Celebrating Release Day

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

My new book, The Believer, was officially released by the publishers for sale yesterday. Actually it was already out in stores, or so I’ve been told. I haven’t personally seen it on any store shelves yet, but then the only shelves I’ve been seeing are the ones where I’ve been setting my newly canned jars of green beans. Trust me. Bookstore shelves are more exciting. But last week was too hectic to go bookstore hopping although I do have to admit I love to browse in bookstores whether I have a new book releasing or not. Bookstores are about the only place I truly like to shop which is why my family has to like getting books as presents. Although antique malls can be fun if you have a friend along. And if they have a book section. 🙂

I haven’t gotten much feedback yet from the new story. I don’t think the readers in my family realize how needy writers can be when we have a new book out. We need to hear positive things that we can hope are not just made up to stroke our egos. But we want to know if our story was okay. Plus a few things that maybe made it okay. Well, actually we want to hear things like “It was great.” Or “I couldn’t put it down.” Or “I stayed up way too late to find out what happened.” You know, that sort of thing. Sounds like I’m begging for ego stroking comments, doesn’t it?

But it is fun having a new book out, and it is fun hearing readers’ reactions. Of course it’s more fun when they are good reactions, but writers can’t always expect that. In fact this one writers’ bunch I know even have a contest to pick the most terrible review when they have a meeting . So they all bring their bad reviews and compete to see who has the worst one. I guess the idea is that it’s better to laugh about them than to cry about them. One thing sure, once the book is out there in readers’ hands, there’s nothing you can do to change what you wrote. Plus even if you changed things to suit one reader then another reader would probably think that change messed things up.

A writer has to trust her inner ear and tell the story as best she can. Then she has to turn it loose. Let it go out into the world and find readers. If those readers find fault or even if she herself looks over her words once they are between the covers of a book and finds fault, she just has to file that away as experience and hope to do better on the next story. That’s what I try to do, but I still hope for good reviews and good comments. Everybody, no matter what they do, can use some encouraging words.

I drew for my final book winner for this giveaway yesterday on release day and it’s Linda. I’ll be sending her an e-mail to let her know she’s a winner. And a newsletter will go out this week. If you’re not signed up for my occasional newsletter and want to be, just click on the newsletter link on my webpage. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I’ll have to think up something new to give away next month.

Hope you hear nothing but encouraging words this week. And nobody says, “The beans need picking.” A bountiful harvest is a blessing, but there are only so many hours in a day. I’ve promised myself I’m getting back to writing next week even if all the closets aren’t cleaned out and I still need to paint the back hall. I’ve got to remember that writing is what I do. Housekeeping chores are secondary.

Thanks for reading.