publication week

It has been one week since my book was published, and people are beginning to ask how it’s doing. Or if it’s a bestseller yet. Mostly, I tell them I have no idea how it’s doing, other than the Amazon ranking, which seems to change drastically based on the hour of the day in which you check it. (In fact, it has ranged from #60,000 on the list to #17,000.) My publisher also has an Author Portal where they post sales-related information. The people at Howard told me that it wouldn’t do any good to check it the first week, but I did anyway. Yesterday, it read that 14 copies of the ebook were sold. 14. One. Four. So, NOT YET A BESTSELLER. Maybe wait a few weeks, but at least more than a one-digit amount of readers have really enjoyed the book thus far. Rome wasn’t built in a day, people. Or even a week.  Because there was an election last week and some people seem to have cared more about ol’ Barack O’Romney than they do about ME. WHAAA??? I KNOW.

I don’t exactly know my game plan for how to react to reviews or sales numbers or requests for autographed copies (I think all my aunts have asked for autographed copies. Yay for aunts!).

I spent the weeks prior to publication really kicking myself in the ass for not pretending that the stories in the book were fictional. I mean, I know that fiction writers must still feel vulnerable, but putting something out there and stamping your approval that, “Yup, this is pretty much true, and yup, I really believe all that about God and Christians and chin hair” has got to be worse. (And I’d like to take a moment to apologize to my aunts for anything they may find offensive. In the book or on this blog. Or just in life.)

I may decide to fast from all review-related material on the Internet that is not expressly from my friends who write stuff on my Facebook page. I fall very easily on the “thinned skinned” side of things, so I was all “What the hell?!?” when someone gave me 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. I realize this is totally ridiculous and would like to now publically THANK the person who gave me 4 stars and APOLOGIZE for that initial reaction. This, especially in light of the idea that The Great Gatsby and Gilead sometimes get one-star reviews and (spoiler alert) those books are WAY better than mine.

So, I survived Pub Week, as all the publicisizters call it. I did more than survive it, even. Me and the fam took a trip down to Barnes & Noble (the Town Center location, for any locals who may want to pick the book up in person), and visited my little book on its real, live bookstore bookshelf. I resisted the urge to move the book to the Employee Pick shelf. I resisted the urge to put it in front of all the Joel Osteen books. I even resisted the urge to walk around the bookstore and tell all the people that I wrote it and show them my children, who may well never go to college if a few more copies don’t sell. And it was really a dream come true.


Miles and me, doing our excited faces.


Plus, just so you guys know, I’m sure that I’m the sort of person who just made stuff up, so don’t believe everything you read. Especially if it offends you.


18 thoughts on “publication week

  1. Congratulations on the book. I love that picture of you and Miles! And next time I to go the Barnes, I probably will put your book on the employee picks AND in front of Joel Osteens book AND maybe even in front of Twilight…and I will probably tell everyone, “I know her! She’s my awesome friend from college and my former roommate!”

  2. Best. Picture. Ever. I think you will be the next Anne Lamott & I have an idea for your second book. Whirlybird by Whirylbird. You’re welcome.

  3. I love you. And I’m super protective of you. You send me names, addresses and I’ll do away with these people. Anyone who does not love your book is no friend of mine. (Now will you please write something really awesome on the inside front cover? Like… how I’m your muse… you couldn’t have done it without me etc etc?)

  4. i’m a friend of maria’s (hi maria!) and i ordered your book off of amazon…even though i was at town center yesterday. excited to read it!!

  5. Congrats on surviving your first week. I think both fiction and nonfiction are hard. Everybody knows authors put themselves into fictional characters anyway. Your book is great, I’m almost finished. And I LOVE that picture of you and Miles. It’s like he understands how big a deal it is (and maybe he does – if so, that rocks)!

    • It’s true, but at least fiction writers can blame the characters, even if nobody believes them ;).

      Miles was coerced into making that face… although he was genuinely confused as to why we didn’t buy the book, so at least he understands the value good literature.

  6. In regards to bad reviews, don’t write to please all the people. The jerks out there, like myself, will never be pleased. I read a little on Amazon and it was good. I think I’ll wait until I can get a copy through the library though. Congratulations on being published!

  7. Pingback: the next big thing (too?) | [writing] between friends

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