So my debut picture book has been out for three and a half weeks (not that I’m counting). People are excited for me. It’s finally real! They ask me how the book is doing.
Ya got me!
I’ve received two positive quasi-reviews from School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly—I call them “quasi” because they were more like synopses than reviews. No thumbs up or thumbs down, just thumbs sideways. I watch my Amazon rank bounce up and down. Up to 12,000, then down to 134,000, then back up again. I held book signings where a few complete strangers did show up, looked at my book, then put it back again. My township’s mayor bought two copies as gifts. Reviews on GoodReads and Amazon have been 96% positive. And bloggers have beamed over the book. Still, I have no idea if sales are brisk, average or slow. There’s no way to know.
So, three and a half weeks post-release and I’m kinda stuck.
I call it “Post Book-Launch Stress Disorder”.
I don’t know what to do next to help promote my book. And frankly, I’m exhausted. I’m lounging with my laptop, glancing at Amazon and GoodReads, checking my inbox for messages. I know I have blog interviews to complete, but it’s tough to answer repetitive questions in new and interesting ways. And it doesn’t help that I have three books under serious consideration right now and it feels like they’re taking forever to work their way through the system. I feel very much in limbo, without direction. Maybe I need to consult with North West.
I suppose this is why so many writers have a schedule, a set routine. I am not one of those people. I have never been good with routines, tap dance or otherwise. But I see the advantage of the same-old, same-old. If I were a scheduled, disciplined person I’d be writing every day, no matter what, Post Book-Launch Stress Disorder be damned. Like Roald Dahl, I’d stroll to my writing hut, plop down in my comfy chair and grasp my Number 2 Ticonderoga, watching it fly across the legal pad. But no. I sit here. And wonder what comes next.
I never had an actual book launch party. I don’t like planning parties and it seemed like a frivolous expense. Friends assured me you only release a book once—celebrate! Plus, my husband said the party is to thank everyone who has helped me over the years, not necessarily to toot my own horn. But it felt like tooting, and frankly, I’m tired of tooting. (P.S. To the seven-year-olds reading this, NOT THOSE KINDS OF TOOTS.)
It’s hard not to toot when someone blogs beautifully about your book, or when it winds up in a major newspaper. But I fear I may be getting overexposed. Maybe I need to consult with North West.
All this is to say I have no plan. Wednesday was the last day of school for my children and I’ve realized the summer is here and I NEED A PLAN. They’re going to camp, but it’s only half days, which leaves me little time to write. Did I say I need a plan?
Anyone got a plan for beating Post Book-Launch Stress Disorder?