Phoenix Williams is the author of thrillers (Oneironaut, A Guardian Angel) and humorous fantasies (The Alfred Arnold Saga). Ranging from dark and tense to strange and hilarious, his work captures the bizarre eccentricities that make reading unique. The first installment in Phoenix Williams’ fantasy adventure “Alfred Arnold” series launches on Oct. 21 on Amazon.
This is a guest post by Phoenix Williams.
Anyone who has ever had a book launch that they’ve put real effort into can tell you that it’s a stressful ordeal. It’s some of the craziest months in a self-publisher’s career, especially when just getting started. It makes it even more chaotic when you’re publishing a series and have multiple launches only months apart. During all the insanity, it’s important to retain some peace of mind. Here are some things I do to make sure I’m not overwhelmed by the crushing burden of responsibility a launch puts on one’s shoulders:
1 – Embrace the occasional silence.
Sometimes, even the dull buzz of a computer monitor or the clacking of your own keys can cause your mind to lose its sharpness. Personally, I usually have TV reruns or music playing while I’m writing or doing publishing tasks. Overstimulation happens all the time, and when it does, it’s like being struck with a stun grenade. When this happens, the only cure that works is silence.
I like to go take walks in the midday when most of the other folks are out running errands or working. Sure, it’s not total silence, but the sound of birds and breeze can unclog an overstimulated mind just as well as the absence of sound.
If you can’t get outside, the next best thing is meditation. It’s simple, universal, and ancient. All you need to do is turn everything off, immerse yourself in quiet, and focus on your breathing. As someone who suffers from a panic disorder, meditation is the most powerful tool at calming inner turmoil.
2 – Have a regular TV show or periodical to read
When doing a book launch, it’s way too easy to become disconnected from the rest of the world. I never watch new shows while I’m writing because I know I’d be distracted and not write my best. However, it’s important to have something new and refreshing to steal your attention during off-hours. For me, it’s been new episodes of both “Walking Dead” series and late night shows like “The Late Show” and “The Daily Show.”
Since you’ll be editing and reading your own manuscript several times, it’s also crucial to have some fresh words to stare at. Your only reading time shouldn’t be all work and no play. Don’t let it distract you when you need to get work done, but don’t be afraid to take an hour off and delve into your favorite literature.
3 – Follow your agenda
A book launch becomes its most frustrating when you lose track of what you’re doing. For this reason, a detailed agenda or to-do list is the best tool you’ll have at your disposal. Record everything you intend to do, no matter how small. I’ve listed things such as changing my author photo, fixing the page numbers for the print book, or writing author interview answers. When in doubt, plan it out.
So sit back and take a deep breath. You’ve never worked harder in your life, but admit it: you’ve also never been prouder. This is the kind of work you do out of love, even at the sacrifice of your own sanity. Still, you need to take some time for yourself, if for no other reason than to make your progress efficient. You’ve made it this far, so take a moment to congratulate yourself and brace for the avalanche of work ahead of you.