Deb Joanne Sees You Shiver with Antici…


Sometimes, anticipation is the best part about something.  I love the weeks leading up to a holiday—the planning, packing, getting excited—isn’t that half the fun?  Don’t get me wrong, sitting on a beach away from an office is plenty good on its own, but you get what I’m talking about, right?

Publishing is like that, too.  Because there are so many things to anticipate in the publishing process.  The Call, the cover, the ARCs, the reviews, the Finished Book, the LAUNCH.  OH MY GOODNESS, I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT! (see?  This is what I mean)

But I think anticipation is sometimes bittersweet in this business.  Some examples that easily come to mind:

You’re SO excited to get that first cover mock-up.

But you’re terrified at the same time. What if it doesn’t represent the book and has zombies on it when your book is about a girl who hears ghosts? What if you hate it? What if everyone else (i.e. booksellers) hates it?

You love your book, your agent and editor love the book—you can’t wait for the world to read it!

But what if no one does? What if it doesn’t get into bookstores or gets overlooked by trade reviewers and it dies a slow, lonely death and no one notices except you and the people who took a chance on you?

Your book comes out and you are planning a HUGE launch party and signing. FINALLY, you get to share your book with friends and family!

But what if no one comes?  Or there’s a terrible snowstorm and you’re stuck with the bookseller and a mountain of unsold books?

It’s time to think about selling another book and you have so many awesome ideas! You feel like you’re in a groove because your first book (which you love and your agent and editor love, see above) is so awesome and nothing can stop you! You WILL be a career author!

But what if your sales weren’t good enough for book one, or what if your sophomore effort just isn’t as awesome or timely or marketable as your first? What if no one wants your second book? Or your third, or your fourth…

But as I think about all these things (and more, trust me), I hold onto one thing: my dream of being a published author is coming true.  Yes, there are many obstacles to realizing dream fulfillment perfection because so much of this process is beyond my control and nothing EVER works out the way I plan or expect, but remembering that I’m getting there goes a long way toward giving me a bit of peace.  And, well, I just saw the first mock-up of my cover and it is so much more amazing than I ever could have anticipated.  And no, there aren’t any zombies on it.

36 Replies to “Deb Joanne Sees You Shiver with Antici…”

  1. I’m so glad you love your first cover mock-up! This is so exciting!!!

    I’m just this week going into the cover concept stage with my editor, and I have to say I’m biting my nails. Mel is great (Melissa Frain at Tor), asking for my input about things I love — and things I hate *grin* — but it’s still kind of scary to contemplate. The publisher has the final say, after all, and ultimately you get what you get.

    You know what it’s like at this stage? Being pregnant. You have all sorts of imaginings about what your baby might look like, but until its born you just don’t know.

    1. Oh, look. The internet ate one of my apostrophes. Bad internet. (That’s my story, anyway. It has nothing to do with lack of caffeine.)

      1. Secret: you can edit anyone’s comment in the Comments area of the Dashboard. So not only can you fix rogue apostrophes, you could, if you so chose, replace this comment with an ode to Justin Bieber.

        However, I wouldn’t recommend it, as no one would be surprised by my springing forth with an ode to the Biebs. He’s a cutie.

    2. Thanks, Linda. It was terrifying gettng that e-mail in my inbox and I even had to steel myself with a big breath before I could open it. BUT, my editor and I had talked about what we like and don’t and we seem to be on the same page and I couldn’t be happier. So far, it’s just a black and white sketch, but I’m sure it will be amazing once it’s in color and has MY NAME ON IT!

      I’ve never been pregnant (and I’m sure not now, sorry, Mom) but I can imagine the feeling is similar. I’m sure your cover will be amazing – I think it’s that collaboration that makes the difference!

  2. Woohoo! Isn’t that first glimpse a doozy!? We can’t wait to show off your finished cover baby here, Joanne! Or yours, Linda! And the concept stage is so cool, I completely agree. Like I’ve said before, I love the idea of someone else interpreting our books, a fresh eye. It’s so exciting to see what they will come up with. Nail-biting, yes, but thrilling.

  3. our Book is remarkable, wonderful, full of excitement. Your journey has just begun and will continue to go.
    The cover is great and will even be better once it is finished.
    We are all waiting in ANTICIPATION for the most amazing book and the rest will come.

    Listen, this is your Mother speaking!!!!!!!!

  4. I sort of love it that your mom posted a comment. But yes, publishing can be a rough road, so I say enjoy the anticipation and excitement and celebrate the good things as they happen and don’t worry so much about what lies ahead.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Get used to my mom being here – she’s my biggest cheerleader (next to my husband, who is more of the strong, silent, not-going-to-ever-comment-on-a-blog type). And thanks for the sage advice – you’re right, of course.

  5. BOOKMARK THIS POST!!!! Seriously, because the whirlwind of publication is crazy, and you put so much into waiting for THIS DAY, and no matter how many stories you… okay, forget the “you” thing, I’ll speak only for myself. No matter how many stories I heard from authors I love and respect who said Oprah will most likely NOT knock on your door with a tray of cookies on publication day, and no matter how much I rationally knew it was true… part of me still kept checking for her on my doorstep. I got so neurotic about what wasn’t happening that I forgot what WAS…

    My book was published.

    It’s out in the world.

    People are reading it.

    That’s HUGE, and it feels spectacular.

    So for-sure bookmark this post, because when your fantastic book comes out, even if it skyrockets to the top of the charts, you’ll probably still have those neurotic moments, and you’ll want to remember to take the time to sit back and simply enjoy the huge, amazing, dazzling accomplishment of your published book on the shelves.

    1. This is amazing advice, Elise. I will say there have been a lot of speed bumps along my road, but I’m SO grateful for the amazing things that have come my way, not the least of which is the group of writers I can call my friends. But I will try to remember the stuff that REALLY matters.

  6. Oooh cover mock up! Can’t wait to see. You’ll be a career author because you are persistent. This business isn’t about not failing because almost every working writer I know has had a book tank, or have a house dump them or turn down a book or get a review that peels the paint off your heart etc etc. The career writers are the ones who pick themselves up after one of those moments and keeps moving forward.

    I see you as slightly delusional like me- this will work in your favour!

  7. I lived through most of those fears (and some fun ones I hadn’t even thought of – I describe having a book published as walking around a yard full of rakes. You keep stepping on the ends and getting bonked in the head with the handle unexpectedly) and I’m still here. It can be done!

    So you have exactly the right attitude – even if Murphy’s Law kicks in, you are going to be a tiara-wearing, butt-kicking, Deb-blogging Published Author.

    And that deserves a toast.

  8. I can’t wait to see your cover. AND read your book! I’m in a different phase of anticipation, but I was sooo excited-slash-nervous when the cover thing was happening. I couldn’t handle it. It’s such a relief when that mockup comes and a double relief when it’s nothing that you had ever imagined… it’s BETTER.

    1. Exactly, Rachel. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by awesome people who totally get it! And I love your cover, too and can’t wait to read YOUR book!

    1. I’ll pass on the gory details, Kim, but yeah, I get where you’re coming from. And I do think a lot of what you get out of it is dependant on what you put in and your expectations. Although I’m not averse to an epidural during launch week.

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