Monday 20 November 2023

Book Releases: Do They Get Easier?


Last Tuesday, I released my 21st book, Invisible (buy here) and I've had this same question asked of me many times in the years that I've been publishing. I've been doing this for eighteen years now, and while my first publishing experience was more excitement and backseat (because I didn't know what I was doing and focused on the being published rather than marketing and the like) every single one since has been more intense and more about getting the word out and making sure everything is done on time and in the right place.

I have to say that while some things have changed and gotten more streamlined, other things have stayed the same and are always stressful. If you think about what you have to get done to be published, then it's a lot of stuff, and it all has to be done by a certain date and in a certain way. I find that I always get more stressed and anxious once the hard work, namely editing and such, are out of the way because there is nothing I can do to change the book and it's in the state it's in and that's all final.

For me, the publishing process has never gone smoothly. I personally don't think it ever does go smoothly, but I can only ever talk about my own experiences. There's always a deadline missed somewhere, or ARC readers who don't follow through, or a problem with the paperback, and on and on it goes. I could spend a very long time laying out the many ways things have gone wrong over the years, but I won't do that because I really don't have the energy nor do I want to put people off.

But when it comes to things getting easier, they do and they don't. You get more used to dealing with delays or issues. You have a better understanding of how things work in indie publishing, you might have a bigger following and therefore attract more pre-orders and the like, or you might just have better contacts when it comes to getting the word out. I think it might feel easier for some because you have all this knowledge and understanding about it all that makes that part of it less stressful.

Think about it, someone first starting out won't know all about the deadlines and blips along the way, and since this is their debut, they're going to want things to go as smoothly as possible. Now they may have mitigated the issues of not knowing by doing a whole ton of research, which is something that I highly, highly recommend doing, but some blips come from places where you can't research and know ahead of time. Sometimes you're thrown into the deep end and you just gotta work out how you're going to keep your head above water.

Like I've had editors abandon my project mid-way through, and then had to scurry around to find a brand new editor, and hope they can get things finished in time. Of course you can avoid that problem by not setting a release date and the like until the book is completely done, but I hadn't done that because I'd used this editor for a number of projects and felt like I could rely on them to get things done in time. Long story short, I did find a new editor, and I did make the deadlines, but it was a lot of stress, and anxiety for all involved, and it's not something I'd ever want to happen again.

Now I don't want to give the impression that publishing a book is always a train ride along the stress and anxiety track, it's not. Invisible was actually the first book to give me fewer stress moments. The edits were done in time, the ARCs went out early. Pre-orders are up, I had my paperbacks before release day, and the promo has all be scheduled and is ready to go. So in that respect, it has been easier, but I do wonder if that's just because I was due a break there!

All in all, my answer is both yes, it does get easier, and no, it doesn't, because there are so many different ways for things to go wrong with publishing that you just have to roll the dice and hope you get the numbers you want!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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