I released a book yesterday and all in all, it was successful. At least, it was successful by my standards.
My book didn’t shoot to the top of the charts or end up on any bestseller lists. But A Druid’s Secret is only my second full-length release and not only did I smash my pre-order record but I smashed my personal sales record. Success for me right now means doing better than last time and I can say with certainty, that A Druid’s Secret was a personal success!
Release day was super exciting and we had a blast at the online party but today I’m definitely feeling the come down and I didn’t even drink a champagne. Release day hangovers are a thing and it’s time we talked about them.
There’s nothing like the high of a release day, especially if your sales and engagement are higher than the time before. You’re on cloud nine for the whole day and by the time midnight rolls around, you’re too exhausted from being perpetually excited to really understand that its over.
Cue the next day and you feel a little bit underwhelmed. Almost as if you thought that high would last forever because it sure felt like it at the time. Even though you were happy with the release and the book’s performance the day before, suddenly you feel a little bit disappointed. Could it have done better? What could you have done to make it a more successful day?
Here’s the thing: those thoughts are the consequence of a whole day of riding an adrenaline and serotonin. When we’ve had huge doses of them all at once, it’s natural to feel a bit low afterwards. Our bodies bounce back but they take a bit of time to recover. Not many, if any, of your depressing after-thoughts are valid.
So how do we deal with them? Here are a few ideas to deal with that release day hangover:
Read. But not in your genre.
Reading is the ultimate distraction with good feels included. At least, so long as your favourite characters aren’t dying a horrible death. Now is the time you need a distraction so take the time to sit down and do some reading.
However, don’t you dare pick up a book in the same genre as your book. That’s not an exercise in relaxation. In fact, you might end up spending the entire time comparing the book you’re reading to the one you just released. Because you wrote your book, the chances are you’re going to find everything that’s different about the one you’re reading makes it better than the one you wrote.
Read in silence and read for hours but for goodness sake, pick a light-hearted romantic comedy if you’ve written an urban fantasy.
Take a walk in a quiet place.
Walking is an oddly effective way to generate endorphins. There’s something about being outside in nature on a mild day that is incomparable to other stress relieving tactics. Better yet, walking isn’t just a way for your body to re-balance itself. It can help you work through your doubts about your new release, if you have any.
Walking is a great opportunity to reflect and very often your brain will take on that task without your permission when you’re having a gander in the great outdoors. (You know, so long as your phone is tucked away somewhere safe!)
While you’re getting all your gentle happy feels from walking, you’ll gain a clearer perspective on all your doubts about your book. Especially the ones that materialised out of nowhere that morning. Use the opportunity to rationalise and come to realise that your fears are partly a consequence of your release day hangover and partly because you’re an Anxious Author. Be proud of your work!
Start that next project.
I’ve been warned warn against starting new projects when you’re in the middle of one already more times than I can remember. In some ways, it’s good advice but only at certain times.
For example, if you’re having a really bad day procrastinating and just can’t focus on what you’re supposed to do, why not focus on another project? If you’re going to procrastinate, surely procrastinating by doing other work is the best way forwards.
New projects are shiny, new toys we haven’t had the chance to scratch up yet with unedited first drafts and tortuous editing stints. They give us the buzz that we started writing for in the first place. A feeling of hope and excitement for something you’re about to create.
This is the perfect treatment for a release day hangover. It helps to reignite the fire of passion for your writing at a time when you’re doubting your skills and ideas. Especially if there’s a chance you won’t be productive that day anyway, start the darn project!
Thanks for reading!