With the release of Abandon Station, I want to share something that I don't think a lot of authors talk about. As much as we love a new release, we're also scared to death. In the last few hours, a lot of doubts have set in. What happens if my book is a flunk? What happens if sales can't tank because they never took off? What happens if nobody cares? The first thing that comes to mind, as an author, is that...it probably sucks.
Doubt is a beast that has clawed its way up from the depths of hell. I hate it! We all experience doubt. It's a rite of passage. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others. I think I'm the former, and that's what brings me to this post. Nothing makes me more insecure than a new release. I can do all the promo I want, but at the end of the day, numbers tell a story either in your favor or against.
So what do I do to not think about those numbers? Most authors will tell you they focus on the next story that they're hoping is even better than the last. That's what I do. Or, we move on to a different project—done that too. If we love to read and love to write, that's what we do. We don't focus on the numbers or—if you're like me—you don't read the reviews or the rankings. Someone will have to point it out to me or share a screenshot before I read it. I do my thing and keep it moving. That's how I combat the doubt. That's how I shove it right back down into the hole that crept up from. I give myself a few days to let the anxiety and the stress calm down, and then I move on. That's the only way I know how to deal with it.
So you're dealing the doubts right now, just remember, you don't suck. That situation that you're going through now, it sucks. But it won't last forever. It'll try to destroy whatever mental foundations you've erected, but you're stronger than that because you've already outlived it, time and time again. Let it have its moment, but remember, you're the one in control and doubt doesn't deserve anymore than a moment of your time. It needs to move on, so you can. Period.