Debut Author Survival Tips

There are lots of types of crazy in the world. The type of crazy I’m going to focus on today can only be described in terms of a jittery mess of emotions I’ve only experienced in one other circumstance. That time was at the three-week mark the final time I quit(successfully) smoking cigarettes. In that case, my body had tried all other ploys to get me to smoke another secret and had resorted to a final barrage of impulses, scattered thoughts, and insurgent emotions in an effort to force my hand to my pocket and lighter.

Other than that last time I quit smoking I cannot remember a more frazzled, emotional, or “crazy” time in my life than the weeks leading up to and immediately after the publication of my debut novel, MADE SAFE.


Don’t take bad reviews to heart. Your book is your beautiful creation but it might not be for everyone.

Don’t consider a four-star review a bad review. They can’t all be five stars.

Don’t constantly refresh Amazon to check for new reviews or sales ranking numbers. This will drive you insane.

Don’t obsess. In general. There are many things to obsess about. A plot point that you think might need to be tweaked or a forgotten person in the acknowledgments or some tiny imperfection in the printing of a single book. This is bonkers material people. Avoid it if you can!

Don’t forget to send out signed copies of your book to blurbers, early reviewers, and friends.


Plan a launch event. This is a great way to celebrate your success. Call your local bookstore and set up a reading/signing launch event. Invite everyone you know. This is a big deal! Pack the room!

Continue to write. This is a hard one. There are plenty of distractions around your launch but your fans (you will have them now) will want another book soon so get after it!

Make yourself available. Go to a conference. Sign up for a table at a book fair. You need to keep your book in front of potential new fans. Bonus – you don’t have as much time to refresh Amazon or Goodreads to see if a new review has come in.

Continue to write. This is still really hard. Your schedule is a mess with all the commitments you’ve made to book fairs and conferences! But keep at it!

Thank everyone. No book is written, launched, and marketed without an army of supporters. Let them know how much you appreciate them!

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