JOURNAL OF A DEBUT AUTHOR - CHAPTER TWELVE: Getting author endorsements (or puffs!). Hell or heaven?
Basically authors I admire and respect had my book in their hands, and the plan was for them to (hopefully) be reading it and formulating opinions on my work, all in the hopes that they might like it enough to provide a quote for my book cover.
All in all, an experience of utter soaring highs and very blurgy lows.
Getting Author Endorsements.
My publisher contacted me and was like, hey, let’s try and get some cover endorsements for your book, do you know anyone cool or have anyone in mind that you’d love to have read your work and make a (hopefully) positive comment?
I was like, yes, totally, I know some truly lovely YA authors I’ve met around the place in Adelaide, and then I threw out a few other random names that I have had zero contact with previously who I thought it would be AMAZING to get an endorsement from as well.
My publisher was great, they said they could contact everyone for me, or, if I felt comfortable to do so, I could contact the authors I know myself.
And I agreed. To contact the authors I know myself.
I thought it would be super easy to ask them for this favour, because they are just so nice.
So I was basically soaring around for a week, going, oh my gosh, all these authors I so hugely love and respect are going to be reading my work!
But then I sat down to write that email request to the authors I know.
And suddenly I thought....
Oh no, all these authors I so hugely love and respect are going to be reading my work!
So writing that email was hard.
It was so freaking hard.
Asking Authors to Read Your Work and Provide a Quote.
Straight away I felt like I was putting an awful amount of pressure on them, like what are they supposed to say if they hate my book?
And you know what, my book is really very different to theirs, it is light and theirs are serious, it’s basically a completely different genre within YA. What if they don’t read YA like mine? What if they hate YA like mine?
Well, both authors were extremely lovely and were so nice and agreed to read my novel..... as did the others that my publishers also contacted.
And that was exciting, I was soaring again, like wow! All these authors I so hugely love and respect have agreed to actually spend time reading my work! Wow!
And then of course, the next week when the manuscript had been sent out to them all, I immediately surged down, down, down, down...... as in, I was FREAKING OUT, because suddenly I realised....
All these authors I so hugely love and respect were going to be reading my work.
What if they freaking hate my book?
What if they think it’s stupid? Terrible?
What if they have to come back to me and say, sorry, but this doesn’t work for me and I can’t give you an endorsement because I don’t want my name associated with your stupid work? (Obviously I knew they’d be more tactful than that, but hey, I was sort of hysterical at this point!)
Heaven and Hell. Utterly. (Am I being overly dramatic?)
So basically I felt physically sick.
There is nothing worse than sitting around for weeks knowing people you respect are reading your work, and hoping, hoping, hoping with fingers crossed that they aren’t going to be forced to uncomfortably say they can’t endorse it.
Sick. Fully sick.
Have I ever been so stressed?
Why yes I have, on multiple occasions during my writing career. But this was particularly bad only because the high that had just preceded it had felt incredible, and I had felt, for the very first time actually, like this was really happening to me, I really was about to be published!
And that was such an incredible feeling, like when we first started sending out these endorsement requests to these amazing people and they all said yes, schedules permitting, they’d all try their best to read it, I felt AMAZING!!! Like one of the highest points since I began this whole writing thing.
I felt like I’d made it, like it was all finally real.
And then I crashed and burned.
And you know what?
My freaking book wasn’t even out yet. Imagine what I’m going to feel like then.
(I'm really sounding crazy in this post! Sorry! I'm actually okay! :) )
But also, I might point out that you can barely talk about this stuff either, because it sounds completely irrational.
Like I was telling my husband how I was freaking out and he was just so sure my book is good that he can’t really understand why I am being so crazy. Except it really did feel like everyone was going to come back and tell me they didn’t like it.
And I really did feel like I was about to have my heart broken.
Being a writer means putting yourself out there.
It means being super brave ALL THE TIME in the face of rejection.
And seriously, over the years I have grown very thick skin.
I never thought I’d feel as freaked out as that. Yet it was the first time ever that authors and YA people I cared about were reading my work. It was a whole different level of stress.
And I never felt so sick.
So that’s that.
What a wonderful story right?
Oh, you want to know if everyone hated my book or not?
Cool. Cos I’m going to tell you.
Did I get some Puffs?
Yes. I did.
Lovely, lovely ones.
And suddenly I was soaring again. Obviously.
And here they are, the beautiful puffs (haha, puffs is such a funny word!) I received for my debut, MAKING FRIENDS WITH ALICE DYSON:
Sooooooo........ that's pretty cool, huh?
I thought it was pretty cool.
Thank you so much for reading my waffly ranty post!