Today on Pre-Pub Adventure we are celebrating a book release!
Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wonder how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.
1. Your book has just released! How do you feel?
I’ve had the best week! I was all nerves and flutter on Monday, but the outpouring of love this week washed all of that away. I am now filled up with love for all of the folks who’ve been part of this journey—my wonderful agent, Erin Harris, the incredible team at Penguin Teen, my ridiculously large and enthusiastic biological family, and my writer family who came out in full force to celebrate with me. I had my first Skype visit with students this week too, and it was so much fun!
2. What are you doing for your release?
I celebrated with a blizzard, literally! Mother Nature threw quite the party on Tuesday. I spent most of the day responding to a corresponding blizzard of messages on social media and then tromped out in the snow to have tacos and bubbly with a group of neighborhood friends. The official launch party isn’t until Saturday. That’s when I’ll be celebrating with a larger group at one of my favorite bookstores, Porter Square Books, and then–best part—enjoying some saint-themed cocktails at a nearby restaurant.
3. Any advice for newbie writers?
I think the best advice has been well covered by others. It isn’t very sexy, but it’s true:
1. Read a lot, read it all, soak in great stories and art through your pores.
2. Write a lot. This seems obvious, but you have to put lots of words on the page to have material to work with.
3. Keep going. Writing—and publishing—a book takes far longer than any of us ever imagine when we get started. You don’t have to worry about the longer timeline, though. Just look at the next step ahead of you—whether it’s finishing today’s chapter, working through a revision, or sending out a few more queries. Lift up your chin and get. it. done.
1. What have you been up to this month?
**Boring Alert** I got my first round of edits on my Fall 2018 release! Which is… odd? Working on the thing that comes after the first thing even though the first thing is still seven months from being on a shelf? Lesson: publishing is WEIRD.
A little less boring: my book was chosen for the BookExpo Buzz program! (Google it. It’s pretty cool.) So I’ve been vacillating between shock-and-awe and wild-celebratory-dancing. And lastly, I’m actually writing this while sitting in a session at a Madcap Retreat (again Goooooooogle!). It’s basically the best thing ever and every writer should do one.
2. Any advice for newbie writers?
I won’t give the cliche, though very excellent: READ AND WRITE A LOT (except I just did, muahahaha #subterfuge), but also 1. Be okay with sucking. We all suck in the beginning. Practice makes better. (And even with YEARS of practice, your first draft will ALWAYS suck. It’s cool. NBD. I promise.) And 2. Try really hard to keep your sense of self and worth OUT of your pages. What I mean by that: you are not your work. Your work is your work. If someone doesn’t like your work, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re not good enough or you’re worthless or they don’t like YOU. It just means they don’t like your work.
3. Any book recommendations?
1. 3 months until The Sandcastle Empire is out! How do you feel?
THREE MONTHS. WHAT. I feel like I’m at the top of a roller coaster, equal parts exhilarated and slightly overwhelmed (in the best way); part of me wants to stop time so I can enjoy the view, while the other part is pure adrenaline, anticipating the rush of excitement to come. (!!!)
2. How are you prepping for the release?
This month, I’m taking things day by day, trying to do as much as I can ahead of time so I’m not overcommitted close to my release date: answering interview questions for posts I’ve committed to; planning another giveaway or two in the lead-up to release; nailing down event logistics; things like that. Most importantly, I’m trying to enjoy the experience and be grateful for every little thing—I think the only way to avoid getting swept away by this busy season is gratitude, along with making rest a priority.
3. What fun things did you do this month?
1. What have you been up to this month?
I work slower than most, so I’ve been plodding along on Book 2 and a novella for the series. That was my priority, but I also started prepping for blog tours so I don’t have to cram last minute and prepped for some classes I’m teaching this year. Due to my illness, I had to take a step back from marketing (now is normally the time you step it up) and take some me-time. I’ve been sleeping in, going to yoga classes, catching up on reading. I’ve easily read 20 books in the last month.
I also got my Kirkus Review! It was really positive and I totally cried. I hadn’t cried like this since I got the you’re-going-to-be-pubished email. You can read the review here!
In short it said: “In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away…A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.”
I’m still crying.
2. It doesn’t feel real. I’ve done so much preparing for being published, it honestly feels like I’m already published. Except, I’m not. Once I hold WHEN PLANETS FALL in my hands, I’m sure the reality will hit me. But I’ve got two more months before that happens 🙂 Honestly, I’m so happy about my Kirkus Review I already feel like I conquered the world. Anything else at this point will just be frosting.
I’ll be excited once the pub date passes because then I can really hone in on working on the next book without extra distractions. I think that’s where some of the weird-reality feeling stems from. Even though I’m being published, I still have to keep chugging on the next book. It almost feels like I’m starting completely over, though technically I’m not.
3. Any advice for newbie writer’s who are just coming into the writing world?
My dad stopped by this week for lunch. He brought me a gluten-free cupcake and we talked about publishing and cultural pressures to achieve and succeed and accomplish. I complained about how much I want to do x, y, z but I can’t because of being sick, and how much I hate having to decide what’s best for me and doing it.
He said, there’s a deeper integrity that comes with doing what works best for you. You put aside what everyone else tells you you need. Instead, you live more true to yourself and to what you need. For me, this meant less marketing and more me-time because that’s what my body needs to survive. It means working more slow, at the pace I need. Not trying to push-push-push myself into goals I think I should have.
I really, really like this approach to integrity. When I hear integrity, I think “don’t lie and don’t be fake.” I’ve never thought of integrity in this way–of being true to what I need and pushing aside other pressures.
What advice can you give writer’s with writer’s block?
Do you have a playlist for your book?
Yep! You can find my Spotify playlists here: https://open.spotify.com/user/akfoody
1. Your release is just weeks away! How are you feeling?
2. What are you working on now?
3. Any book recommendations?
I just read Angie Thomas’s THE HATE U GIVE, which was incredible. Powerful, so well-crafted, and such an important topic. I wish everyone would read it. True, parts of it were uncomfortable to read, but they were supposed to be, and I still find myself thinking about the book all the time. Also, Katie Bayerl’s A PSALM FOR LOST GIRLS comes out this week, and it’s a gorgeous book. A lovely sister story, a mystery, a meditation on unknowable things, wrapped in exquisite prose.