249 Days Before Book Release and All the Crap I Have to Do


Not this. Is this a part of it? Keeping up with the blog and other deadlines, or am I just procrastinating on rewriting a character arc? I don't know. You tell me.

September 14, 2020. My first novel releases in less than one year, and all the sudden the stuff I wanted to do becomes the stuff I have to do. Which, to be fair, gives me a purpose. Yet, stupidly, I didn’t expect it, even though I did.


Imagine my surprise on learning that my major demographic—speculative fiction and young adult lovers—was predominantly in… Utah. Of all places. Good for me. It’s close and personal. Idaho isn’t far off, and even Iowa (isn’t that the literary capital of universities?) can be found in a short trip.

So great. Salt Lake City, September 2020, a 400 person ticketed event. Except it’s pretty much like planning a wedding, one in which you may ending up hating that love of your life you wanted to celebrate. So, exactly like a wedding, I guess.

Venue. Check. The Gathering Place. Advertising. Financed. Organized. Budgeted. And still not check. Decorations. Activities. I’m not even a people person and crowds make me nervous.

I don’t have social anxiety as much now that I went through my dead-inside stage and am pumped up on Prozac, but still…

-Cover release.


54 days until that. (I’ve gotten an app to countdown my impending panic attacks.) Except, I’m not so concerned about having to post the cover and change my website. A lot of the coding is done. The design, done. The summary... ? Eh.

March 1st will probably be one of the most exciting days of the year. Book is scheduled to go up for presale, cover is announced to the public, and everything starts snowballing.

Six months in and everything becomes about the book. I feel like I’m three months pregnant and just waiting until my social life disappears entirely.

-Editors, ARCS, beta-readers, oh my (God)


I now have several deadlines I really need to oblige, some of them are contingent on other people. It’s scary enough trying to make sure I stay on task, but others as well? I have to trust them? Count on them? Talk to them? My life is hard.

Mostly though, my deadlines in the past have been flexible, determined by me, solely by me and simply wishes. I could reorganize them to my own needs, allowing for my sickness to debilitate me. In truth, that’s what I’m most afraid of. What if I collapse? Fall behind?

-Tour and budgeting.


After the launch party, I plan on taking a few months off to go around the west. This requires a lot of planning, phone calls, research, and figuring out how I can save enough before then, while still having all the time required to do everything else. I hope to spend the entirety of 2021 going to events, high schools, libraries, and conventions, which means that I’m going to turn down some work here. And what about my merchandise and artwork? Sales from my shop? How am I going to deal with that with all this travel?

-Figuring out exactly what I have to do.


The actual most stressful part is the planning. Understanding what I need to do and when it needs to be done. I don’t like being taken by surprise, and I believe strongly that a book is just like a small business—to make it work, you need to hit the pavement. Be efficient in how you spend your time, be reliable, and be a few steps ahead. But often times, each question leads to a new one, and while I have plenty of time to figure some things out, as my first book, I know there’s a lot I don’t know. I’m not even afraid of looking like a fool, more so finding myself with regrets of what could have been done differently.

I’ll try not to do that.

-Brace myself.


Even in the early stages, it can be an emotional roller coaster for me. Some people are excited, some people are competitive, some people are genuinely busy. In the last year or so, I struggled to feel disappointment or rejection, but also the highs of praise and acceptance. I am curious. What will happen if a marketing strategy fails? What about my first bad review? What if (even though I am highly skeptical as I can bank on at least one that Amazon won't take issue to) I get no reviews! I am hoping for some good times, expecting some stress, but not sure how I will handle the inevitable embarrassments or flops, the ones I know that are coming, some of which have previously put me in a state of apathy about my work. Now that this has started, I can't quit. People are counting on me!

I mean, someone is reading this and expecting results.

If you want to be kept updated on Making the Horizon, sign up for my newsletter. I’ll be trickling out pieces of information here and there until March, but the big announcement won't start for a few months now. Thank God.

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