Sunday, June 1, 2014

Nervacited about Blast Off

By Kristi Belcamino

In less than 10 days my very first novel, Blessed are the Dead, will pop up on iPads and computers and phones across the country.

People will read my words over coffee, in bed, on the subway.

It is a day I’ve dreamed about since I was eight years old.

This past year, I’ve seen a whirlwind of changes in my life. I have deadlines set by other people.
I not only have an agent, I work with an entire team at HarperCollins: an editor, a publicist, and a digital marketing expert.

A digital marketing expert because I signed a deal with a HarperCollins imprint, Witness, that focuses all its marketing efforts on digital sales.

There will be a print book, but unless my e-book sales blow up, it will be a very limited print run.

At first, this was a difficult part of my dream to let go.

Part of taking this two-book deal involved some soul searching.

Mainly, it involved me setting my ego aside. Let’s face it, having a physical print book is, in many ways, all about ego. About how it makes me feel—successful. About how others perceive me—successful.

And when I realized this, I saw that I was being an old stick in the mud.

When it came down to it, I could care less HOW people read my book, as long as they read it. That is what counts.

Once I realized this, I embraced my book deal. And I’ve never looked back. I could not have found a better team of people to work with than the crew at HarperCollins.

They are power hitters and their efforts show that. One day, I clinked on a link at the bottom of my publicist’s email. The link shows which books she is promoting. I was beside myself to see that along with my book, she is also promoting Patricia Cornwell’s latest.

Now, how on God’s green earth, did I ever get in a position where the five-star publicist promoting my book is also promoting Patricia Cornwell’s book?

But, of course, I am not Cornwell. And the publicity efforts will not be the same for each of us.

For me, it seems that efforts are focused heavily online, where, after all, the people who read digital books can be found. So far, I see my name and my book popping up all over the place thanks to the stellar efforts of the HarperCollins crew.

But with only a little over a week remaining until pub day, I can't help but wonder, once again, if I've done everything I can to make the book a success. I wrote the best book I could. I manage to blab about it every once in a while to my friends. I'm sure at this point it's too late to do anything to help the book succeed, and that makes me nervous. Excited, but nervous.

My kids call this state "nervacited."

I’m thrilled to finally be a published author. Finally. At the same time, I’m worried that my book won’t sell as well as I hope.

My hopes are realistic, I think.

I want to sell enough books that my publisher believes all my books should come out both in print and digitally. I want to sell enough books that there are actually people out there waiting to read my next one. In summary, I want to be able to keep writing books that people want to read.

I think this is realistic. I’m not asking to become famous. I’m not asking to make a million bucks. I just want to be read and to keep writing. That is MY dream.


Scott D. Parker said...

Big congrats to you. I understand you dream because it is mine, too. Famous? Eh, sure if it comes, but regular books written, published, and read is much more satisfying.

Kristi said...

Thanks, Scott!

Rick Ollerman said...

I'm what you could call a "non-motivated e-reader." In other words, a book is a book and an e-book is a web page on a computing device. For me it is ephemeral and temporary, unbrowsable and when I'm finished with it cannot put it on my shelves with the other little bookies. I roll around in my library like my dog on a--whatever stinky thing my dog rolls on. Anyway....

So I read e-books when I have to, which does happen during the course of obtaining what I have to read. I take it from your earlier post that you live around the Twin Cities. I'm from there, too, and was just in town a few weeks back to speak with Gary at Once Upon a Crime about book stuff. (And to lighten his shelves a bit.)

I'm a Minneapolis ex-pat but I'd like to support you so hopefully copies from your limited print run will be available somehow and you'll let that be known. The e-book version would more or less disappear in the filing cabinet of my Kindle.

We do things the old-fashioned way at Stark House where we do print books first, followed later by e-books. Not necessarily because we think that's a superior business model (who knows?) but because we love books, not just reading. Works for us, anyway.

In any case, good luck and I hope your book launch exceeds all your expectations.

Kristi said...

Hi Rick,
Thanks for your well wishes and comment.
I appreciate your support. A print book will be available to order online and for sure, at Once Upon a Crime from Pat and Gary!