Thursday, January 7, 2010

TENtalizing Tidbits: Chelsea M. Campbell

Welcome Chelsea! She's here today on LiyanaLand to talk more about how close the release of The Rise of Renegade X is. Less than 200 days close. Damien-is-so-going-to-freak-out-close.

Chelsea M. Campbell: My countdown widget tells me there are now less than 200 days until my book, The Rise of Renegade X, comes out. Some days I look at the countdown meter and think, “Wow, the days are just flying by—it won't be long at all!” And some days I look at it and think, “199 days?!? Are you freaking kidding me? Do you know how long I've been waiting, and there's STILL over six months of waiting left to do?!?”

As Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part. And there's a lot of waiting in publishing. It's kind of like how the human body is made of 70% water or whatever—publishing is made of 70% waiting. But fortunately, waiting doesn't mean *just* waiting. Sure, I am chomping at the bit for this book to be out so-people-can-read-it-OMG. I love this book. I used to feel kind of weird telling people I love the book I wrote—and, okay, I still do feel a little weird about it—but if the author doesn't even love it, how is anybody else supposed to? But anyway, there are lots of little stops along the way. I got the offer to publish fifteen months (to the day, actually) of the publication date. So half the waiting is over already, and in that time I've signed contracts, done revisions, copy edits, joined the Tenners, made tons of new author and blogger friends, seen my book go up on Amazon and Goodreads, reworked my website, and called my parents every time anything even remotely exciting happened.

And now I have my ARC (Advanced Readers Copy, a paperback copy that may contain typos and formatting errors, but that comes out early so reviewers and sales reps can get a sneak peek), with more coming. Getting my ARC seems like the last little milestone on the path to publication, and I've still got six months of waiting. But when I stop and think about it, it's not. It marks the end of revisions, other than one more pass on typos and such before the real thing hits the shelves, but really it's the beginning of other people reading my book.

A twitter friend of mine just posted a pic of a bunch of Egmont ARCs she won at a YA event, and mine was one of them! So there's proof that my book is out and about in the world, and people I don't know could be reading it, and I won't necessarily know they're doing it! How exciting is that? Like most exciting things, it's also kind of scary—funny how those two go together so well—but still awesome. I guess you could say that since revisions are over, now the really exciting stuff gets to start. Soon I'll have more ARCs to give away in contests and to take to bookstores and libraries to see if they want to get a sneak peek and maybe, ya know, order some copies.

(I will pause here to admit that going to bookstores and telling them I'm an author and would like to leave a copy of my ARC for them to read is terrifying. Stomach flopping, toe tingling terrifying, and I also can't wait, because I think once I get the hang of it it'll actually be fun and not scary, just a little thrilling. I hope. Plus what are they going to do, say no? Oh, no! Please, God, no—don't leave that free book with the awesome cover here! Get it away from me! Aggghh!)

Soon I'll also have pretty bookmarks to give out and a launch party to plan and signings to set up. (Did you know authors set that kind of stuff up themselves? For the most part, unless you're famous, it's DIY.) Not to mention other books I'm working on or have on submission, which means that while all this debut stuff is happening with Renegade X, the process is starting all over again in the background with other books. So even if I can't wait to get to read the first chapter to a room full of people, and I can't wait to see it on the shelves at the bookstore (if next May you see some twenty-something girl standing in front of the superhero/villain book with the hot cover, screaming or crying or just smiling like an idiot, that's probably me), and even if I can't wait to see how my book does out in the world, all aloney on its owney, at least I've got some stuff to occupy my time for the next six months. And as much as I hope the days tick by really fast on my countdown meter, you only get one debut, and I think I'd be really sorry if I didn't also savor all the moments between now and then.

Thanks Chelsea! Check out a trailer for The Rise of Renegade X made by Chelsea herself! Complete with epic music and a cool voiceover. :D

Grab the countdown widget here!

Cross-posted at: LiyanaLand! on 27 October 2009.


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