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It Doesn't Get Easier - And That's a Good Thing

It's to be expected that most (if not all) authors are nervous or anxious or absolutely petrified right before their first book launches. It's the moment of truth. The day when this little word doc you've been hacking away at for months and months becomes public domain. It's the moment when other people can pick it up off a shelf and skim through its pages and decide whether they love it or hate it. And you, the author, have absolutely no control.

So yeah, it makes sense to be scared before your first book comes it. It'll get easier as you publish more right?

I don't think so.

My second book comes out in less than a month, and I am even more nervous than I was last year about the first. I've heard a few people talk about "second-book-jitters," and I think I understand that now. Because on top of all the same fears from the first book (no control, people might hate it, you can't change it now), you have one new one: disappointing your fans.

Because what if the people who loved your first book don't love your second book? And what if they decide not to read the third?

So, if anything, my experience has shown me that it gets harder as you go. The fears don't leave. New ones crop up. You're still on Goodreads waiting for new reviews to come in, biting your nails and praying for the best.

And, you know what? That's a good thing.

No, really, it is. Because the minute you stop worrying, the minute a new book release stops being scary, might be the minute you've become apathetic. We're worried because we care. Because we WANT to please our fans. Because we want to know we did the best job we could. And with every book, that fear will likely still be there. It's good to care about the things you love. It's good want to write the best book you can. It's good to want to please your fans, even if sometimes you have to remind yourself that you just can't please everyone.

So the worry, as annoying as it is, is good.

So don't believe that it gets easier with every book you publish. Maybe once you've published ten or fifteen you just get used to the anxiety, but before that, no so much. It might not get easier, but that isn't a bad thing. After all, once something becomes too easy, it just isnt' fun anymore, right?

Kody Keplilnger

Kody is the NYT bestselling author of The DUFF, Shut Out, and A Midsummer's Nightmare, all from Little Brown/Poppy, as well as Lying Out Loud, Run, and the middle grade novel The Swift Boys and Me, from Scholastic. Born and raised in Kentucky, she now lives in NYC.

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  1. Love your honesty, Kody. This is great!

  2. my book is also published next month & this article was really, REALLY helpful! thank u, i feel so much better now!:D

  3. Great post, Kody. It's always stressful - but hey, it's always exciting, too! :)


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Item Reviewed: It Doesn't Get Easier - And That's a Good Thing Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kody Keplinger