Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Empty nest

So here's the stuff they don't tell you...or the stuff you're not ready to listen to...when you're going to all those workshops and conferences, polishing those three-line elevator pitches, focusing on taking a machete to every instance of the word "that" or the word "was" because that's what they told you to do in your critique group...and sending out all those query letters to agents and submission packages to editors...hoping to one-day be PUBLISHED.

Publishing is, as you may have heard, a business. It's thrilling. And it's also kind of exhausting.  So much to do. So much that isn't...writing. (Like, right now I'm fiddling about, obsessed with Jeannnie Lin's clever idea of Romance Trading Cards. Which, huzzah! Angela Waters, the fabulous artist who created my gorgeous HEALING HEARTS cover, has agreed to design for me.)

And then there's all that larking about, here and there on various social media sites, hawking your, er, wares.

And then...there are reviews.

When SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, my erotic paranormal for The Wild Rose Press came out, it was a hurried thing with a small window of opportunity, because the publisher, editor and I were all trying to get the book out in time for Halloween -- when it had only been contracted about two months before. There were few reviews. None in advance of the release. Mostly from my friends.



But for HEALING HEARTS, the reviews started coming out even before the book was released. People were reading it. People I didn't know were actually discussing it! Debating it, even! I felt like Goldilocks. People were telling me it was too short, too long, too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, just right. They wished they were the heroine, Emma; they were in love with the hero, Adam.

(Oh, no. Wait. You can't have him. He's mine. Um, I mean...he's Emma's.)


So your baby is not exclusively your baby anymore. It's what you wanted, didn't you?  But...you kind of go through empty nest syndrome anyway. You've launched your newly-hatched (no matter how long the labor pains) chick out into the wide, wide world. And now it must flap its wings on its own. Sink or swim. You've done what you can.

It's time to step aside.  And move on.

No matter how tempting it is to keep wandering into its room (or its slot at CarinaPress.com or Amazon or Goodreads) and moon over its picture! (Or gorgeous cover.) Which you've become obsessed with making romance trading cards out of.

17 comments:

Wendy S Marcus said...

I'm nervous about people discussing and reviewing my book. Did you get any negative reviews? How did you handle them? And I'm still in the obsessed phase. (I can't stop myself from visiting Amazon UK every day...(several times a day) to check on the cover of my first book. And check the sales ranking (even though it doesn't officially comeout until June). I'm an absolute NUT. But it sounds like you did the same. It's exhausting!

Wendy S Marcus said...

Oh. And totally counterproductive!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Here's a tip...the UK cover isn't going to change! LOL!

Patricia Preston said...

I work a full-time job so it is hard to find enough time to get all the other stuff done plus writing. I'm never caught up.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Same here.

Wendy Soliman said...

So true, Taryn, couldn't have put it better myself. You want people to read it, to review it, but obviously they won't say anything nasty, or suggest improvements. How can you improve on perfection. Still, just like rejection, criticism gets easier to take with experience. Trust me, I know about what I speak!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

It's a bizarre trip, isn't it Taryn? But worth it!

heatherthurmeier said...

I'm sure reviews can be both wonderful and terrifying! Moving on is a great idea. You gotta give your readers something new to read. Looking forward to whatever comes next from you, Taryn!

Nicole North said...

Wonderful post, Taryn! Thanks for sharing!

MJFredrick said...

I am absolutely worthless this week, mooning over reviews and ratings. I know just what you mean. But yes, time to move on. Maybe tomorrow...

Susanna Fraser said...

Right now I'm living in terror that every reviewer and reader who enjoyed THE SERGEANT'S LADY is going to hate A MARRIAGE OF INCONVENIENCE, because they're very different books despite being linked. I mean, it's set in England, the hero is titled, and the heroine starts out very gentle, reserved, and meek! What if it gets all D's, F's, and single stars? What if everyone says, "Well, she had ONE good book in her, but I'm never reading her again"? Etc. etc. etc.

And we won't even get into how often I check Novelrank or just casually surf over to Goodreads to see if I've gotten any new reader reviews.

Taryn Kincaid said...

MJ...Trust me, it's not going to be tomorrow, either! LOL!

Susanna -- It never really stops, I guess, doesn't? (Oh, and btw, thanks ever so much for bringing up Novelrank, something I've never heard of before. A new thing to obsess over!)

Susanna Fraser said...

Novelrank can make you crazy if you're not careful...

MJFredrick said...

Susanna, I do the same thing! I'm about to go over to Goodreads right now, to mark a book read, and maybe see....

I don't ever want to be off on release week again!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Taryn. You've hit a nerve! My issue is wanting to take the book back once it's been published and say, "Wait! I can do it better!"

Claire Robyns said...

The thought of reviews were my worst nightmare, really, I had actual nightmares about this. It was only after I received my first bad review that I started relaxing...like you've got to experience something to suddenly realize it won't kill you, you move on. Now everytime I read a bad review, I go and search out a good one and read it twice, lol

Taryn, the one good thing about your empty nest is that you can create something brand new and start all over again :)

Alice Gaines said...

My feeling...move on. As soon as I get to the end of one book, I start the one. Once my babies go out into the world, there's not much I can do to help them.

One good thing is having an edtior who can catch glaring faults. When she's done with you, you can feel sure it's as good as it's going to get, at least for now.