I'm actually writing this post on Monday, Sept. 15, but it will be posted on Thursday, Sept. 18, which is the official publication date for my new book, IMPOSSIBLE (you can read more about the book here)(if link doesn't work: http://www.nancywerlin.com/impossible.htm.) When Lauren asked me to guest-blog for a day, I realized I wanted to do some thinking about what an "official publication date" means.
In some ways it's very simple: it's just the day on which the book is available in bookstores. (Except of course, some bookstores might have put it out a few days early; some a few days late; and some bookstores might choose not to carry it.) But essentially, the book is now "public." And that's exciting.
But there are no balloons and parties and phone calls and book signings and things of that sort on publication day, unless I do something myself to make that happen. For my first book, I threw a party. But this time, I'm not really planning anything. IMPOSSIBLE is my seventh book, so even though I love this book possibly more than any other book I've written, the glory and excitement of newness and publication date isn't the same as it once was. I feel a quiet glow now, instead of enormous, incredulous joy.
In addition,, Thursday, Sept. 18 is a regular working day for me, so at 7 a.m., I will be at my desk at the software company at which I work part-time. I'll have already arranged for flowers and chocolates to be delivered to my editor and publisher -- those are the things I always like to do to mark the day. And that evening, my fiance and I will celebrate; a nice dinner and a toast to the book. But that will really be all.
One thing I now realize about publication day is something I'd never even thought about, back in the days before I published my first book. Publication day is the day I say good-bye to my book. It's perhaps a little like seeing your child off to college; you are no longer much needed; your child is nearly an adult and is on her own. There's sadness in that along with the happiness.
So: fare ye well, IMPOSSIBLE. I hope your love story of Lucy and Zach, your terror story of the Elfin Knight, your song of "Scarborough Fair," your tale of the love of parents and friends, and of the ways in which we humans can support and take care of each other even when we're in great peril, will make friends out there in the world. I hope you earn a permanent place on bookshelves in warm, loving homes, and in the hearts of the readers who need you. But you must do this on your own. I can do nothing more.
For me, there are the memories of the years we spent together, with me thinking about you, and then working so hard for so long to create you, only to let you go now, forever.
God speed, IMPOSSIBLE.