Release Day Jitters

Release Day Jitters begin early in the first draft of a new novel and continue for three-to-six months after the big release. Anxiety builds with each completed step, from finishing the novel, signing a contract, and working with editors to arranging cover reveals and release tours.

By release day, I’m an optimistic wreck. Could this be my breakout novel? Will this be the one to make the New York Times bestseller’s list and get me interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Terri Gross?

When the preorder links go up, release day jitters are ramped up. Action is required. I monitor various bestsellers lists, check my Amazon rankings every few hours, and watch Goodreads for new ratings and reviews to come up.

After release day, I search the Internet for any mentions. The task is easy for me. My name is unique — I’m the only Michael Rupured in the world. Mostly, I see where free downloads of my stories are available from some pirate site. Part of me is flattered that somebody wants to read my boos bad enough to steal them.

The first feedback comes from readers on Goodreads, usually before release day. I have no idea how that happens, but it does. Writers of these early reviews have one thing in common: they hated it.

Bad reviews don’t bother me. Much. After all, a review is the opinion of a single reader, and everyone is entitled to an opinion. Some people love my stories, some hate them. That’s the way of the world. A bad review is not a reason to lose sleep.

Well-written reviews, good or bad, tickle me pink. Disliking my story is a matter of preference. Getting what I was trying to do matters more than the star rating. I especially enjoy reviews that mention broader themes and/or connections I never thought about.

Hypercritical reviews make me laugh. The nastier the tone, the less likely I am to take what they say personally. It’s not really about me anyway.

“Official” reviews from popular sites tend to be more upbeat and positive. I suspect many only publish four or five star reviews. Few books are all bad. Reviewers who didn’t especially like my book manage to find something good to say about it.

I do everything I can to write a good story — the kind of story I enjoy reading. They’re not for everyone, but each has received great reviews from at least a few people. And that, my friends, is just fine with me.

Want to make my day? Take a few minutes to post your review of my books on Amazon or Goodreads. I’d sure appreciate it. Thanks in advance, for your time and for stopping by today.