Woo hoo, My Book is Out! Oh, Hell, My Book is Out

- by Eileen Dreyer

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. My new book, BARELY A LADY, came out this week. Anyone who has ever wanted to be published would assume that it would be a moment of unfettered joy, marked by fireworks, happy dances and rainbows. Champagne would be popped; Michael Buble would be singing in the background. Little girls would toss rose petals at my feet as I walk past. The only thing missing would be a dramatic reading by Hugh Jackman.

Yeah, I can hear all you multi-published authors snorting soda out your noses.

Not that it truly isn’t a wonderful moment. By God, it really is. After all, I took a huge chance and veered in a completely different direction in my career. Instead of researching SWAT teams and post mortems, suddenly I was looking up Regency fashion and the cavalry battalions that fought at Waterloo. I finally got the chance to follow a direction I’ve wanted to follow for years and came up with a series set in the Regency period. Don’t tell anyone, but I figured I’d won just to have the thing accepted.

But it actually made it to the stands. So I should be wallowing in my success, right? Don’t be silly. First of all, we never get to enjoy any success in a vacuum. By the time the book you’ve taken that big chance on actually comes out, you’re so immersed in the rewrites on the manuscript that comes two books later, you can barely remember the characters’ names of the book you’re supposed to be celebrating. You’re distracted by blogging and Facebook and Twitter, and trying to organize contests and appearances and newsletters.

But that isn’t the worst of it. The worst is that you’re compelled to go to the nearest bookstores, just to torment yourself. If the book isn’t there, you wonder if it’s even been ordered. If it is there, you wonder why they didn’t order more. If there are a lot, you worry about why it hasn’t sold.

You see, for some reason, it is impossible to just celebrate the success of the moment. It never occurs to you that the book you’re so proud of is selling well. And if you actually have the guts to ask the staff about sales, and they tell you the book is selling well, you immediately head to another store to prove them wrong. If you get good reviews from Romantic Times and Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal, you run right to Amazon so you can pour the public reviewing snark over your head like acid. And anybody who says they don’t is lying.

But this time I swear I’m going to try and break the cycle. Oh, I’ll probably go to the bookstores. But I’ve decided that I will believe the best. At least until I’m proved miserably wrong.

Sigh. See? It’s a hard habit to break.

16 comments

  1. the reseach i would love to do, LOL i cant write though

  2. You’ve captured it perfectly, Eileen. The thanks and the angst, the yin and the yang of publication. The rest of us will just have to celebrate for you.

  3. Okay, this caused the soda spew: you run right to Amazon so you can pour the public reviewing snark over your head like acid.

    Too funny, and too true. Most of the time we’re too caught up in producing the well-turned phrase to enjoy the well-earned delight of having a book published.

    But BARELY A LADY sounds fabulous. I adore historicals, so will look forward to this one.

  4. I bought your book because you mentioned it on Facebook–and I bought it without reading the back; it had your name on the front and that was all I needed to know! Great book, BTW–please write faster:)
    Debbie Holland

  5. Oh so very true! Especially the part about not being able to remember the characters’ names because you’ve been on to the next book for months and months. I love historicals too and will go right out and buy BARELY A LADY. Congratulations on the release!

  6. I found the book in the new book section of Borders yesterday (the store right next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. There is now one less there. I got my copy for 33% off due to the coupon that Borders had just emailed to me. (big smile on face right now)!

  7. Thanks everybody. I know you know how it feels.

  8. I am very excited for you, Eileen. It’s like that song: “Feels like the first time. Feels like the very first time.” I imagine that’s what it must also be like for someone, like yourself, who has had several books published but ventures into new territory.

    Can’t wait to get my own copy to enjoy!

  9. Not only can you not remember the all the characters names I can’t always remember the scene that some lovely fan wants to talk about and ask what your motivation was. Well, actually, I never know my motivation anyway. I just write without digging into my brian for a motivation. NOW I do often think about the character’s motivation. Why did they kill “Jane?”
    Congratulations Eileen. And thanks for a funny blog entry.

  10. Oh, Jan, you’re so right. Recently I spoke to a book group that wanted to discuss one of my suspenses. I felt completely blindsided. My brain was completely in 19th century Britain and they’re asking when I knew my heroine’s secret. I couldn’t figure out what blinkin’ secret they were talking about (talk about tap dancing fast).

  11. Well, Eileen, I was hoping for another of your exciting forensic thrillers but you know I’ll buy this Regency romance just because you wrote it though, normally, it’s not my sort of thing. You couldn’t throw in a dead body or two somewhere in there?

    As for remembering the characters in your book, hey, there are times I mix up the names of my three sons and they’ve all been with me for over a quarter of a century.

    By the way, at the ripe old age of 65, I finally published my first book of poetry, “Life’s Journey” – it’s out on Amazon. My picture on the cover is of me with a big glass of red wine!

  12. Your book is in the new paperback rack at my local Borders. Two slots, face out. One slot only had one copy left, so I grabbed mine from the one above. Started reading last night.
    My God, you’re good. You don’t need dead bodies for emotional impact. Your writing sings.

  13. Carmen, as a matter of fact, there is a body. Just for you. ;-}. And of course you have a glass of wine. I wouldn’t recognize you any other way. Congrats!!

    Virginia, what can I say? I owe you money. Thank you.

  14. Congratulation, Eileen, that’s fabulous. It’s always a thrill to hold a new release in your hand.I am making the switch from mysteries back to romance now too. I love Regencies, having gotten hooked on reading romances with Barbara Cartland novels. I’m sure your book will be an exciting read.

  15. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Been there and done all that! Great post, Eileen, and congrats on the new book!

  16. Nancy, it’s an interesting road, isn’t it?

    Julianne, thank you so much.

    Now,back to angsting….