First: Important news! Congratulations to Kerry Ann Morgan who has won an annotated copy of SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE. Thanks for celebrating my launch week with us!
Now, to today’s business.
This week’s theme is heat. Quite timely, considering this extreme heat wave. Even though I’m in Canada, it gets pretty hot up here and we do get humidity, so it’s fair to say that the last week has felt like tropical hell in these parts. I’m very tired of the ‘hot enough for you’ comments and so thought I’d go a different way for today’s post. Seeing as I write for kids, it doesn’t seem right to talk about heat in books, so you won’t be getting a 50 Shades review here (and despite not being a stranger to heat in books, I haven’t read it anyway).
So as my book just launched, I think it’s fair to say, I’ve been feeling some metaphorical heat. As in the pressure to succeed and sell a lot of books. What that ‘a lot’ means, I’m not really sure. I don’t know what my publisher’s expectations are, but I do know I need to sell more than just me and my mom can buy on our own. Much rides on a book’s release, much more than just the success of the one book itself; unless you’re planning to only publish one book, your publisher will be looking at sales when considering your next book. Will there be a sequel? Depends on the sales. Will there be a next book at all? Depends on the sales. Will you eat next week? Well, yeah, because your advance wasn’t near enough to allow you to quit your day job, so you still have that to pay the bills. But you see where I’m going with this. There’s a lot of pressure. I’ve heard that it’s hard to get published, but even harder to stay published. Can I say for the record: THAT IS TERRIFYING TO ME! Because I really would like to stay published. I would REALLY like to make a career of this writing thing. And that means a book two and beyond. So yeah, as I’m launching my book and am having a great time with that (which I really am-see the picture of the fun reading I did on the weekend) I’m also feeling the pressure to sell a lot of books. Which kind of sucks, because I can’t do a lot at this point. I mean, yeah, I’ve done a lot of online marketing and have gone out and signed stock at bookstores, and have now even gone and done readings, but I can’t sign stock at every store. And I can’t do a ton of readings outside my own community. Much of it is out of my hands now.
And that makes me sweat. See? Heat.
But so much about being an author means letting go. Letting go of what you can’t control. Doing what you can (like writing a good book and doing your best to market it), and leaving the rest up to the fates. And trying not to worry about it too much and moving on with living your life. That’s SO important-I remember one year, I spent a whole summer obsessing and worrying about submissions, and come labor day, I had nothing to show for it except a wasted summer and a bunch of rejections. So that’s what I have to do: I have to get out from under heat lamp, trust that I’ve done all I can do, and concentrate on what’s really important.
And today, what’s important is this:
How about you? How do you cool off, either from the crazy heat we’ve been experiencing, or from the pressure of needing to succeed?