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Sharing a GloMo

I've been a published author for over six months now. Still a baby at this, but I have learned a few things since selling my book, even more since it's release.
One big one? This is a tough business. You may go from the ultimate high to a low, low, low, sometimes over the course of a week or a day. Some scenerios I've witnessed, experienced, heard rumored, or simply made up, all starring YOU.

+Your book that sold for six figures only sells a handful of copies, and your little-book-that-could takes the world by storm.
+You sell a book, work on it with an editor for months, and then have that contract canceled when your editor gets fired/moves/decides the manuscript doesn't work
+You have strange math dreams at night, all centered around The Amazon Ranking Equation.
+You get five offers from agents to represent your hot story, and then never sell the book
+You receive emails from anonymous authors, asking you for advice/tips/an "in", and often assume that YOU are their salvation, that YOU can get them published if you were just nice enough to read their entire manuscript and edit it. For free. While you're on deadline.
+Bad reviews, good reviews, no reviews. People will write and say your book is meaningless dribble. You'll think they're crazy. Others will write and say it's brilliant. They are crazy too.
+Your cover (which you had no control over)  looks like your editor's third grader designed it with crayons and clip art. Amazon reviews say "Great book! Too bad the cover sucked". Or, the cover Gods created The Ultimate Cover, and reviews read "Great cover! Too bad the book sucked."
+Hollywood WANTS your story. Agents, producers, directors, actors are all stumbling to attach to your book. On Monday. On Tuesday, you are old news.
+You worry that you are tweeting and blogging and facebooking into a dark void, that all your social networking and marketing efforts are for naught, that librarians are using your precious advanced reader copies as spare toilet paper.
+The editorial process for your first book is so rigourous, you start to wonder if you can ever write another one, and spend months, maybe even years, paralyzed at the thought of writing something else. 
+Your publisher doesn't buy your next book. Neither does another publisher.
+You're about to go on submission, when you check recent sales, only to discover that book JUST LIKE YOURS sold. Yesterday.
+Your writing friends will be more successful, more charming, more clever, more renowned. Or worse, that smug, Look! At! How! Wonderful! I! Am! bestseller will continue to write more bestsellers, until her smug threatens to take over the world.

The Angst list, my friends, goes on forever. I have seen authors, once full of optimism and sparkle, grow bitter and jaded. And often, it's understandable that they do. I've cried and squeeled with many author friends during this process. Nothing can prepare you for what it's like to be an author, because every single journey is wholly unique.

So where am I? Still dancing on a publishing rainbow? Yes. And no. But mostly... yes.

That's not to say I haven't had disappointments. If you'd asked me when I first sold where I thought I would be, I don't know if HERE would be my guess. But I still count myself lucky, because for all the dark days, the perks are still exceedingly perkalicious. The perks that I call GloMo's (short for Glorious Moments). GloMo's are often unexpected, and can leave you shining for days. They're the bright spots that aspiring writers dream about as they are rejected again and again. They are gifts, lovingly folded in our writer's hope chests, and I cherish every one.
And this week, I want to share a couple of my personal GloMo's with you...

GLOMO #1
On Friday, I was out running errand and impulsively took my girls to our local Barnes and Noble. I've finally figured out bookstore trips with my girls--I let them get one activity book/journal/Dora Crapalog IF I can help them pick out a picture book/early chapter book I know they'll enjoy. I also like to wave to my book, which is heavily stocked at a couple of stores around me. This in and of itself is a GloMo, especially since my book is no longer a New Release in most stores. I'd just happily purchased my girls' books when I noticed a display at the front of the store--Christmas books for children in need. Any book could be donated, but they had a couple on display for specific kids. And sandwiched between Rick Riodarn and a paranormal YA was the very pink PRINCESS FOR HIRE.
Honestly? Seeing it on display like that made my stomach flip. A little girl wanted my book. LIke, of any book in that store, she wanted mine. Or maybe a seller had decided she wanted mine. I don't know. Either way, PRINCESS FOR HIRE would her Christmas present. One of few, I'm sure.
So I bought my own book. I asked the employee if I could personally sign it to the girl (Taylor, which is also my maiden name. Somehow, made the Glo Mo even cooler!). The employee was suprised, didn't know what the rules were, but said, "Well, I'm sure it'll make her day. Go for it." I scrawled an inscription with my pink sharpie and walked out of the store swinging my bags.


Logically, I realize many girls have read my book, and might even get it for a Christmas gift (and don't you think Princess for Hire MAKES A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT?). But that unexpected experience warmed me up as I attacked Princess For Hire THREE this weekend. It lingered in my mind as I figured out my marketing plan for SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD.
Because take away all the angst, all the sparkles, all the business and there is this...
I wrote that book, and someone, somewhere, will read it.
6 months out, and that's still a marvel to me.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
splitbyakiss
Nov. 8th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Amazing post, Lindsey! Wishing you so many more GloMo's - you deserve them.

