I'm sure there are more than five reasons a book release drives an author crazy, but let's not get overdramatic. In the interest of shared camaraderie, mutual anxiety and the release of collective laughter, I'm sharing my supposed top five:
- You don't yet have a fancy-schmancy facebook author page; you don't want to run a "facebook group" for your beloved offspring, er, book; and if you're being honest—you don't even like-like facebook. To which your publisher might reply: "We will pray for you! Did you know EVERYBODY is on Facebook?" Even your mother reminds you that she digs facebook and that she will link you up with her 236 friends if you create a page with that book cover on it. Oh, the pressure.
- You begin to have nightmares of a so-called "street-team." In your dreams, they are standing on street corners in black leather and waving copies of your book in the air. Your book title is tattooed on their muscular arms, and if the dream ends well, they simply get arrested for disturbing the peace. If it doesn't, well, You. Don't. Want. To. Know.
- Sometimes when you start daydreaming, you remember that story where author-girl went all creative and hid her new book in random places with directions for random strangers to randomly spread the word about its awesomeness. During a fit of self-doubt, you begin to assume this strategy would trump sending the book to your key influencers list, who might just be pretending to like you and that book of yours. You make a snap decision to hire a family member to carry out this renegade plan.
- Three months before said release of your manifesto, er, bestseller, a writer-friend happens to mention that someone sold X amount of copies of their first book in the first three months. Sadly, the sales weren't good enough and three publishers told her she will never publish again unless she wants to publish her own ebook or sell a self-published book out of her garage. The mere thought causes sweat to break out on your upper lip; causes you to forget everything you've ever heard about book promotion; and makes you alternately consider careers in a) pet-grooming or b) landscaping, where no one is likely to have heard of your measly attempt at publishing a collection of words.
- On your launch date, read a great article like 89 Book Marketing Ideas that Will Change Your Life. Realize that you have employed only 14 of these life-changing ideas, and begin to wonder if you did all you could to boost amazon numbers, build an award-winning blog, make a splash on goodreads, tweet to the twitter verse, face up to facebook, employ the wonders of google+, exploit pinterest and yak-it-up on youtube. Decide that 14 life-changing ideas are good enough and call it good—or simply adequate.
It's my hope that these top five will help you laugh at the insanity of the possibilities social media provides for today's authors and live happily within your personal limits. It is my humble ambition to do the same.
Your turn: What are other reasons a book release might drive you almost crazy?