By Tosca Lee
So, it’s been a few years.
I have friends who put out a book a year. Sometimes two. I have one friend releasing three this year.
But it’s been nearly four years since my last book release, and now with the May 2 release date for my upcoming WWII novel with Marcus Brotherton approaching, alllll the crazy jitters are there.
Don’t get me wrong—they’ve been there. They’re there when pitching a new idea to a publisher. They’re there during the writing.
But now the jitters are out in droves. Will my readers like this book? Will the reviewers like it? Will it sell well enough for the publisher to want my next book, too?
You’ve heard of affirmations, right? I have a practice in my writing life called Writing Non-Affirmations. My list goes something like this:
- “Your mom is going to read this.”
- “Your ex is going to read this.”
- “Your shrink will read this. And think he failed.”
- “Publisher’s Weekly will hate you. (Kirkus has never liked you anyway.)”
- “Your editor is rolling her eyes at you. You are her problem author.”
- “Your agent is thinking of dumping you.”
- “You never really learned how to do this.”
- “You could be doing something productive with your life. Like cleaning your vacuums.”
- “You will never get anyone to buy this.”
- “Your publisher will want their money back.”
- “You will end up selling knockoff sunglasses at a mall kiosk.”
- “And eating Ramen noodles the rest of your life.”
- “You will have to go away and become a hermit and change your name to escape the public spectacle that this writing will make of you.”
By the time I get to the disasterized end, I’ve usually exorcised the demons enough to set aside the imposter syndrome that plagues every author I know and get on with the work of writing deep into the night with something approaching glee—and the occasional maniacal giggle.
Yup, glee and giggles. Because every author I know loves giving readers the great adventures they long for, building exciting roller coasters of tales with all the twists and turns. They love the work, and the joy of plotting stomach-churning drops and head-spinning twists (“wait ‘til they get to this part!”).
At the end of the day, the nerves come because we can’t wait for you to take the ride we’ve designed especially for you.
That’s how I feel today on the cusp of The Long March Home‘s release: so excited for you to join me on a journey that begins in 1930s Mobile, Alabama, and takes us to the Philippines in 1941 as preacher’s son Jimmy Propfield and his two best friends struggle to survive war in the Pacific and return home to the families—and loves—they left behind.
Want to help this book find its way in the world? Here are some suggestions guaranteed to help support any new release or author’s work you enjoy:
- Preorder the book. Preorders send a clear message to the publisher that readers are excited (and that the publisher should fully support this release with marketing). Bonus: many publishers offer preorder gifts. For instance, preorder The Long March Home and you’ll receive the audiobook and the secret epilogue free. Details here: https://www.thelongmarchhomebook.com.
- Request the book from your local and/or school library. You can usually do this online in moments, and it’s free.
- Follow the author on Goodreads, BookBub, and Amazon. You’ll receive notices when their books release, and on Goodreads you can enter to win advance or new copies of many authors’ books.
- Share the word! Tell your reader friends. Post on social media. Add the book to your Goodreads shelf. Suggest the book to your book club—and then invite the author to join your meeting virtually or in person.
- Leave a review. A review is one of the best gifts you can give an author. It doesn’t have to be long—just honest. Copy and paste the same review to Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and any other retailer of your choice.
- Loved the book? Gift a copy to a friend. Books make the best gifts!
Addendum: Two weeks ago, the first review for The Long March Home came out from Publishers Weekly—with a bright shiny star on it.
But the jury’s still out with Kirkus.