5 Myths about Your Book's Pub Day
Holy smokes, Sparklers, MY BOOK IS OUT TODAY! After all the blood, sweat, and tears (and belly bagel's worth of "research" eating), you can actually go into a bookstore and hold Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous in your hot little hands.
This is my fourth book and third YA novel to be published (under my name—yes, I actually have a pen name that I use on occasion, and the first Sparkler to post it in the comments gets a signed copy of Pizza). Since my first book came out, I've learned a thing or two about the realities of Pub Day (which is what we in the industry call the day your book is released) and the myths surrounding having a book published. For those aspiring authors out there, I will debunk a few of them for you:
1.) Everyone else cares about your Pub Day as much as you do. Maybe it's because publishing a book feels kind of like birthing a baby, but for some reason, when my first book was published, I expected ticker tape, balloons, at least flowers. The reality: Yesterday I told my boyfriend I was going to pick up a bottle of champagne to celebrate, and he asked what I was celebrating. I promptly popped the cork into his eye socket. Look, I have incredibly supportive friends and family (and, for the record, my boyfriend has read all my books). They are the wind beneath my wings, but the truth is everyone else in your life has stuff going on too. No one throws a parade for your mom when she gets the PTA to pass new school crossing regulations. No one sends your brother a Teleflora Sassy Sunflowers™ bouquet when he finally completes the booger wall by his bed. Yes, everyone is very proud and very excited for you, but if you spend your whole day waiting for the singing telegram to arrive, you will be disappointed. You're much better off fishing for congratulations on Facebook and Twitter.
2.) You will open up Amazon, and your book will be ranked in the top 1,000. Pfffffttttttt. This one is particularly amusing. Pizza is currently ranked at #303,238. If we all band together, we can maybe break the 100,000 barrier. And, yes, I realize getting on The Today Show would help my book sales. Thanks for the suggestion. Can I get Hoda's phone number from you?
3.) The $$$$ will start rolling in. Here's how most book contracts work: The publisher offers you a lump sum of money as an advance on future sales. Unless you are John Green or J.K. Rowling, by the time the book comes out, you have probably spent that money to, you know, live. If you sell enough books to make back that money for the publisher, then you start to get royalties (a small percentage of each book sold). That doesn't happen to most small-time writers. Which is why, on this auspicious day when I get to see my years of hard work bound on a shelf, I have approximately $12 in my bank account.
4.) There will be paparazzi staked out in front of your house. I have no idea where this idea came from other than some perverse sense of self-importance on my part.
5.) It will be the best day of your year. Okay, this one is true. Despite the inevitable post-partum "this is it?" feeling, Pub Day is actually pretty awesome. You wrote a freaking book, goshdarnit!!!! A book someone actually thought other people would want to read! You can walk into a store and see it on the shelf! You can move it to the Bestsellers table in the front of the store! You can be escorted from the bookstore and not give a damn because—you published a book, you brilliant, sexy beast, you! Unless you win the lottery next week, Pub Day will certainly be in your year-end highlights.
I hope you will check out the book (and my website, to see if I'll be doing any events in your area). And I mean it about giving away a signed copy. Find out my sometimes-pen name and be the first to post it in the comments, and it will be on its way.