It’s actually not a bad thing. It just means the ebook files for Loving Riley are now being finalized for publication. I had already uploaded the final file two weeks ago but Amazon officially locks down the file three days before publication date so what you have on file at this point is what the readers will get, especially the ones who preordered (thank you, guys!).
When I saw this today, I felt this huge sigh of relief. A year and a half of constant self-doubt finally ending with eight words (twelve if you include the bottom line in blue).
Ever since I uploaded that final file, I’ve been in a sort of bubble, like I still can’t quite believe it’s really happening – Loving Riley is finally getting published. I couldn’t even do Facebook takeovers and giveaways like they tell you to do if you want to treat this whole thing as a business. I couldn’t even pretend to be rah-rah-rah happy and giddy that it’s finally happening. Just like it doesn’t even matter that I have four copies of the paperback in my house sitting in a box (which means the book’s as good as published); in my head, they’re four books that no one is currently judging whether they’re good or bad.
Another huge sigh of relief.
Sometimes I wonder why I put so much emotional and psychological energy into a book, still agonizing over every little detail long after the book’s been written, from cover design to the choice of cover model to heaven knows what else I can think of – and still not be happy. It’s only a book – a story, I want to yell at myself. It’s just like the last one I wrote, Everything She Ever Wanted; although that book wasn’t as emotionally taxing as this one. Still, from baring emotions I never thought I’d put on paper, borrowing money for the exclusive image that I knew was the perfect person to represent Dax (and a good marketing decision short of finding a shirtless man) to changing my trinket-buying habit so I could funnel money to advertising, it was still a book I cried many silent and real tears over.
Just like this one.
Most of all, the journey of these last two books taught me to treat each book as if it were my last. It’s a morbid thought but it’s as if time is running out and whatever I want to say I need to say it. Whatever stories I need to write (for my heart not for the market), I need to write them. Life is short.
So Loving Riley is finally getting its close-up. It’s only taken a year and a half of self-doubt. Sometimes I ask myself if I’m being melodramatic about the whole thing because it is only a book. But it is what it is. There’s a huge piece of me in my books, and Loving Riley carries within its pages my self-confidence, my love affair with storytelling, and my heart.
And that’s about it.