The Book Release Hangover

From the ‘thingstheynevertellyou’ file.

After a looong time writing, even longer time editing, and interminable waiting, you finally have a new book coming out.

The cover reveal is a blast, and you’ve gotten tons of wonderful comments!

The unboxing of the books at your house was amazing, all captured for social media and spread liberally.

You’ve done a reading of the opening—everyone loved it!

You do blogs, interviews and maybe even a local paper comes to interview you.

Then comes the long-awaited day *insert drum roll* your book is live on retail sites and in bookstores—Huzzah!

Then you start to get reviews. Oh, they (mostly) love it!

You watch the Amazon rankings like a compulsive gambler watches the Sweet Sixteen scores. You screenshot the meteoric rise (results vary widely). Okay, you didn’t become a ‘bestseller’, and you didn’t make a list (NYT, USA Today, et al), but your book is respectable.

That’s all wonderful, and a nice payoff for all your hard work.


What goes up, must come down (are you singing it?). Your reviews are wonderful, but you need more. The new batch of books come out, and yours falls farther. Your book is no longer the Deb at the ball . . . more one of the older sisters unchosen on the sidelines, watching the young girls dance.

You wake up every morning scan the reviews and the rankings, and every day, they’re ho-hum.

Your hopes fall a little farther every day. No bestseller, no movie execs at your door (because you checked, several times).

But there’s something else afoot here.

Expectations turn painful. Hope and anticipation are writer-crack.

See, whatever acclaim or ratings or raves you got yesterday were a tiny hit. But what’s next? You need another fix! And whatever gave you the hit yesterday, isn’t enough, today. You need moooooore! Right around the time when you’re getting leessss!

I don’t know why I’m telling you this. Because if you’re an aspiring writer, you know this won’t happen to you.

I hope it doesn’t. Withdrawal sucks.

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