Happy Friday, everyone!
Today, we're honored to be a stop on the blog tour for The Only Thing Worse than Me is you.
Lily Anderson has written a thoughtful, funny post on the expectations she's had about publishing, and how it's evolved and changed as she's progressed in her publishing journey.
Read on for more, including some additional details + an excerp ton her amazing book!
A guest post by:
Lily Anderson, Author of The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
May 2016, St. Martin's Griffin
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today! We're so excited for your book!
As a debut author, I would imagine that you began your publication journey with a certain number of expectations. Would you mind sharing how those expectations have altered and grown, as you've progressed down the road to publication?
Have any of those changed expectations also been influenced by your fellow authors? I've always heard such wonderful stories of debut authors growing and learning together in their debut year, and would love any insight you wouldn't mind sharing!
My first real job was at Barnes and Noble. I started when I was 16, the day after my high school graduation. I worked in the children’s section, right as Young Adult was starting to get moved to its own shelves. In fact, I remember putting in the signage for the Teen Series section.
I never loved working retail. I’m not actually all that smiley and talking to strangers makes me really anxious, but I have always loved books.
I used to fantasize about walking back into that Barnes and Noble, no longer an employee but a real live author. I would breeze in on dangerously high heels with big dark sunglasses and blood red lipstick and walk straight over to the shelf with a hundred copies of my book. I’d pull down a copy at random and scrawl my signature on the inside cover, daring management to question it, so that I could show my author photo as ID.
Again: I was 16.
A week ago, on Twitter, the darling Ava Jae (@Ava_Jae) informed me that if you want to sign your books at a bookstore, you need permission from management. You take your book up to the counter and politely say, “Hey, I wrote this. I’d love to sign your inventory, if that’s all right.” Because you are a polite member of society and, hey, maybe don’t punish a store for simply employing you ten years ago. (Okay, Ava didn’t say that last part but I inferred it.)
Basically, every part of being a professional writer is more and less glamorous than I thought it would be. Did I get paid to publish a book that I absolutely loved writing? Yes. Did I get rich? Nope. Did I make a ton of new super talented writer friends? Yes! Do I get to hang out with them in an Algonquin Round Table situation? Only if you count Twitter.
When my book sold, I didn’t plan much more than the “holding it in my hands” stage of publication. But writing is a real job, which—for those of us who have been doing it for funsies—can be kind of a shock to the system. It’s so awesome to have a whole team where it used to be you alone with a laptop, but that team also depends on you. Now, if you don’t get your newest revision done, then it reflects poorly on your agent and your editor. It hurts your awesome marketing team and your very patient copy-editor. That pressure takes some time to adjust to. And sometimes, there’s just endless silence while your team works without you—on contracts and book covers and marketing plans and hundreds of memos that you’ll never see.
When I signed my contract for The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, I thought I would be absolutely heartbroken if my book didn’t get turned into an audiobook. “I love audiobooks!” I thought. “All the best books get audiobooks. That’s just how this works.” It’s not. Lots of books don’t go to audio and it’s not a reflection of the quality of the book at all. Just like some books are hardcover and some are paperback. You won’t die without a Kirkus star or if someone else’s book gets mentioned in Entertainment Weekly. It sucks when someone tags you in a negative review so you have to see it, but sometimes people tell you that you wrote their new favorite book.
I never expected to be the author of someone’s favorite book. That completely surpassed all of my other expectations.
So, I guess I’ll be nice when I go sign my hardcovers at Barnes and Noble. But I’m still gonna wear the sunglasses and the lipstick.
Lily, thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful, beautiful answer. I ask this question a lot for debut/newer authors, and it's honestly an honor to realize just how authors feel about being on the opposite end of the publishing spectrum.
We're so looking forward to sharing your book with the world! And on that note...
Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books—well, maybe not comic books—but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.
The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on—and they might not pick the same side.
An excerpt from the book:
Doesn't this sound amazing? You know it does.
And on that note...GIVEAWAY TIME!
Enter below for a copy! (US/CAN)