Thursday, July 2, 2009
How do you handle the fear in publishing? My debut novel, A Case of Infatuation, is now on the streets. I’ve sold a copy to my boss, and my extended family has purchased their copy. I am sure they didn’t sit right down and read it cover to cover so I don’t know what they think yet. Part of me wants to hear how much they love it and part of me would appreciate their honest feedback. The problem is the fear of the unknown. What if they hate it? What if it is terrible?
You spend a year writing and another six months editing and then polish the dreaded synopsis until it shines and you send it out to editors and agents looking for a nod of approval. For a while, all you get is rejections. You question, but you don’t give up. In my case, I gave myself a deadline and entered a contest. My publisher, Billie Johnson, saw something in it and I won a publishing contract. I am very grateful for that, it is a dream come true. Now the hard part begins, promoting it. I spent three glorious days at the Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas learning the ins and out of promoting (and lots of other things). I met two of the most internet savvy women who shared their lessons. The down side of promoting is you have to face your fear. You wrote the book to bring something to people, it is time to see if there is some big glaring error you missed. You still hold your breath when someone says, I read you book. I am scared as people I know have brought the book and how will you handle it if someone doesn't like it? The fear can paralyze you. You want to buy all the copies and keep them. The hardest part of the last two weeks has been overcoming the fear. I don’t think I have it totally mastered yet but I do have a plan for critics. Just smile and say thanks for reading it and mentally channeling the best from Gone with the Wind: Scarlett O'Hara’s southern charm on the outside and Rhett Butler’s memorable quote: “Frankly,
Scarlett, I don’t give a damn,” on the inside. I would be interested in hearing how you handle it.
A Case of Infatuation – a Mitch Malone Mystery