Yesterday I was on a Facebook group when I ran across a post by a fellow writer who asked whether any of us were nervous when our first books came out. Mine isn’t out yet, so I told her that and then boldly stated that I didn’t think I’d get nervous. After all, I was never nervous about having my beta readers read the initial work and provide feedback. I wanted their negative thoughts. I needed their criticism in order to make the book better. My skin is tough, and so I don’t tend to bristle too much at their comments. In fact, I even made revisions to one part when a dear friend said, “I’m not buying this…it wouldn’t happen this way.” I made the changes, sent it back to her, and her response was “Yes! Much better!” So criticism doesn’t really concern me overmuch. Not every book resonates with ever reader and even my favorite authors sometimes miss the mark entirely.
Don’t misunderstand: I want people to like it. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I hope people will love it. But I’m expecting some negative reviews. Very few authors walk away from the review process completely unscathed. I’m prepared.
As the day went along, this question kept resurfacing. Was I nervous? Would I be nervous? I assured myself I wouldn’t. And then the doubts started to settle in…
What if nobody likes it?
What will my Aunt Mary think? I don’t know why her opinion is so important to me on this one, but it is. For some reason, I really want her to approve.
WHAT IF NOBODY BUYS IT??
Just as I started to settle down and talk myself down from the proverbial cliff, the publicist at Penner Publishing contacted me and asked how I felt about a couple of publicity giveaways. My response was a resounding YES! In fact, the oh-so-professional-me responded by changing the font size to über-large to make sure she could see it. Yes, I’m a dork. But I was so excited!
And then the fear set it. Things are starting to get real! Five months sounds like long time away, but it’s really not! The cover for my book should be done soon; they’ve been working on the back synopsis; my publicist is talking ISBNs and all other manner of foreign-language speak, and THINGS ARE STARTING TO GET REAL!
Now the nerves set it. What if nobody buys the book? That’s my biggest fear. Hit me with your bad reviews — I can take it. But if nobody bought a copy (or so few that it looks like only my immediate family), I think I might die of shame.
Self-confidence: I’ve never lacked for it, so this is a foreign experience. The only cure for the fear is to wait and see. I hope y’all like it — I really do. And I hope that at least a few of you pick up copies.
The Edge of Nowhere is scheduled for a January release. Inspired by my own family’s struggles during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, this novel is the story of one woman’s courage and tenacity in the face of overwhelming adversity. For more information and a synopsis of this book, follow this link.