Luisa
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
You too, Luisa! Thanks!
olmue
Nov. 8th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. I bet she'll be thrilled when she opens it up and sees your name inside!
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Thrilled or confused. WHY DID THIS LADY WRITE IN MY BOOK?
davidbeall
Nov. 8th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Nice GloMO. Keep having fun!
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks David!
jeffsampson
Nov. 8th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this post, Lindsey. I'm about to debut a YA and am part of the Elevensies and man the ups and downs are crazy. I'm going to take a page out of your book and choose to focus on the GloMos instead of any of the downs!
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Do it, Jeff. That ride leading up to publication has it's own set of challenges too. Just remember to ENJOY IT. And I hope you have a party! That was my favorite part :)
pamm
Nov. 8th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
Fun stuff! Write all these glomo's down in a glomo journal so you can look back at them when you're in the doldrums. I've had many of these and still get stuck in the muck of publishing.

Yeah for the sparkly pink awesomeness of PRINCESS FOR HIRE!!!! Hooray!!!!!!!
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks Pamm! I think I should start marketing GloMo journals on writer message boards :)
(Anonymous)
Nov. 9th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
OMG! Your GloMo is totally going to become that little girl's GloMo. You are passing it forward, so to speak. That totally rocks. :)
Jessica
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks Jessica!
seeheatherwrite.blogspot.com
Nov. 9th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Such a great post, Lindsey! So inspiring. It's been amazing to me because a lot of the people I've been blogging with and those in my writing group are getting agents, signing great contracts, but it's exactly like you said - it's awesome and exciting but also totally terrifying. Looking for the little victories is the only way to get through!
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Heather--my writing group was the same way (and I was one of the last, which brought it's own breed of the angst). I've found having writing friends spreads it out a little, plus its' so nice having squeal buddies!
kay_cassidy
Nov. 9th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
Dude, this is your best post EVER. And that's sayin' something. I totally laughed out loud and cringed and even said "Hey, that could be me!" to a couple. It's amazing what a shared experience this is for most authors. I never would have imagined I'd know now what I do when I first sold and everything was shiny and happy and new.

But that GloMo (a term that is so you, btw) is STELLAR. What a lovely thing to see that a girl out there wants your book for her Christmas wish list and that you could fulfill that wish for her (with a pink Sharpie inscription to boot). That made my day and I'm not even that girl. :-)
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Hi Kay,
There is something deliriously wonderful about that feeling after you very first sale. I go back to that a lot, try not to be bitter about my naivety, just relish how that moment changed me, essentially for the better.
kay_cassidy
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
That's such a great way to look at it, Linds. That first moment when the book is on the shelves and available for people to buy is another. Crazy amazing. And you never have to explain to people ever again "No really, I *am* an author it's just that my book hasn't come out yet" while they eye you suspiciously. ;-)
jennadol
Nov. 9th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
Beautiful, Lindsey.
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks Jen!
amybre_white
Nov. 9th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, Lindsey! How cool, and it is an amazing journey, isn't it?

Had lunch w/ your wonderful agent at Mid-Atl SCBWI. She's such a fan of yours! It's wonderful.

Hugs, Amy
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
SHE is amazing. Many GloMos are attached to that stellar lady.
Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Lots of scary things, but some of these are exceptions instead of the rule. The best thing about publishing trials is you still have a book at the end of the day (unless they cancel it. Or goes out of print)
CarynCaldwell
Nov. 9th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful and, not to sound trite, inspirational - yes despite mentioning some of the downsides of publishing.
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much Caryn!
sruble
Nov. 9th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
That is so cool Lindsey! It's great that you signed the book for her too. A GloMo for sure!

p.s. I'm going to have to remember the term GloMo - it's good to reflect on those when you're in the middle of a manuscript, or submissions, or ...
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Submissions are the worst! I really prefer knowing what to expect, and I hate that on-edge feeling of being on sub. But at the same time, I love it, because of the possibility.
Urgh, crazy crazy game we play!
dawn_metcalf
Nov. 9th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Reading this made me happy. You are so so right and so so awesome. Thanks for sharing this!

Psst! It's ALL true. :-)
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks Dawn!
solvangsherrie
Nov. 9th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
LOVE this post, Lindsay! Here's to plenty more GloMos for us all :)
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 10th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Sherrie! Yes, and here's to a HUGE GloMo coming your way soon
nancy_v
Nov. 10th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
Love this, Lindzzz. We gotta take our GloMos when they come, day by day, and celebrate them. Then the BloMos (Moments that blow) don't seem so bad.
xox
stephanieburgis
Nov. 10th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
I really, really love this entry. And I bet that girl will love her Christmas present!
greenbeantq
Nov. 14th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
I can relate to the angst-from a librarian point of view. You love a book, really want it to do well at your library, but it sits on the shelf and you can't booktalk to anyone! You do school visits talk up programs and get one person to show up if you're lucky. I think there's angst in every job and it's hard to keep up the optimism especially when downer things happen. So know it's not just you-we all feel that way!

And what an amazing GloMo-that brought a smile to my face and is very awesome! I do think Princess for Hire would make a great Christmas present-it's on my list of books to give!:)
lindsey_leavitt
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:40 am (UTC)
Thanks for this, Sarah. Because you're right--I should add that it's the same for librarians, editors, teachers, booksellers, and agents. It'd be interesting to see this comment as a post, actually. I don't think authors KNOW all the challenges librarians have, and it makes me appreciate your efforts even more.
Also, you look fly in that pic :)
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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