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What Authors Shouldn't Do . . .

So last week I talked about how great you all are, and this week I’ll share what authors are usually up to before a book comes out. Really, if you think we are all successful, well-adjusted and basically lofty individuals and you want to hold onto that delusion, please read no further. It only gets ugly from here.

Now most authors I know spend the two weeks before their book comes out fussing. Not just fussing, but pacing around. Waiting. You see we’ve spent months, years even waiting for this book to come out, for this story to get told and the closer the date gets the more anxious we get. All the excitement over the new contract, the thrill of starting a new book, the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing and mailing it in all sort of take a vacation. Or basically end up in that dead letter bin that I am sure we all have in the back of our heads. No, you’d think we’d be filled with excitement, filled with pride to see our work on the bookshelf. I hate to tell the truth, but mostly we just act up. Or throw up.

Because through all that time, doubts have crept into our confidence, and when the good intentions go on vacation, oh those doubts just have a field day. And of course, instead of telling ourselves that this book is great, special, or even reminding yourself of how much you loved it, even saying, “Heck Elizabeth, you cried when you were writing it,” we instead just resort to feeding those doubts. By surfing.

Now I have a stock rule that I don’t Google myself, I don’t read online reviews and I don’t go looking for trouble. But all bets are off just before a book comes out, because I just can’t help myself. I was over on the Rhapsody site the other day on the pretense of seeing if they had Tempted by the Night up yet (Well, of course they did. And I knew they did. But did that stop me? No.) Because they also have reviews oLLG about to set me straightf my other books up there. Before I got into the back handed compliment world of “I don’t really like this author, but this book was good” online chatter, I called my friend Laura Lee Guhrke. The conversation went something like this:

EB: My book is coming out.

LLG: Are you online? (Laura is like that, right to the point and more importantly, on point.)

EB: No . . . Of course not . . . Well, maybe . . . Just Rhapsody.

LLG: Elizbo, step away from the keyboard, take your hands off the mouse.

EB: Just one click. I just want to see one thing wrong with my books and then I’ll be better.

LLG: Don’t make me come to Seattle and slap you upside the head.

And she would. That’s why every writer needs a friend from Idaho. Those Boise girls are tough. The best sort of wing-man a writer can have. But then again, in about 30 days, my sensible, level-headed friend will be out on that ledge of insecurity, fussing over the cover, the title, the font of her next book, Secret Desires of a Gentleman. Yes, we even fuss over the fonts. Well, maybe Laura doesn’t, but I do.

Of course to spread the wealth of doubts and insecurity, I spend the two weeks before my book drops driving my website team crazing asking them to fix every little nitpick I can find or imagine on my website. Because I’ve been surfing and looking at everyone else’s sites. Luckily Wax doesn’t mind that I believe in spreading the love . . . or the angst around.

So please, it isn’t sucking up to tell me how much you want the book to come out, I adore hearing it. But I’ll get back to you after the 26th. In the meantime I’m feeling the urge to visit Google.

How do you act up before something important happens in your life? Who’s your Idaho buddy that talks you off the ledge? And they don’t even have to be from Idaho . . .

Remember to keep commenting. Every comment before August 25th is an entry into my Contest.

P.S.Β  Sometimes Google does turn up something good–like this review of Tempted by the Night done by Andrea Williamson for Romance Novel TV.Β  Drop by and leave a comment there–just because it’s good karma.

15 comments to “What Authors Shouldn't Do . . .”

  1. Haven
    August 18th, 2008 at 5:12 am · Link

    Well, I can tell you (and everyone who visits here) that I adored this book!! This book ROCKS! The font is great too hehe.

    I feel this angst today! Today is the launch of Risky Regencies and as the one who designed it, I’m nervous with how their readers will respond and so on. I’m a bleeding mess! I’ve only refreshed the site about a dozen times, in the last minute.

    Oh and am I the only one who gets both nervous and excited right before their birthdays? I always wonder what my husband is going to do (*cough* or get me hehe).

    PS. The font on LLG’s book is great too!

  2. Karen H in NC
    August 18th, 2008 at 5:55 am · Link

    I feel your angst too, just waiting for the book to be released! Maybe I shouldn’t pre-order so far in advance. I just keep looking at my order to see how much more time until it’s shipped. But, never fear…cover choices, fonts, colors, etc are all excellent.

