How do I Celebrate a New Book?

“How do you celebrate when a new book gets published?”

I get asked that often enough. I also hear, “What does it feel like to finally be done? To see the book in your hands?”

With each book, after rounds of drafting, editing, formatting, and proofreading, by the time the book is shipped to my door and I see it in person for the first time, I know exactly what each page should look like, whether the cover is matte or glossy, if the paperback has a different margin size than the hardcover. I’ve imagined all the details, reveled in the process, and poured an entire year of my life into the project.

I show the print book off to any friend that comes over for a few weeks and snap some photos for social media. I throw a launch party that also serves as the first book signing. And the work of a writer isn’t done because the book has been born. Now I must market and foster reviews to find readers. Then, it’s on to the next project.

But I wonder if I’m cutting myself short. I thought that perhaps I wasn’t the pop-the-bottle-of-champagne type. More than celebrating a single moment, I want to feel the energy every day that I’m on the right path. While I love gifts, I don’t want to only gift myself something as part of an event, I want to invest in myself and my business regularly.

Yet, I feel surprised that looking back, I can’t remember if I did something special to mark even my very first bookcertainly a momentous occasion.

And can’t I have both? Can’t I be both mindful and proud in the long term, but also celebratory and indulgent in the moment?

I asked myself these questions this morning as I biked along the river in my hometown. Do I resist celebrating my accomplishments? Do I instead move onto the next goal, the next metric, before I’ve let this one settle?

It took me a decade from when I wrote the first pages of Dangerous to Heal to the publication of the last book in the duology, Negotiated Fate. It’s worth celebrating. It’s worth congratulating myself, saying thank you to myself for going for this dream all those years ago.

So, this is what I’m going to do: on Negotiated Fate’s launch date, Tuesday, September 19, I’m going to ensure the book launches, but I’m also going to take a moment for some fun.

I’m first going to take myself out to lunch—something I never indulge in even though my kids are in school and I could have the time if I wanted it.

Then, I’m going to pick out something for my office. My home office is functional and fully stocked, but I tend to make due. My desk—the one I’ve written three books at—is the cast off of a local hotel. It was well used even when I first got it. So, I’m going to harness the power of launch day to treat myself to something that makes me smile.

Hopefully by the time my newest book is in your hands, I’ll have something to report.

I'm Rebecca Zornow

I'm Rebecca Zornow

A science fiction author living in Wisconsin, I love traveling, eating good food, and reading long books.


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