OPENING A BOOK
July 12, 2011
And by “opening,” I don’t mean the physical act of flipping open a book.
I mean releasing a book into the wild.
But it’s not at all like a film opening, or a Broadway opening. Films and plays get reviewed that day, there’s a big reaction from the public, you check the grosses, you know where you stand, you celebrate or commiserate, it’s all kind of figured out in about 24 ours.
A book opening, on the other hand, is basically the most important, anticipated, amazing non-event in the history of mankind.
My book “opened,” or officially launched, on July 5th. That’s a day that has been etched into my brain for, oh, let’s say eleven months. July 5th. July 5th. My book comes out July 5th.
On September 5th, I said “Hey! My book comes out ten months from today!”
On May 5th, I said “Holy crap! My book comes out two months from today!”
Meaning, on July 5th.
The weeks wound down. Then the days. Then the hours. Then the minutes, and the seconds, and the microseconds.
And then it was July 5th!
Guess what happened.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: I got a few lovely phone calls from friends and family, a couple of blogs ran interviews, my agent sent me a lovely deli spread (salami, people!), my office gave me a cake. And that’s about it.
But here’s the thing: I don’t mind the lack of fanfare. It’s the lack of any indication of how the book is landing that drives me a little crazy. Because there’s absolutely no way of knowing.
You can check Amazon rankings, but that’s an exercise in hair-pulling, since it seems to fluctuate by the thousands every hour. You can google your book title until you’re blue in the face, but you’ll just see the same entries over and over again. You can call your agent or editor and ask, but they’ll just say the same thing over and over again: “Give it time! It’s all good! Have some salami.”
You can drop by your local Barnes & Noble, but that doesn’t count, because it’s your LOCAL Barnes & Noble. If you can’t sell there, you can’t sell anywhere.
Now here we are a week later, and I’ve finally realized that the only thing to do is to not do anything. Whatever happens, happens. It’s out of my hands now, it’s all up to the book Gods. Let it go.
But I am going to check the Amazon rankings just one more time before bed.