Launching a Book! (Panic Room to the Left)

My first book is releasing in ten days.  TEN DAYS!!!  I think it’s safe to confess that I am completely and totally freaking out right now!   I still have to reformat my manuscript for distribution on Smashwords.  (Apparently, e-books don’t do tab indents.  The only way I start a new paragraph is with tab indents!  Maybe it’s my academic background, but tab indents are like breathing to me.  I don’t think about it; I just do it.  And now they all have to come out.)

It looks like my print copies will be arriving on the actual day of my release, so that’s a load off.  I’m doing a release party and book signing that Saturday here where I live, and it kind of helps if you actually have books to sign…at a book signing.  But now comes another problem–I ordered 30.  (I have to pay for this upfront, and I am NOT Bill Gates, you feel me?)  I figured that would be enough for my friends and family to get one to Oooh and Aaah over for a couple days and leave me a few to send out for promotion.  Well, since announcing the event, I’m getting a lot of great response. Even people at my day job that I wouldn’t have thought would be interested are saying they’re coming–and want a copy.   Is 30 enough?  Should I get more?  If so, how many more?  (Wait–how much money was in my checking account again…….)

Promotion.  This, I feel, is quite possibly going to turn out to be the bane of my existence.  I have a FB account and only FB for years.  I now have an author page on FB, this blog, and a Twitter account (when I swore for years I would NEVER “tweet”.  I have now had to eat those words in a very large slice of humble pie).  I don’t feel like I’m on any of these nearly enough. Not like all the other authors are.  Is this bad? Does it make a difference?  Heck, is anyone even reading this post out there?   I have no idea…the indie world is now a vast ocean filled with hundreds upon thousands of great books and crappy books and kinda-good books, and I’m over in the corner going “PICK ME!  OO! PICK ME! (For some reason, I saw myself as Donkey from Shrek just now.)  Then, comes my other fear–Dear God, what if they pick me, and they HATE IT.  Most people assume that authors fear not making any money.  I’m not afraid I won’t make a million dollars–I KNOW that won’t happen. My absolute fear is that this story I have enjoyed for 18 months won’t resonate with anyone.

The upside to promotion– a wonderful book blog I follow, Book Club Gone Wrong (check her out, she’s awesome!), was celebrating 1,000 likes on their Facebook page with a 12-hour author take-over.  I figured “what the heck” and submitted an interest form.  I really didn’t think she would select me to participate since I’m virtually unknown and am “technically” still not published yet.  Lo and behold, a couple hours later I got an email asking which time slot I wanted on the event!  I couldn’t believe it!  Turned out I was going to be the closing author.  Wow!  Then, the panic set in.  What was I going to post about?  What if everyone dropped off when my turn came up? (Boy, my mental panic room has been getting a lot of use lately!)  I did two giveaways, and let the rest of my posts be about letting the lovely folks know about Seeking Solace and about me.  They threw me some really great and serious questions about my writing process, how I’ve managed self-publishing, what inspires me to write.  It was a great conversation with people from all over the globe!  (I felt like a pin-ball machine at times trying to make sure I kept up with all the comments, but I loved it.)

The other thing I’ve been freaking out about–smut (or the lack thereof).  It feels like all the book teasers you see for contemporary romance are RACY.  Which, let me clarify, is NOT a bad thing.  I read those books.  I love those books. Here’s my thing–my books (at least so far) really don’t tend to get that explicit in the love scenes.  There’s physicality, but in the end, I leave the really good stuff to your imagination, not in black and white on the page.  So, the visuals on my teasers are rather tame.  My panic about this— are readers going to bypass my book because there isn’t some almost naked couple on a bed in the teaser or a naked male torso on the cover?  I hope not.  (The semi-pathetic flip-side to this panic— my mother is going to have a stroke if she ever reads this book. For her, my tame little book would be the equivalent of reading erotica.  At least in her mind.)

So there’s the freak-out going on in my head.  It will likely continue for some time.  Heaven help me!  In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with my 2 tame, but lovely (I feel) teasers.

Teaser 1

Teaser 2