Home > Uncategorized > Releasing a Book in Bits and Bobs

Releasing a Book in Bits and Bobs

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Releasing a book is a looong, slow process. It’s not at all like most people think. First, you have to write it. Then, you edit and change, tinker, and fix. At this point, it’s just you and the world you’ve created, you with all your characters. You’re king.

But the circle widens. Your agent and editor get their hands on the draft. They may point out things you didn’t want to hear, things you didn’t notice. You go back and tinker, and change, edit, and fix. The book takes shape.

Next, the marketing and sales people read the book–or parts of it. The art department gets their hands on it. The PR people read it (you hope). By now, the book starts becoming a thing unto itself. Catalog copy appears. Blurbs come in. You start to miss the days when it was just you and your darling alone at your desk.

Advance Reading Copies get sent out to reviewers, bloggers, bookstores. Things are no longer in your hands. This is a peculiar time. The book is “out there,” but not officially released. Then, your pub date rolls around and…well, it’s like any other day, really. When Little Giant released, I had a dental checkup, I remember. I cooked dinner. I did the school run. But at the same time, my local bookstore had piles of my book in the front of the store. Weird.

By now, the book isn’t yours anymore. When I go to promote my book, I’m always struck by that gap, by how the story has taken on a life of its own. I think back to the days of sitting at my desk in sweatpants and drinking coffee, trying to make the private story in my head come to life and I always miss that time a little.

So here I go with The Gilly Salt Sisters at last, my second novel, and I’m more than ready for the circus to start. But I’m a little sorry, too, to let my characters go. I have a new book I’m working on, but I’m still in that in-between state of ending one book and losing myself in a new world. It’s kind of like jumping into a swimming pool with seawater still clinging to you. You’re swimming–that’s the same–but the water is totally different. I can’t wait to see what I churn up.

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