Book Release Hangover

My first book, Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality, came out a couple of months ago. I expected my book release to be fun, but I ended up feeling a little despondent. Releasing a book involves a lot of self-promotion and sharing, something I’m not particularly fond of. In the midst of my online promotion frenzy, I took a quiz titled, “What should your hungover name be?” In response to Buzzfeed’s prompts, I said I’d prefer to puke in a KFC bucket, move into a cave, and watch Netflix.

Buzzfeed spat out a paragraph-long description of my hungover self. When I read it, everything clicked into place: I’m prone to book launch hangover and my name is Timothy.

According to Buzzfeed:

Timothy gets existential hangovers. Booze makes little Tim sad the next day. “Why did I say that?” “What was even the point of last night?” “Who even am I anymore?” Chill Timmy. It’s OK, you had fun last night and now you have to pay for it, that’s how the world works. Have a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea, you’ll be just fineee.

This perfectly described my feeling about book release. I might have released a book, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I did karaoke in my underwear. Worse yet, all my family and friends were there, plus some strangers. The next day it was all over the internet. In the foggy hungover light of morning, I was like, “What’s so-and-so going to think? I wish I’d never written a book!” Throughout August I yo-yo’ed between grandious success delusions and a fervent desire that no one would ever read the book. I am Timothy.

Everyone kept telling me “Congratulations!” All I wanted to do was go back in time and rewrite a couple of chapters.

Now that I’m a couple of months past book release, I feel normal again. I recycled all the scraps of paper with notes about Ruby that have been filling up bins for ages. That felt good. I’m working on a new project and about to start edits on the sequel to my Ruby’s Misadventures. If you want to find out what your hungover name is, take the Buzzfeed quiz. Post who you get in the comments!


15 thoughts on “Book Release Hangover”

  1. Well, I’m on deck. My crime/detective fiction book SINK RATE is due to come out next month. I’m not sure where to put the “feelings” I suppose I’m having. But there will be no time for self pity. It took almost 20 years for SINK RATE to make it to it’s final form. Then there was the effort to get someone, anyone to take it seriously. While that struggle was going on I wrote the sequel, ROPE BREAK and started on a historical novel. Then WHAM, I got a publishing contract for the first two books.

    Now there are four novels in the que and I’ll be busy bothering all who will listen to take them seriously. Can’t I just write the stuff and ignore the rest? Sigh, I guess not.


  2. First off, congrats again. I’m sure there will be oodles of people wanting to read and loving your book.

    Also, when my time comes, I’m also Timothy. So I might hit you up for advice on the best release-hangover cures. 🙂


  3. HI,

    I am a regular subscriber to the Mysteristas newsletter, and I enjoy it very much. I know that your posts are by mystery writers, but have you ever considered having post from a mystery reader and letting your authors respond? A reader’s point of view, experience, and questions are probably very different from those of a writer but might be interesting as well.

    If you consider this, please let me know and I’ll submit a short post for consideration.

    Thanks and happy writing (and reading) to all.

    Barbara Howe

    (3 no 7)


  4. Sam, I love that book! And I love that you did karaoke in your underwear, so to speak, because Ruby is a gem. Literally. She’s fantastic and so are you. To echo everyone else: congrats! You worked your cute little tail off and here you are! You might be a hungover Timothy, but I think you’re amazing and you shouldn’t think you aren’t.


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