The Truth about Debut Week

Last week was insane. All my ducks had been lined up for months, but – being a new author – I had no idea what to expect on my release date or the days leading up to it. This, of course, means I’m going to share the lessons I learned the hard way with you.

  1. If your indie/small press doesn’t contact you the days leading up to your release, don’t panic. They’re probably getting everything ready. This is especially the case if it is an electronic release.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but the two weeks leading up to my release date, I sent more emails to my publisher than I had in the months leading up to it. On one hand, they expected it. New author + first release = panic and emails. The math works, but it’s unneeded stress. Your publisher has done this likely several dozen times even if they’re small. Trust them.

2. Sometimes others will get their buy links before you.

This is especially true if this isn’t their debut. If an author is tested (tried and true), they’re likely to get some preferential treatment. Take it in stride. They have a network, and having earlier buy links is a nod to that platform. Is it irksome? Does is send a chill of fear through you when they have buy links and you don’t for the same release date? Sometimes, yes. Take the energy spent worry and try to redirect it to building a bigger network / platform for next time.

3. Your release date is your release date.

It’s not going to magically change without forewarning. You’ve properly vetted the publisher prior to signing the contact, so trust them. They’re working hard for you. It sucks to hear – but try to refocus. Find something else to concentrate on.

My PhD advisor was kind enough to provide me some excellent distractions in the form of grant writing. It certainly took my mind off my release for the majority of the week.

4. No matter how much you prepare, others might prepare more.

Be realistic about the time you have. Some people are already full-time authors. Some have part-time jobs, full-time jobs, kids, or a mix. It’s difficult not to compare yourself to others especially on social media, and when it’s your dream career, it can be even more frustrating when others seem to have a better organized release plan. Do your best. Be open to learning from these individuals rather than immediately feeling negatively. This is your debut. There’s always room for improvement.

Good luck!


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