and over again as a parent.) I did everything I could to get my book ready for readers. Now readers get their turn with it.
  3. If I’m wrong and it turns out that how many people buy and enjoy my book IS in some way under my control, it better not depend on how breezy and fabulous and well-connected I am at posting things on social media. But does it? Might it? This thought wakes me up in the night and makes me feel small and sort of stabby.
  4. Hanging out with kids and talking to them about books is THE BEST.  Launching my book means I get to stop talking only to grown-ups about my book. Kids are excited for you, they are excited by books, they are excited by so many of the tiny good things in life.
  5. Reviews are for readers, not for writers.
  6. Even if I tell my dad very firmly that reviews are for readers, not for writers and that I don’t want to know what my reviews say on Goodreads or Amazon, he will insist on telling me about them, even writing down the lousy troll-written ones to read out loud to me when I stop by for dinner. He wants to assure me how clueless these reviewers are and pick apart their criticisms one by one, not realizing I’ll be hearing those criticisms replaying inside my head in the middle of the night while I’m also worrying about my social media skills. My midnight mind isn’t always my friend in these matters.
  7. I can’t hold anything against my dad because he is undoubtedly a force for good. He goes to our two local bookstores and stands near my book, loudly exclaiming to anyone within range, “Oh boy, they have that bicycle book here! This is one of the best books ever written! Have you read this yet?” He checks on the display at Costco nearly every day, counting up how many have sold, making sure my books don’t get covered by any towering piles of James Patterson hardcovers by accident. He’s hand-sold my book to practically everyone he knows and a bunch of people he doesn’t, like the lady who took his prescription order at Express Scripts yesterday.

So. Holy cow, my book is out in the world now, and sure hope people like it. Let’s see where this next turn of the maze leads…

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle Author Christina Uss wants you to know that she likes you and appreciates you even if she doesn’t know how to properly answer you on Twitter or Facebook. If you meet her dad at Costco, please tell him you’ll buy a copy of her book, The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle, because it’ll make him really happy.


Filed under After the Launch, Book Launch, Promotion, Uncategorized

11 responses to “My Dad and My Book at Costco

  1. I love this! Also, your dad is like the perfect proud grandparent of your book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina Uss

      You’re right! I hadn’t expected him to go gaga over his twin grandbabies or my book, but he has done it both times!


  2. This is so perfect! I feel you on every one of these points. (And, BTW–I feel like I saw your name on a review for my book, and I just want you to know I really appreciate it–but I just. Can. NOT. deal with reading reviews, so I’m not even sure I’m remembering right! XD I’m guessing you understand! Even good reviews put me in a weird, self-conscious headspace the next time I’m writing. So I just don’t look at them at all.)

    And your dad sounds exactly like my husband. He’s logging into AuthorCentral WAY more than I do; he scrutinizes EVERY review, and he NEEEEEDS to tell me about them, even when I beg him not to. It’s adorable but also exasperating and stressful 🙂 I’m so glad to see that you feel the same way! Lord love ’em, they’re just so determined for us to succeed–and they haven’t spent all the years we have mentally preparing for this and coming to accept the fact that the publishing world is weird and we have no way of controlling much of anything… They’ll learn 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina Uss

      Dora- You did see a glimpse of me reviewing your book on Goodreads because I COMPLETELY LOVED IT and everyone should read it, and please ignore it and never, ever look at anything like that again.

      Maybe we can get your husband and my dad to call each other and chat about all this stuff while we just go lie down.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! See, that’s why I even knew about your review–I remember my husband asking who you were 🙂

        And I told him about your dad’s direct sales strategy of hanging around stores remarking on this excellent bicycle book he just happened to hear about, and he thought that was brilliant and obviously something my family should be doing as well (he’s not QUITE to the point of doing it himself yet)…he’d definitely like a phone consultation with your dad to brainstorm marketing ideas 🙂


  3. Oh! Also also, this: “Launching my book means I get to stop talking only to grown-ups about my book.”

    Yaaass! I wasn’t expecting this part. I hadn’t realized how the months of talking only to adults about my book had sucked all the joy out of it for me. As soon as I launched and started hearing from kids, I remembered why I wanted to do this 🙂

    “Kids are excited for you, they are excited by books, they are excited by so many of the tiny good things in life.” Love it. So true. 🙂


  4. Leave it to dads to take care of their kids! Great post and congratulations on your debut. I hope to find time for a review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Christina! So warm and heartfelt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats, Christina! This is an exciting time for you. And how sweet (if not frustrating at times) it is your Dad wants to promote your book. I’ll look forward to reading it!


  7. Christina – YOUR BOOK IS AT COSTCO!!!! I just had to yell that because it’s so awesome! I love your dad’s sales method, and I think having your dad and Dora’s husband call each other is a most excellent idea. So so so fabulous, all of this!!!


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