1. I was monstrously mistaken in what I said previously: the US release date is and has always been July 29th. Eurasia has always been at war with Eastasia. And Amazon has always been a shameless two-timing prevaricator.
2. The UK launch date has been pushed back a couple weeks, date TBA. There was a printing error that necessitates re-printing and re-shipping the book, and believe me - it is TOTALLY worth the do-over. (Many thanks to our benevolent Thompson clan patriarch for the catch - I owe you big, Uncle S!)
Anyway, tomorrow begins the Twelve Days of Launchmas, which is to say, the countdown to the book release party on August 2nd. I'm excited about that - got a lot of cool stuff lined up - but before we get into that, I kinda wanted to do something to close out this past year I've spent in "pre-publication" mode. Suffice to say, it's been full of ups and downs (more ups than downs!), and I have learned one hell of a lot. I don't think I have the time or clarity to talk about that yet, but here in the meantime is a re-post of one of my favorite articles - one I originally wrote for the DFWcon blog last year. Basically, it's called
Five Secret Advantages of the Unpublished Author
because while I was out trail-blazing and socializing over the past year, I asked a few authorial celebrities a question: “What is special and wonderful about being an unknown? What do you miss about being new and unpublished?”
Here is what I found out!
Deborah Crombie at her DFWcon 2013 keynote address that I almost missed it. How true it is, though! When you are new, you have perfect freedom to carve out your own niche – the blend of genre and style that is uniquely yours. Nobody is going to refuse to pick up your steamy fantasy romance because your name is John Grisham and all anyone wants from you are murders and lawyers and sometimes murdered lawyers. You will never again have this golden opportunity to shape your voice, your brand, and your identity!
J.K. Cheney, who had no sooner staggered in the door from her eleventeen-hour drive from Oklahoma to San Antonio than was due at a panel, and then a meeting, with a dinner date lined up afterwards, and… you get the idea. When nobody knows who you are, you can be whoever you want – go to the events you like, hang out with the people you enjoy, and quit when you get tired. That’s pretty liberating.
Gini Koch bequeathed to me. Actually, her full thesis was closer to, “Write your ideas – all of them. Write as fast and as much as you can, for any story you’ve ever wanted to tell – get them down on paper. Because once you sell, contracts and deadlines pile up, and who knows when you’ll ever have that freedom again?” I’ll be honest – this one scares the dickens out of me. Writing because you love it is quite a different thing than writing because it’s due on Friday.
Rosemary Clement-Moore, with an “amen!” from several other authors. Granted, even unpublished writers are expected to be building that all-important platform these days, so this one can feel like a weight around your neck before anyone ever reads a word of your writing. But how wonderful it is to friend and follow just the people who bring joy to your life, post only when you have something to say, and do it all without hundreds of strangers watching and waiting to dissect your every virtual twitch!
Candace Havens. Maybe you think Twilight is the biggest load of glitter-crusted horse-apples ever to see print. All right. But once you publish, regardless of your genre or audience, Stephenie Meyer becomes your peer – and after you’ve been seated at the grown-ups’ table, it’s rarely a good idea to be seen flinging food at the other guests. (Actually, it’s best to do your kicking under the table, even when you’re still an unknown. The Internet is forever, and those caustic blog rants and gif-laden one-star book reviews have a depressingly long half-life.) For now, enjoy the freedom to read what you like and say what you feel (offline!), without having to worry about who you might be seated next to on a panel, or which backs you need to be scratching in order to get a blurb or a guest post or an ARC review.
Have no mean hours, but be grateful for every hour, and accept what it brings.