I had a conversation with my publisher last week about how my pre-launch outreach was going. I was freaking out: I felt supremely inadequate, and like I was not only letting myself down, but all my beta readers, friends, and family who have supported me and believed that I can be an author. Obviously, there are some flaws in my logic.
My publisher reminded me, quite seriously, that "you only publish your first book once." It might seem like well no duh, but the statement really hit home for me. He emphasized the importance of enjoying this time, of reveling in the fact that I'm about to be a published author, and of not spending so much time stressing that I forget to enjoy this experience.
Launching your first book - or any book - does not have to be perfect. Not even close. Unlike a blockbuster movie, the first day of release doesn't actually matter that much. There will be a second release of a hardcover, and a third of an audiobook. My "launch" is really the whole month of December, and I'll be a freshly published author through the next six to eight months. There's zero reason to rush, or to set my expectations so unreasonably high I couldn't possibly meet them. It's absolutely ridiculous that I should feel disappointed in the fact that I'm publishing a book. That's literally the dream.
So, what I promise you is to share this launch journey. I'll put together tips and tricks on podcast interviews as I figure them out. I'll share where I promote and how I make those decisions when I make them. I'll give you my advice on reaching out to reviewers in near-real-time. It's a trip we'll take together, because there's no right way to do it.
Whether or not you're publishing your first book like me, taking on a new job, or just doing something different and scary, don't forget the whole reason you're doing it in the first place: because it's a dream. You deserve to enjoy the experience and not spend the whole time stressing that it should be perfect because, spoiler alert: nothing is perfect.
Bridget is the author of Summer Twilight, available for purchase now!