Friday, August 28, 2009

Two books ain't enough??

Tip of the day: Stock up on school supplies now for later in the year, when things need to be replaced. They’ll never be as cheap as they are now, especially if you shop stores specifically to get their in-the-door specials.

Remember when I talked about how having a book released is similar to having a baby?

Recently I realized, that as you have more books, it’s also sort of like having lots of kids.

The first one, people get REALLY excited. They shower you with gifts and food, and just think that baby is the best thing ever. It’s the same with the first book. People you know can’t wait to run out and buy it. I know a real author, they exclaim!

The second one, people are still fairly excited. People come to the baby shower again, although a little less enthusiastic, because, after all, can’t you just use most of the stuff you got the first time around? With the second book, some people are still really excited. Your mother, of course. Your good writing friends. But some people think, I bought her first book. Do I really have to buy the second? I mean, she writes teen books. Not really my thing.

The third, fourth, fifth one? Yeah, the excitement kinda wears off and it almost seems like people turn the other way when they see you coming. People talk amongst themselves – how many kids are they gonna have anyway? And WHY? Why do they want so many kids? Isn’t two enough? And with more books published, some people look at you differently. Stop talking about yourself, they think. You’ve been talking about yourself and your books for four years now. We KNOW you write books. So what? So do a lot of people. Let someone else step in the spotlight. Like this amazing debut author over here. Haven’t you heard? Everyone is SO excited for this book and people are talking about it like it’s the next best thing since THE CATCHER IN THE RYE.

Yeah, it’s easy to feel like old news. But for an author, each book is new, different and special. With each one, it’s expected we’ll do some promotion. In this golden age of YA, where the shelves in the bookstores are expanding by the day it seems, we have to do everything we can to compete. We have book signings not because we intend to beg the same people over and over again to buy our books. We have them because hey, maybe there are real, actual fans out there now who might want to come.

I’m proud and excited about the fact that I have more books coming out next year. But I still have to work to sell them. I still have to put myself out there, even if people want a little less Lisa Schroeder and a little more of New and Shiny Debut Authors.

Don’t worry though. I don’t ever expect you to have me and my five books over for dinner.

Please note: I love all you debut authors and want the very best for you, I really and truly do. This post is more about how I feel sometimes with people in real life than people on-line, in case you were wondering. And really, it's all good. I'm very lucky to be building a body of work and just think it's fun to stop and ponder what happens at various points along the way.

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're building a career and a body of work.

Debuts come and go, but careers are recognized.

Rhonda Stapleton said...

I love it--great post. LOL. And I'd be honored to have you and your 5 "babies" to dinner! :D

Kristina Springer said...

I LOVE this post Lisa!! OMG, so true. With kid #1 there were tears and hugs and showers of gifts and by #4 people were like oh really? Again? lol! It never occurred to me this happens with books too.

Kate Fall said...

This is a great post, Lisa. But hey, it's probably better to hear "You have another one on the way?" than "Jeez, I expected you to have another book out by now. What's wrong?" :)

Anonymous said...


And yet there are people whose every book I eagerly await. (Sara Zarr and Laurie Halse Anderson, I'm looking at you ...) There's also a book called CHASING BROOKLYN I'm looking forward to ...

Christina Farley said...

This reminds me of a Scrubs episode when one of the characters is having their second baby but no one got excited.

But publishing more than one book to me is huge. It means you were able to break through time and again, stepping up. So yeah!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Yes, you are right. When my first book was published, I was SO afraid it'd be my one and only. So I really am thankful to have a body of work.

Hagelrat said...

lmao. I recently went to a launch where a number of people attending came to be supportive and I overheard conversation snippets, like "well I bought the books and I hear they are really very good, but it's not my sort of thing". It made me smile but I thought what the hell it's all sales for the guy.

Emily Marshall said...

Excellent post, Lisa. I think this is so true (says the girl with no kids). But a career is definitely what the general public--not those we know in person--recognize and want from authors. You'll get your following that will love all your babies and then what you to have more and more and more and, well you get the point.