by Mandy Hubbard
I am not sure how I got here, but somehow… I am just two days away from the 1 year anniversary of Prada & Prejudice’s release date.
I dont think anyone really knows what to expect when you have a book coming out. And maybe that’s because… your publisher doesn’t tell you. You could sell 100 copies a week or 1,000 copies a week and you have no idea if that is good or bad or if they are happy or not. You’ll get a huge mix of reviews and the good ones will make you happy for three minutes and the bad ones will make you mopey for three days. You’ll go to Barnes and Noble and wonder why your book isn’t face out, and you’ll rearrange half of the H section to make enough room so that you can do it yourself. After you’re done signing stock, you’ll put them away yourself so you can sneak one onto an endcap.
You’ll see your book in the catalog and then you’ll see the other books with their 2 or 3 page spread and you’ll despair. You’ll beg anyone in a 100 mile radious of New York City to go to BEA (book expo of America) just so they can see if your publisher is giving out ARCs of your book. You’ll set up google alerts for your book title. And maybe extra ones with various mispellings. And even though you have the alerts, you’ll still end up spending half the day on google anyway.
The first year as an author is a roller coaster, filled with so many ups and downs its hard to keep track of it all.
The highs I experienced:
My first ever fan mail–first, the totally random emails that could bring on complete and utter glee, and later, my first ever snail-mailed fan mail.
Seeing my book in a store. A Real. Live. Store.
Seeing Prada & Prejudice mentioned in TIME magazine.
Selling foreign rights to countries I’ve never seen, to be translated into languages I can’t speak.
Connecting with other authors who have become friends– for life
Selling more books and realizing I might be able to do this more than once.
Finding out Borders didn’t want to stock Prada & Prejudice. Wondering if that meant my career was totally finished. (They changed their mind a week after it came out.)
Watching other books get more publicity, more glitz, more foreign sales, more INSERT ANYTHING HERE. And driving myself crazy comparing. Over and over. Crazier and Crazier.
Going to a book festival 2+ hours away. And then sitting at a table while people avoided looking at me and no one bought my book.
Realizing how much is out of my control. Learning to focus on the writing, the only thing I can control.
It’s still hard to fathom that a year has gone by. I was so focused on that magical date– June 11, 2009– that once it was over, the days just floated past me. It was more stressful than expected–but so much more exciting and gratifying, too.
Author, Prada & Prejudice
Agent, D4EO Literary