A year ago, my debut path had just begun, the ink was barely dry on my contract, and I didn’t even know my release date — let alone know what the cover would look like. Fast forward to today — my book released four weeks ago, and life is kind of the same and completely different. Sure, there’s been a lot of stress, but there have been so many amazing moments.
Here are seven.
1. Getting to know local booksellers. I haven’t done a lot of book events yet, but the ones I have had were made so much more incredible by the booksellers. A little shout out to Tamzin at Main Street Books in Lafayette, IN and Lisa at Books & Company in Oconomowoc, WI. I have an arrangement with Books & Company to get customers personalized books.
2. Seeing my book printed. That’s right, I got to see my book printed and assembled. It was amazing! I literally held pages still warm from the press and I have one of the first finished books. Big shout out to Quad/Graphics in Fairfield, PA for making this happen (especially Tonya Koons)!
Taking pictures of pages coming off the press.
3. Seeing friends I haven’t seen in ages. Life gets crazy when you grow up and somehow months and years pass between seeing friends. Well, I have some amazing ones who made it to my book launch party — resulting in a very loud squeal and some unexpected tears (I don’t cry easily).
4. Connecting with authors I admire. I’m not gonna lie — publishing a book is a ticket into a very cool club. Perhaps it’s because you, too have survived the gauntlet, but there is an immediate camaraderie. You’re not only a fan, you’re a peer. Talking shop (and maybe tossing back a few adult beverages) with other authors is one of my most favorite things.
5. Radio and podcasts. Who knew, but I really love doing radio and podcasts. I’ve only done a few so far, but I hope to do a lot more. There’s something about being able to talk without worrying about how you look — it’s very freeing. And if I’m doing it at my computer, I don’t even have to wear pants.
6. Helping other writers. I have a little bit of experience now, maybe not a lot, but a little, that I can share with those who are still in the query trenches or in submission hell. So many writers helped me, I think it’s really important to pay that forward.
7. My kids. My littles have been just amazing this past year. They’ve been patient and supportive, but nothing beats the pride in their voice when they tell someone I’m an author. It’s fantastic!
BONUS. Smelling my book for the first time! Twas glorious!