So This Appears To Be Actually Happening.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 4.824% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

The weird thing about being an author is that months pass by when you are not.  As a general rule, you don’t get a lot of feedback as an author, particularly when you write short stories; maybe a couple of Twitter-mentions, maybe Lois Tilton reviews your tale, but mostly you write a story and it vanishes after a month and then you’re back to zilch.
I mean, you know you’re an author; you’re writing.  You’re talking to other writers.  But the feedback from the world is negligible.
And selling a novel is weird, because the feedback comes in clusters.  You get the acceptance, and it’s all WOO I CAN’T TELL MY FRIENDS YET HOLY GOD SIGN THE CONTRACT SIGN THE CONTRACT.  Then you make the announcement, and it’s a voluminous roar from your friends.
Then nothing.  Weeks and weeks of nothing.
Then you get the edits!  A flurry of activity.
Then nothing.
Then you get the copyedits!  A flurry of activity!
Then nothing.
Then the proofing!  And holy crap, is that more boring than I can convey!
And then weeks and weeks of nothing.
So my novel has been A Thing in my life, but months have passed by where it might as well have not existed.  You just sort of go on cruise control, like ya do with stories, where you wait for things to happen.
And now, things are starting to heat up.
After months of delay, the Advanced Reader Copies for reviewers are up on NetGalley.  People are starting to talk about this not just as “Hey, that thing that Ferrett is doing,” but as an actual book that they’re excited about.  I’m planning podcasts, blog tours, publicity – and for the record, if you want me to make a post for your blog or talk on your show, talk to me, I’ll go just about anywhere.
There’s that shivering excitement of knowing that strangers now have your book in their hands, and you hope they like it.
You oscillate between hope and despair – I’ll sell ten thousand copies!  No, you’ll be lucky to sell five hundred.  This will be a success!  They’ll hate it.  You’ve done everything you can – for me, sending in the final proofs felt slightly despairing, like, “This book is now as literally as good as it’s going to get” – and so you have that feeling of the roller coaster ratcheting upwards, knowing there’s a drop coming, unable to see over that rise in front of you.
Reviews are coming. And you’re either Ned Stark or Littlefinger.
Last night, I spent an hour writing, then an hour prepping an excerpt of my book to be read aloud in a podcast, then I answered interview questions for an hour.  The work is starting.  I’m still coordinating book tours, trying to figure out how all this works, getting the signing…
…and I know this will eventually explode.  In March there will be a flurry of Goodreads reviews, people telling me they loved it or hated it, I’ll watch my Amazon rating like it was my heartbeat when I was in the ER for cardiac arrest.
And sometime – I expect in May – it’ll all fade again.  It’ll become Just Another Book, the last thing people read, and it’ll probably have a little more traction than a short story, but this will dwindle to backlist.  It’ll be something I discuss, but the excitement?  Over.  Except for a few fans who, hopefully, will tell me how much they loved it.  (I hope I hope.)  I’ll have something to sign at conventions at long last.
But for right now, I’m in that zone where I can’t quite see the drop, but the rollercoaster is rattling harder, and I hear the people out in front whooping.  Is that a good whoop, and this is going to be a joyous ride?  Is it a bad whoop, where you discover this next rush is lame?
I don’t know.
Yet I can feel the pull of it.  Something is happening.  I’ve never gone over this hill before.  It’s going to be weirdly exciting even if the book flops – all the talking I’ll do, all the preparation, all the people treating these words I churned out like they were just some other book on the shelves.
I’m transitioning from “Oh my God this is important to me” to “Oh my God this is one of thousands of books published this year.”  It’ll be brutal.  It’ll be eye-opening.  It may even be profitable.
It’s coming, and the next six weeks are only going to get crazier.
 

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