  3. AndreaW
    August 18th, 2008 at 6:48 am · Link

    Glad you liked my review, Elizabeth, because I absolutely ADORED this book!! May it fly off the shelves! πŸ˜€

  4. Rachel Jessup
    August 18th, 2008 at 8:59 am · Link

    Lots of calm thoughts coming your way… πŸ™‚

    I tend to get so freaked out before something big, that I need to completely zone out. I’ll spend days watching more television than I’ve watched all month, doing a week’s worth of reading in a day or two, or even playing online word games. I don’t have an Idaho buddy, but I do have a dear Ohio buddy called Rosa who’s absolutely wonderful for venting and support; or if I need to get out of the house, my mom and sister are always good for lunch or an outing.

    Oh, and chocolate. There MUST be chocolate in the house, in various forms. πŸ˜‰

  5. cheryl c.
    August 18th, 2008 at 9:54 am · Link

    It’s perfectly normal for you to be nervous about your creation. We all long for love, respect, and acceptance no matter what it is we create.

    I think your worries this time are over. I read the Romance Novel TV review, and it was extremely complimentary. Don’t worry if you hear of an occasional mediocre review. Just remember that not everyone likes the same kind of books. Personally, I can’t wait to read the book!

    Gee, I hope this didn’t come across as patronizing. I just wanted to support and encourage you. (My youngest just left yesterday for college, so I am in need of someone to “mother” LOL!)

  6. Elizabeth
    August 18th, 2008 at 10:52 am · Link

    Cheryl, it isn’t so much the reviews, but the comments folks leave–those can really beat down the ego. I always think of my grandmother, who was first and foremost a very gracious lady, and she always would say, if you can’t say it to someone’s face, should you say it behind their back? And I think the internet allows people to give in to some very self-indulgent behavior and they end up saying things that they would never say in person. I know I’ve said things in email I would never say in person and regret them terribly. Of course, I’ve said things in person as well that ought not to be said, and boy do I feel my grandmother’s hand on the back of my head when I do it. But there is a delete key on one’s keyboard there for a reason and the fact that people go out of their way to say things that have no useful reference just boggles me. I don’t think people should refrain from saying they didn’t care for a book, but getting nasty over it is just bad karma.

  7. Keira Soleore
    August 18th, 2008 at 3:12 pm · Link

    Great review on RNTV, Elizbo and Andrea. So, no worries there, Elizbo, just some of us folks waiting, twiddling our thumbs for The Day to arrive. Now. Soon.

    Haven’s design on the Risky Regecies’ site is fantastic. No worries there, either.

  8. Haven
    August 18th, 2008 at 6:14 pm · Link

    Elizabeth, I’m a firm believer that karma will get you and it’s up to you to make sure that it comes back good.

    I also follow your grandmother’s saying. I view it as just having good manners.

    I think the best thing I can say about Tempted is: It’s MAGICAL!

  9. Stacy S
    August 19th, 2008 at 10:50 am · Link

    It’s pretty normal to be nervous/excited. I’m sure it’s going to be great.

  10. Sarita
    August 20th, 2008 at 5:25 am · Link

    I so understand this post. My next book releases September 1st. Trying to be calm here. πŸ™‚

  11. Emily Bryan
    August 20th, 2008 at 11:43 am · Link

    My dear Elizabeth (Love your name, BTW. Same as my oldest daughter!)

    It’s so rare that I find a writer who makes me forget I’m one too, one who sweeps me into their story so I’m not trying to deconstruct or study it. I’m too caught up in the pleasure of reading for those things. You are such a writer and I treasure you.

    Your writing is brilliant. I just read HIS MISTRESS BY MORNING and it was wonderful. So inventive. So fresh. Delightfully constructed. Sensual. Witty. It had everything. I’m certain TEMPTED is every bit its equal, but rest assured I intend to buy it on the 26th and find out!

    Best always,

  12. Lois
    August 20th, 2008 at 1:01 pm · Link

    LOLOLOL Well, alas, I haven’t had anything big happen in an incredibly long time, but I’d usually be scared out of my mind. . . then once it happens, I get over it. LOL πŸ™‚


  13. therese
    August 21st, 2008 at 9:02 am · Link

    I personally plow through with wit and will until all issues are resolved and the sunshine surrounds me. Then I crash into a bubbling mass of emotion.
    This makes everyone nuts because they wonder what my problem is, since everything is fine…

    I can’t wait for TEMPTED too!

  14. Michelle
    August 22nd, 2008 at 2:13 pm · Link

    I HATE WAITING! Did I say that loud enough? The only thing that helps when I am waiting for a book to be released (or waiting for anything else) is by making myself so busy that I don’t have time to think about it. – And trust me there is always something I’ve been putting off for way to long.

  15. Nathalie
    August 23rd, 2008 at 7:28 am · Link

    It must be hard to wait the release of your book as its success really depend on what others think of it and if they go buy it!

    I have to say I do have auto-buys though of my fav. authors.

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