Pre-Publishing Fear: Before the Release of Bluesday

July 19, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More

Adrienne Thompson's debut novel BluesDay

As I write this post, I am a few days away from the release of my first published novel, Bluesday.

I’m sure all of you authors know exactly how I’m feeling right now. Churning within me is a mixture of excitement and raw, gripping fear. Excitement because what I have worked so long and hard towards is finally coming to fruition.

I will soon be able to attach the word “author” to my name, a title that will stand alongside many others, including mother, friend, nurse, and Christian.

author Adrienne Thompson

Adrienne Thompson author of BluesDay

I am ecstatic about the prospects that the future holds. I am elated that I get to share my gift with the world, and I am stoked about having followed through with my plans despite my fears. I am glad to be able to say that I didn’t allow fear to conquer me. I’ve fought through it, ignored it, and sometimes, just plain stepped over it to get to this place.

Nevertheless, there is still fear.

Actually, fear is ever present. Fear of looking like a fool. Or, fear of being an embarrassing failure.

Yes, the fear of failure. That has been my biggest obstacle. It has held me back for so long and robbed me of happiness and fulfillment time and time again. It is not an unfounded or illogical fear, though.

There are several factors that feed into that fear and rightfully so. Number one, I am self-publishing my book, which in and of itself screams failure. The odds are against me for success. Of this I am well aware. Add to that the fact that in the African American book market, erotica and street lit are booming genres. My book fits in neither category. It doesn’t even fit into the Christian Fiction category, although I do consider it an inspirational drama.

Like any other author, I believe that my book is good. Why else would I be publishing it? But the thoughts that hang in the back of my mind are: Will anyone like it? Will anyone buy it? God, I hope so. I believe success in my future. God, I hope I’m right. Wouldn’t it be awful if I was wrong?

It is like this often with changes, good or bad:  the fear of the unknown and maybe even, the fear of the known.

Front and Back Cover of BluesDay

The fear of both failure and success. The realization that either way, much will be required of me. Either I’ll have to crank out more good work, or work hard at releasing something better in hopes of catching someone’s, anyone’s attention. It is an awful feeling, this fear. I hate it, but I just can’t seem to shake it. It looms behind me like a shadow. It’s like an old skeleton from my past that pops up at any given inopportune moment. Yes, I despise fear.

So, this is my journey as a novice writer. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I can’t. Even when the fear is at its greatest, I push on. God willing, I will push on to success.

Do you have fears around publishing? How do you handle them?

Visit AH Thompson’s website.  Follow her on Twitter @A_H_Thompson. Friend her on Facebook.

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Category: Contemporary Women Writers

Comments (5)

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  1. Can totally relate to the fear and also about not quite fitting in any genre exactly. I hid my writing from people, only even told people who knew me well, that I wrote at all, for a few years after if finished my first novel length work. (not the book that I edited and and self-published, the ode series is a few novel’s later). Can so relate to the fear about not knowing if anyone will relate to your writing.

    Also, for me it’s when is it finished? I liked. Lizz Lund’s comment about how we can get feed back and rewrite e-books a bit. But, I also know I have to keep writing forward on the next book, at some point.

    Sure is a crazy time to be a writer. Thanks for sharing your gut feelings 🙂

  2. Lizz Lund says:

    Wow; took lots of courage for you to post this! And thank you! Writing can be a little too solitary; thanks for reaching out.

    The good thing about indie publishing, is that our books are no longer “set in stone” – if you get reader feedback that warrant changes; you can go ahead and re-write. Especially for eBooks!

    The other good thing, is that while your book may sit on a shelf waiting for readers, it will NOT “go stale”; it’s story will remain fresh, reader after reader. So as your marketing strategies grow and evolve, your product will be ready for the taking!

    Deep breaths; keep the faith; and go! Promote! 😀

  3. I have been both published and produced. But I self-published my memoir “LIttle Nancy: The Journey Home” last year. Felt that same sense of failure, even though I knew the mess the book business was in. Now I’m doing workshops with it, answering responses to my blog, and starting to sell books. And there’ll be a market for the fiction to follow. So maybe we have to re-envision success…

  4. Wishing you so much courage, and hope you relish each moment of the excitement! I’ll be in the same place in a few months, so cant advise from experience. But I have heard that the best thing you can do is focus on the book, rather than a sense of being watched or looked at or judged. Remember why it has to be out there, and that way you’re more likely to connect with your readers. Very best of luck!

  5. Thank you for writing such an honest post. Courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of it. You’ve shown the courage to write, the courage to share, and the courage to self-publish! I believe that if you write it, the readers will come. Your book will make its way to the those who will appreciate it most. And the cover is gorgeous! Good luck to you and congratulations.

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