There are certain things we can really only know from experience. I was saying to my dad just the other day that publishing a book is a whole lot like getting engaged. You understand the theory that marriage will be hard, but deep in your bones you believe that you and your special someone are just so freaking special and in lurrrrve that the hard work will be a joyous bundle of easy because lurrrrrve is the spoonful of sugar in a world of marmite.
And similarly, you can know it’s a lot of work to edit and promote, but I, for one, thought that the happy walking-on-air feeling of the initial acceptance into the Forbidden City of publishing would carry me through any bumps in the road. Ha! In a few weeks I will have written a number of books larger than the number of times I’ve been married. Those of you who know me well know this is no small feat. And let me tell you, the mists of happiness soon turn into the fog of war when it comes to writing books. (With marriage, I think the happy mists last longer.) Don’t get me wrong, I feel as fortunate to be published as I do to have finally found the man of my dreams. A Certain Highlander still makes me swoon after ten years, just as I still get giddy when little publishing things happen–like yesterday learning that my ISBNs had been assigned for Ordinary Angels.
But that doesn’t stop me from, every once in a while, saying, HOLY SHIT at the daunting organisational mess I’ve created with my first book release. I have five…. FIVE!!!… spreadsheets to keep track of promotion, interviews, book bloggers, reviewers… just this weekend I created a blog schedule that already extends three months into the future. A year ago I never know what I was going to blog about from day to day! However, after scheduling four guest bloggers on two days, then rescheduling two of those bloggers on the same day, something had to be done.
I used to never understand why some writers really excelled at promotion, while others just seemed to sit in the background and say, “But I just want to write books!” Well, now I know. Like marriage, this book business is bloody hard. And I haven’t really even gotten to the indie stuff yet. This is all work I’m having to do on a book that is with a traditional publisher!
So if I owe you an email, give it a couple days more than you think is reasonable and then prompt me. I probably haven’t forgotten. It’s probably on my list of important things to do… which extends through the end of the year. Yep. I have a to-do list that’s nine months long.
This is the job of my dreams. But just like marriage isn’t all blow-jobs and butterflies, publishing isn’t private jets and tiaras. It’s full of highs and lows, like most things.
Yet I’m not complaining. Rather, I’m paying tribute to all those who came before, who warned me how hard this was going to be, who I ignored like every blushing bride ignores her well-meaning and more-experienced friends. Thank you for having the grace not to say “I told you so.”
And speaking of blog schedules, I’m going to start blogging four days a week and taking weekends off. (This is for sanity’s sake.) Monday and Wednesday you’ll get a post from me, Thursday you’ll get a guest post from one of my author friends, and Friday will be a #fridayflash post of very short fiction. You get this post instead of a guest post today because I haven’t quite mastered the art of organisation, but I’m booked for the next six weeks, so there are good things to come.
Question: Other than publishing and marriage, what other things in your life have turned out to be harder than you expected?