Monday, 13 April 2020

The Trials Of An Indie Author: That Feeling Before Release


THE TRIALS OF AN INDIE AUTHOR: THAT FEELING BEFORE RELEASE 
 
I thought that since Lights On is being released next month, I would talk about not just what goes into being an indie author before release, but also the feelings and anxiety that goes along with it. I feel like it's not talked about as much as it should be. We talk about the highs, but we don't too often talk about the lows, and while I don't want to do a piece that talks completely about those lows, I feel like it's worth talking about.

So, for people who are new to my blog, or me, I have published sixteen books now, and Lights On will be number seventeen. I am solely an indie author and usually do two releases a year. I'm not a big fish, but I'm getting there, and I write young adult fiction through a variety of genres. So with that out of the way, let's talk about those highs and lows!

HIGH #1 ARC REVIEWS
The one thing that I really look forward to is getting ARC reviews back. I love checking to see if they've arrived and reading through them. Now I know not every author reads their reviews, but I do. I love seeing what a reader liked, and didn't like. I don't ever comment on reviews, but I adore getting to see them pop up. So in the run up to release, once the ARCs have gone out, I do love the anticipation of waiting for those reviews to come back. And so this is a definite high for me!

LOW #1 STRESS LEVELS
This might seem a big changed from the first high, but along with all the work that goes into a release, there's always a certain level of stress that goes along with it. The worry that people won't be done in time, like the cover design, the edits, the proof-read etc. You want to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch and from time to time, you do end up getting big issues along the way. Mostly this time around, things have been less stressful, but that doesn't change the anxiety that goes along with a release. It's a huge thing to release a book, and there's always gonna be that low-to-high level stress threaded through everything.

HIGH #2 HYPE BUILD UP

Now as I said above, I am still very much a small fish. I don't get the same amount of hype as some authors, but I do get some, and that build up, of readers either pre-ordering or getting ready for release can be a huge mood lift. It can keep you going and get you just as excited to hit that release day as everyone else. I personally do a seven day countdown when it comes to release day. I love getting to post that every day and I love the response I get to it. It's a great mood boost!

LOW #2 BURNOUT & FATIGUE

I don't know if this is just me, I'm pretty sure it's not because I've seen other authors talk about the burnout and fatigue that go along with a release. The fact of the matter is, you're pushing yourself for months before it, and then months afterwards. The promo and all the rest don't end when the book is out. You'll still be trying to market, still be keeping that hype build, and for me at least, still working on other projects. It's a quick way to end up barrelling towards burnout.

Now because I do two releases a year, I used to have them back to back. That was hell. I've since learned from my mistakes and release one in May and the other in October, giving me, and my editors and such, some breathing room. I have been done with all edits for Lights On since the end of March and am now in the thick of the developmental edits for my next release. Once I finish those, I'll have a month or two off before I start the next edit for the next release. And during that time, I gotta write other projects, so you can see where I'm going right? I am working hard, and because of that, the burnout has to be dealt with in small doses to try and not completely lose in during a developmental edit. It's an uphill battle, but one that I'm happy to be on.

HIGH #3 THE FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
I know this seems vague but I didn't want to end on a sour note. I don't know about other authors, but for me getting that book out, seeing it in the wild and seeing other people enjoy it, gives my mood a lift like nothing else. I've been published for almost fifteen years and I've never managed to lose the joy that comes from having my book out there in other people's hands.

At the end of the day, there are many highs and many lows that I've not mentioned here. Releasing a book is hard work, writing a book is hard work and all the steps in between are, you guessed it, hard work. There are a lot of behind the scenes stuff that goes along with being published and the work doesn't really ever end. Every author goes about it differently and everyone has a myriad of emotions when it comes to release day. Personally, I'm looking forward to people finally getting the second book in the Lights Out trilogy, just because the first was so well received, and I know a lot of my readers feel the same way, which is amazing to think about.

What are some of the highs and lows for you when it comes to releasing? Lemme know down in the comments!

To pre-order Lights On, you can go here, and don't forget to grab the SWAG that goes along with it here.


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