Authors lead odd lives. Most of what people know of us we control through blog posts and books. Behind the scenes things are different. As I wait for next Tuesday’s launch of The Year Without Pants, my fifth book, I know precisely how taxing this time can be.
Psychologically this is the hardest time. I have three years invested in this project, but before launch there are no rewards. It’s in these days that there is the widest gap between how much effort has been put in, and the results (which don’t exist yet). People fear writing books for this reason: it’s the biggest commitment to writing you can have and it will be a long time before there is a payoff, if there is any at all. It’s also time when it’s clear that writing and marketing are two different things, but a successful book demands strong efforts at both.
If ever you wonder what us authors do during this period here’s a list.
The 7 things authors do before their book launches:
- Exchanging limbs / future offspring to journalists and bloggers in exchange for reviews of the book
- Offering of secondary organs to places that will let me speak about topics from the book
- Spending most waking hours in email pitching people, or answering interview questions, about the book
- Running up bar tabs larger than many 3rd world economies (there are reasons many authors have signature drinks)
- Figuring out how to ask for marketing help from friends and colleagues without being “annoying author friend”
- Making backup plans for changing identity via the Author Protection Program (APP), similar to the Witness Protection Program, but for writers of criminally bad books.
- And the best, but hardest, answer: Start work on the next book. Nothing can ever really stop a writer from writing.
I hope that satisfies your curiosity. Ask a question and I’ll answer.
Are you an author? What did you do during this odd period of time? Leave a comment.