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Sharon Ashwood | When Your Brand New Book Leaves Home …


Launching a book is a peculiar business.

First, the concept of “launch” is a bit different from the writer’s end. She’s already sent the manuscript away over and over again – to the editor, to the copy editor, for page proofs, and on and on. And yet the darned thing keeps coming back like a pesky cat and, sadly, editors are about as easy to ignore as a yowling Siamese hanging from the screen door. What began as infatuation with one’s literary child quickly morphs to irritation. That’s a sure sign Baby Book has hit the difficult toddler stage.

But books grow up too fast. When it finally launches, the author doesn’t actually have much of a role to play anymore. Sure, a party is nice, but all the stuff that matters is all beyond her control, subject to grand and incomprehensible market forces. Baby Book is all grown up, out in the cold, cruel world and about to encounter fast cars and loose readers. Will the universe be kind?

It’s high anxiety time for the author. I know! I launched RAVENOUS, my debut contemporary paranormal just two weeks ago. Not knowing every last detail of how my baby is doing nags like a sore tooth (and given that I write vampire novels, teeth matter!).

You can imagine, then, how grateful I am to those first readers who dropped me an email—just the “Hey, I liked your book” notes. It was like pure gold. Somebody had read and enjoyed what I had written, and the circle of communication was complete. Suddenly, I could relax a little. Somewhere out there Baby Book was doing just fine.

Readers, don’t underestimate what your notes mean to authors. We’re performers who sing our songs into silence. We don’t hear applause; we don’t see faces beyond the footlights. Some days, those two-sentence emails are a lifeline. I’ll be eternally grateful to those first few who let me know they’d read RAVENOUS. I think they saved my sanity that first week!

After this experience, I realized that I’d only written to authors a time or two myself. Why not? I’m not sure—perhaps I didn’t see them as real people, or I was shy, or it just didn’t occur to me. Have you ever written to an author? If so, what inspired you to do it?

Sharon Ashwood

Comment below and be entered to win in Sharon's one day blog contest!




14 comments posted.

Re: Sharon Ashwood | When Your Brand New Book Leaves Home …

Ravenous sounds great. I cant wait to get the chance to read it. I had never written to an author before I started reading blogs. It just never occurred to me.
(Donna Simmonds 12:14pm February 19, 2009)

Ravenous just went to the top of my tbr list. I've found so many new authors via Fresh Fiction's blog.
(Kay Martinez 12:21pm February 19, 2009)

Hi Sharon, I'm looking forward to reading Ravenous soon. I'd probably email more authors if I had more time, I spend too much as it is with all the book sites, blogs, etc., I try and get to. I've emailed some to congratulate them on winning a major award or with a question on a book or series. Sometimes I've won a book and after being notified, might end up going talking a bit more through emails on whatever, just last week it was about book recommendations with an historical author. Now it's easy to get to know more about our favorite authors more with blogs and chatting on book groups.
(Pamela Pellini 3:15am February 19, 2009)

Hi Sharon, I've been reading a lot about Ravenous and it sounds like a great read. I haven't read it yet but from the interviews I've read you are such an unique person I bet the book is incredible.
(Donna Locklin 7:43am February 19, 2009)

Hi Sharon. Ravenous sounds great. I love the cover. :)
(Crystal Broyles 11:13am February 19, 2009)

Hi Sharon, I have been reading about Ravenous on a lot of blogs lately and it sounds like a great read. I also e-mail authors pretty often to let them know that I enjoyed their books. I used to think you guys wouldn't have time to mess with a lot of e-mails but I have found out that author really enjoy hearing from their readers. Oh the wonders of the internet to let us keep in touch with our authors.
(Gail Hurt 12:05pm February 19, 2009)

Hi Sharon,

Your new book sounds like a good read. Have added it to my BTB list.
(Karen Haas 12:27pm February 19, 2009)

I've never actually emailed an author before you, Sharon. I always thought that they didn't have the time. But I'm glad that me emailing you was a lifeline.
If the prize is a copy of Ravenous, don't enter me in the contest, since I already have one and I don't want to take the chance away from someone else who doesn't have one.
(Ashley Madden 3:00pm February 19, 2009)

I've been hearing good things about Ravenous and already have it on my wish list.
(Cathy MacDonald 3:09pm February 19, 2009)

I have to get this one soon! Whenever I win a book I write to the author after I have read it to let them know how I enjoyed it!
(Martha Eskuchen 6:52pm February 19, 2009)

No, I didn't ever write directly to an author purely to tell me reaction to his/her book. However, I have enjoyed online chats since I discvered them and love to let authors know that I had read their work and how very much I appreciate their stories.
(G. Bisbjerg 8:00pm February 19, 2009)

I've been wanting to try this book since I saw the cover. It looks really good! I've emailed a few authors in the past usually with a quick question about their book. I always appreciate when they take a minute to respond as I'm sure they get tons of email.
(Michelle K 8:06pm February 19, 2009)

I really want to read this book:)
(Bridget Hopper 9:14pm February 19, 2009)

I read some really great reviews of RAVENOUS - can't wait to read it.
(Leslie Gladnick 12:00pm February 20, 2009)

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