You’ve worked nonstop on this manuscript for months, an uphill battle you thought you’d never win. But now, finally, after painful revisions and thirty-seven proofreads and scheduling your release posts and promos and swimming in a pool of your own sweat and tears, your baby is going out into the world.
Cue the letdown.
No one told you it would be this way. Release day is the thing you’ve been working toward all along, and yet, here you are, alone at your desk, watching a string of absolutely nothing happening on your computer screen. Hopefully you have a slew of readers and fans who anxiously await each book, but even those die-hard book lovers will have to disappear for a while to actually read the book.
And here you are, floating aimlessly as you wait for some big event that’s not an event at all. Just like writing, publishing is a series of slow-moving steps that only look like an occasion when looking back on the time as a whole. It is wonderful and exciting and something you should be proud of, but instead, because we expect something from it, release day can become a pit in which anxiety and disappointment thrives.
Will they like your book? Will it sell well? Will sales push for more in the series? What if they hate it? What if you made a mistake? What if you’re ridiculed and laughed out of writing society altogether?
Much like the irrational anxieties of day to day writing, it helps to be prepared for possible release day letdown. First of all, find something to do. Probably, you’ve scheduled most of your release announcements and posts, so after a few quick checks to social media to like and comment where those were shared, you’ve got nothing planned the rest of the day. Or, possibly, the rest of forever. It’s time to take charge, and remove yourself from the inevitable nothing that’s coming.
Things you can do to keep your release positive:
- Reward yourself for a job well done. Do something you love, something relaxing or something fun. Something you rarely let yourself do. Veg out with Netflix guilt free, take yourself shopping for a Finished Book Reward. Unplug from internet and electronics, go to a park, enjoy the life you’ve been missing while you were locked in your writing cave.
- Get back to work, if that’s your thing. Many of us need that time to recharge, but if you feel icky when you’re idle or want to use that release day energy to be productive, go right ahead. Write that new book you’ve been thinking of, bash out some fanfic, clean that pile of filth in the corner of your office you’ve been ignoring. (That last one might be just me.) Whatever you do, do it guilt free, because you’ve earned this time.
- Plan reader events and groups. Spend your time with a read along, or doing giveaways. Whatever gives you pleasure and fills your time, make it happen.
- Make a date with friends or loved ones. Remember that there is real life outside of your computer, and in order to write well, you need to sometimes live it.
- Travel. Even if it’s just a nearby park or tourist site, take a drive and see something out of your ordinary. Get inspired. Fill up your tank for when you’re ready to start again.