My novel and I are in a strange twilight these days. I finished the book over a year ago, completed the edits for publication in January, and was handed a hard copy (two of them, in fact) last month.
For all intents and purposes, this book is ready to go.
Except that it isn’t.
There is much to learn, I’ve found, for a writer-of-books when it comes to publishing. And here is where I’m glad to have landed in a world of experts, because I am Nothing of the Kind when it comes to publishing. Or marketing, for that matter.
But back in July, when my editor and I sat down to talk about Maddie making her way into the world, Elizabeth told me that we could just let loose. We could, she said, do these final edits and go to print and be ready to sell books in a matter of weeks.
But that would absolutely kill the book, she said.
It would seem that (who knew?) people are everywhere writing. It would seem that thousands of books (millions?) are produced every year. It is easy–so easy–for a book to be one of a flood of new releases, noticed and loved for a minute, perhaps, or seen, maybe, or overlooked, or never noticed at all.
Without the months of waiting, without the marketing that is currently taking so much effort (mine and that of my publisher), Maddie would founder, would wreck, would quietly be washed away.
I worked way too hard and too long on this book to willingly let that happen.
And so we are in the marketing phase. We have hard copies of books–scores of them, in fact. Right now I am in possession of four copies and have given two away: one strategically, in the hopes of gaining interest, and one to a friend, because I needed to.
And other copies have made their way out to reviewers all over the place, while still others are electronically available to, again, book-reviewing people: people like bloggers, librarians, educators, journalists–all people who might choose to read Maddie and to find–as I hope–that they love her.
Meanwhile, this is a strange twilight for me, for my book. It’s a now-and-not-yet kind of time. The book is realized. Finished. And silent. And this is difficult.
If asked, I could give you a hundred reasons for my writing this book. But one of them is this: there are ideas here I am hungry to talk about.
As a wise friend recently said, “A book is an invitation,” and I could not agree more. Healing Maddie Brees is precisely this: Come in. Let’s talk. I was wondering what you think about this. And this. And this.
But you’ll have to read the book first. And I’ll have to wait until you can.
So the invitations are out, but not exactly. And the RSVP’s are coming back. But not really.
The waiting has begun.
If you are on Goodreads, I invite you to be an early reader! Enter to win one of five free copies. Here.