Last week, my debut went out into the world. It was exciting, amazing, surreal. And, I’ll be completely honest with you guys, I’m glad it’s over.
Crazy, right? I worked for that moment for years and years, I should be savoring every moment of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous feeling. But here’s the thing, debut day felt more about me than the book. Now that the excitement is over, the focus is back on the book.
My original post had a handful of tips on getting through a book launch. I was reading over it before sending it to Tasha and realized those are pretty much the same tips everyone gave me. And while helpful, they were useless when the day actually came.
So here are my tips for you …
1) Stock up on Kleenex. I knew I’d be emotional but I wasn’t expecting to be that emotional. Seeing pictures and comments from people who’d bought my book did me in. And it was the people I least expected that brought the most tears.
2) Step away from social media during the day. Friends told me to book a pedicure, massage, lunch with a loved one, something, anything. I didn’t. I had work to do – guest posts to comment on, more posts and Q&As to work on, revisions to finish on the next book. And, of course, respond to the congratulations posts on the various social media platforms.
At one point shortly after lunch (and mid-way into box 2 of Kleenex), I shut my computer down. I watched an episode of NCIS and I worked on a crochet horse. Then I went to pick up my son from school and for the next few hours, I focused on him. By the time I got back to email and social media notifications, I was (mostly) re-stocked on emotional fortitude.
3) Do something for someone else. I’ve never been very comfortable being in the spotlight, so while this was an amazing day, it was also pushing me way beyond my comfort zone. The night before, a friend had sent me an email asking for advice “when I came up for air.” Responding to her was the air I needed to feel more grounded in the whirlwind of emotion. And as an extra boost, I went back to working on the mother’s day gift for my mom. 🙂
4) Shelve your expectations. Someone told me once that if you don’t expect, you’re not disappointed. That’s too cynical for me. So yeah, I had a few expectations. Some were met, most were not to be perfectly honest. They weren’t lofty expectations, either – I wasn’t looking at the best seller list. And maybe that’s what made them harder to swallow.
So I suppose this bit of advice falls under the “do what I say, not what I do” category. I’m not sure I’ll be any better about this when book 2 launches. Except maybe by then, I’ll know how to outsmart those expectations that refuse to be denied.
5) Buy yourself a gift. At the end of the day, I splurged on myself. I bought a $5 decal for my computer. Now when I grab my laptop and see the decal of the horse head, it makes me crazy happy and reminds me that my hard work paid off, I have a book out in the world. And it also reminds me that there’s a lot more hard work ahead.