It's interesting: Albums drop. (Are there albums anymore?) Movies open. TV series premiere. Games begin. Races start. News stories break. Ships sail. Airplanes take off. Ideas germinate. Evening falls.
Books, on the other hand, launch.
Each form of art or entertainment has its own term for the beginning. And for a few weeks/months now, I've been mentioning the upcoming launch of the fourth Haunted Guesthouse mystery novel, CHANCE OF A GHOST by E.J. Copperman, which will in fact take place on Tuesday, February 5.
Well, what do you know? That's TODAY!
Yes, starting right now, Alison Kerby, the Jersey Shore guesthouse owner with the cranky dead people on the premises, will be searching for a murderer, so that she might be able to find her late father, one of the few ghosts she hasn't seen around the house lately. It's a long story. (About 87,000 words.)
The publishing process is a strange journey for an author: The idea that began (sorry, germinated) roughly 20 months ago, cooked for a while, came out on a computer screen, was (mercifully) edited and revised, was (even more justifiably) revised again, had a cover (nice, no?), cover copy, blurbs and acknowledgements added to it, was teased in an ebook novella and hyped within an inch of its life on this site is now about to find its way to bookstores, ereaders, libraries and hopefully more than a few homes to be read.
Meanwhile, the author has written another manuscript or two, is working on at least one more, and occasionally wonders which one this book was again. It's natural. If the author isn't thinking about the coming volume now, the next launch--or the one after that--might not happen on time, or at all.
Tomorrow is also notable in being the launch day for new titles from such pals as Avery Ames, Lucy Arlington, Lorraine Bartlett and Sheila Connolly. It's a difficult thing for an author to be watching the Amazon and Barnes & Noble rankings, feeling good (or bad) about them and, at the same time, wondering how everyone else is doing.
And believe me, authors are watching those numbers like a nest of hawks. This is a competitive business, as all businesses are. The other writers are usually excellent people, they are friends and colleagues and one never wishes them anything but the best. But if our numbers are not what we anticipated they might be, the question "Why me?" will inch its ugly way into the author's head.
The author, by the way, is not proud of that.
Best of luck--sincerely--to all my pals whose books will not drop, open, premiere, begin, start, break, start, take off, germinate or fall today. Happy launch day, everybody; it's the nicest and strangest day of the year. It is to be savored.
And now, to indulge in a DEAD GUY Annual Tradition, the Launch Day List:
- Your beloved--Valentine's day is NEXT WEEK!
- Your least-favorite in-law ("NO, I didn't forget to give you a holiday gift--I was waiting for this book to be published!")
- Your boss--a delighted supervisor is more open to talk of a raise!
- Your fifth-grade English teacher, the one who got you interested in reading.
- Mel Brooks, if you know him.
- Your favorite sibling. Let them know you're glad your parents sibled.
- Your parents, if you can. Alison's searching for her dad, and her mom is helping. Think how you can bring your family closer together. It's practically an obligation. (Family guilt is the best guilt.)
- Jon Stewart wouldn't be bad, either. Tell him I said hi.
- Your doctor. They say laughter is the best medicine. This could open up all sorts of distribution possibilities for the book.
- Yourself. After all that gift-giving, you deserve a good story.
Last CHANCE! The CHANCE OF A GHOST contest winner--who'll get a FREE Kindle or Nook with all the Haunted Guesthouse titles pre-loaded--will be drawn TOMORROW on Launch Day! So there's still time to enter--click here for details!