In the dream, my new release hits number one on the bestseller charts. Readers burn through my back catalogue and buy everything I’ve ever written. And someone super-important (after they beg profusely) pays me a large amount of money to get me to complete my next project. I have the same dream prior to the release of every book. The day I don’t have that dream is the day I’ll stop publishing and only write for pleasure.
Before the dream though, cometh the fears. While ensconced in the writing cave, I suffer the same anxieties that most writers experience. I wonder if my garbled words are making sense. I question whether I’m going to be able to finish the story in a way that works. And I scratch my head and deliberate whether the quality of my writing will be enough to entertain my readers. That particular fear is relentless as it pursues me. Despite that, I always manage to push through all the insecurities. I have to. And when I finish and revise after my alpha and beta readers offer their thoughts, the fear dissipates a little. And then, the dream begins.
I have a new book coming out soon. I’ve finished writing, it’s edited and currently sitting with a publisher while they ponder whether to roll the dice with my work. If they decide to run with it that’s great, but if not I’ll publish it myself. Then I’ll get Mailchimp puffing and huffing to let everyone know that the book is available. I’ll plan a new-release promotion here and there. I’ll spread the word on social media. And then, the night of the release, I’ll sleep. And I’ll have one last night with the dream. Then, comes the reality.
And who knows what that will bring? I have a friend whose new release is sitting in the top five overall on Amazon right now. I have colleagues who are connecting with hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of readers. So, there’s always the possibility that this might be “the one.” I’ve built my email subscriber list to the point where it’s in the thousands (thank you Instafreebie), and this book is the third of a trilogy so I have readers waiting to check it out. And, I’ve been there before. The first book in this series hit top five on Amazon’s charts back in 2012. So, I know it can happen. And, if it doesn’t, and the reality falls considerably short of the dream, I have another project I’m working on. And then the cycle will begin again.
I think it’s a good bet that most writers feel this way. Do you?
If you have a new release coming up I hope the reality matches the dream for you. Good luck!
21 thoughts on “The Fear, The Dream, and The Reality – Releasing A New Book”
Congrats on the new book, Martin; it’s a good one, and I can attest to that. I just released my latest a couple weeks ago, but I’m afraid I don’t have time for the dream. Too busy working on the next one already. I don’t know what’s happened, but I’ve released 5 books in 12 months (and I never do this!). Seems like as soon as I finish one and send it off to beta readers, a new idea grabs hold of me and I’m off to the races. However, the one thing I do share with you (and a zillion others) is the doubt, the second guessing. Seems like I struggle through the middle of every book, but eventually it sorts itself out. Thank goodness. This whole process is such a roller coaster, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love it. Good luck with the new book. It’s excellent.
Thank you Melissa, and wow, I envy your output. That’s really amazing. Good luck with all of your books!
I’m in the same boat, well except for having hit top 5 on Amazon at any point. I’m currently editing my 2nd title for this phase of my publishing life (I was previously published many years ago under another name) and with every day I wonder if people are going to like what I’ve written, if they’re going to buy it, and if I will make enough money to pay the bills.
I know from my previous time as a published author that I write well enough to make a living, but that knowledge isn’t sufficient to overcome the anxiety.
I have plenty of books to release, so I’ll keep going with this business no matter what happens, but that does nothing to hold at bay the fear I feel from the moment I start writing to the moment I hit the publish button and beyond.
It’s “imposter syndrome” isn’t it. And, there’s no reason that we should experience it. You’ve made your mark and proven that you can earn from your writing but it still comes back. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing if it keeps us humble. Good luck with your new title, Alex!
That’s true, I’d rather feel like this than get too big-headed and start believing I’m better than I am.
Thanks, and best of luck with your book, may it do better than your previous titles, and pull them up with it.
So familiar, Martin. Very good luck with your new release!
Thank you Wendy!
Exactly the same with me, Martin.
I have that dream every time I release a new book, but reality soon sets in. Mind you, I still get a thrill each time a reader gives me a decent review. It’s exciting, this life, eh?
Thanks for the post. Glad I’m not alone in my delusions. 🙂
You’re not alone, no. And you’re right, it’s the thrill of the chase I think. Then the work starts all over again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thanks, Martin. Articles like this remind us we are not alone with our doubts!
Good luck with the release.
Thank you Mel, I’m just about to Google how to submit for a Pulitzer. I feel really good about this book. But then again I haven’t released it yet.
Good luck, I don’t think I would ever dare submit for something like that, I’m too afraid of the rejection, so I applaud anyone who even dreams of it.
Sorry, Alex, I needed to insert a sarcasm emoji after my comment. If I can hit a couple of hot new releases list and place high on the charts I’ll be happy. Pulitzer doesn’t even make it into the dream.
Congrats on the new book, Martin, and I hope it’s a tremendous success! I go through a tsunami of emotions with each new release—and I’m glad for it.
Thank you Laurie!
Talking my language, Martin, as only another writer can. The “dream part” is out the window for me; I’ll never find a large enough audience for my books. Part of that is my fault: I write stories that live in my heart, not stories destined to sell. I also fail to promote my novels. I did, at first, but my efforts netted little results. For a while, a book would ascend in ranking; but when the FREE offer ended and I stopped advertising, the title crashed back down. That’s my “reality.”
On a positive note, I’ve always written for pleasure. I view writing as a gift that should be used. I challenge myself to improve my craft, and that, too, gives me a sense of joy and accomplishment. Writing has enriched my life in more ways than I could have imagined.
Congrats on your new release. When the book comes out, I’ll gladly share the happy news!
I am so with you on this Linda! My editor continually asks me who I am writing for. More often than not, I find I am writing for myself. My latest book “Bucked Off” was a book of healing after my husband died. Put my heart right out on my sleeve and threw it out to the masses not having a clue how it would be received. Not caring either. Reviews have all been as heart-felt as the book and for that I am grateful. Kudos to Martin and anyone else that has chosen writing as a way to make a living. I would be able to live on the Poverty Pledge level because I don’t spend enough time distributing either. It’s way more fun to live life and write about it than try and induce people to buy them.
Congratulations, Martin, and all the very best for the latest book. I think we all share the dream in one form or another. I know I do/did, but I console myself with the thought that each book is one more in my body of work. When one of my babies finally hits the jackpot, it’ll have lots of brethren to keep the party going. 😀
Yes, little victories and brief shining moments. I’ll take them all. Thank you A.C.
I do, and I do . . .
Wishing us both success! 😉
I’m a little late at this scene but I wish you the best, Martin. Congratulations on another book.
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