Monday, January 19, 2015
The Day Before Your Book Comes Out
Play It Forward is my third novel and will be published by Bold Strokes Books. My third novel. Sometimes it's weird to say it, write it, know it, believe it. It's been a while since my first two novels -- Down For Whatever and Right Side of the Wrong Bed, published by Kensington Books -- so it's been equally as long having this "day before publication" feeling.
These used to be childhood dreams -- writing to be read, writing for an audience, potentially; or adding something to pop culture, to the world of books, to communities who have little representation in literature, etc... -- and for a childhood dream to come true is kinda amazing. I'm grateful. Grateful. GRATEFUL. Because I know not many have this opportunity to fulfill a dream.
So what's the day before like? I can't describe it. I'm excited, yes. I'm nervous, yes. I want it to be liked, yes. I know some will dislike it, yes. I hope that there are more likes than dislikes. Yes, I care about likes and dislikes -- many writers and artists do (we're sensitive about our sh&t, as Erykah Badu tells us in the preamble to her song, Tyrone) -- but I'm not consumed or obsessed about it. I'm confident and know I exist and have a life with or without published books with my name on them.
People around me are more excited on the surface than me. I mean super excited and super supportive. Almost like they want "success" for me more than they think I want for myself. I'm grounded, though. And realistic. Books, I often joke, are on the low end of the entertainment industry totem pole. And if you're from an underrepresented community and an author, you're even lower. No shade, just truth. There's not a lot of media or coverage. No one throws large red carpet events for book debuts. Entertainment Tonight isn't sitting outside the coffeehouse you go to in the morning.
But all social commentary aside, the day before a book release feels like any other day, but with a little bonus feeling. Your book is about to be birthed into the world. You hope it will be received with the love, care, creativity, thought, and compassion you put into preparing it for the world. You want to tell everyone, and The Universe, thank you!