Hey all! Here's what I've learned from my debut year + debut week + debut day. Hope some of you might find this helpful! How to survive...debut year:

1. Make a list of things you have achieved! It's totally normal to have moving goalposts. My goal used to be: Get an agent.
Once I got one, I had a new goal: Get a publishing deal. Once I got that, I had to update my goal. That's fine and healthy, but what isn't healthy is to forget how far you've come. Don't dismiss the past goals just because you've achieved them.
Make a list and refer to it whenever you feel bad, and trust me, because this is publishing, there will absolutely be times when you will feel bad. 

2. It's true that social media isn't going to get you things that a publisher can, like placement at stores or libraries, but
social media is still a great way of getting to know people. The truth is, having a book deal opens some doors and I think does make it easier to get to know other people in publishing, so get out there and try to make more friends!
3. Speaking of social media, you're going to feel like you need to be a social media star, but most of us don't know our way around SM. I felt like there was always something more I could be doing, and for a while I felt so overwhelmed. Finally, I made a list of
things I could do on social media that I didn't find as scary or too time-consuming, and I tried to do them weekly. (You could do more, but weekly was just about what I could manage for my mental health.) Your time is still best spent writing the next book.
4. More about social media: Ask your publisher specific questions. For example, saying: “I can do social media!” is too vague, but saying: “I can post a reel every week on Instagram, but do you have any ideas on the topics?” is far more helpful and more likely to get you answers.
5. Be realistic about the limitations of social media. Don't blame yourself if you're not seeing the numbers grow despite posting regularly. I haven't really cracked the SM code myself. It's really, really tough.
6. Try to find people in a similar boat as you. The challenges I had with my midlist book were very different from ones I had with my bigger book. If your book is a lead title, you’ll have very different issues to tackle, and though the issues are totally legit,
it would be unkind to complain about them to someone who's having to fight for every scrap of publicity from their publisher.
How to survive... Debut Week!

1. Be kind to yourself. When I debuted with The Obsession, I was in the middle of writing my adult suspense, and even on debut day, I forced myself to hit my daily word count. Which...WHY??? I have no idea why I did that to myself!
By the time I debuted with DAFA, I knew enough to not arrange to do anything that week. No words were written, and I could focus on just the pub week. It was much calmer and kinder than the one before.

2. Make lists! My anxiety spiked during pub week, which meant I could barely
focus on anything. I constantly felt like I was forgetting something (and I was). So even if you hate making to-do lists, do yourself this favor and make one. You're going to have so much on your plate, you want to make things as easy for yourself as possible.
3. Stick to your routine. I made sure to keep jogging because that's guaranteed time away from my phone and anything book related. You'll be tempted to give up your routine because you have too much to do, but trust me, stick to your self-care routine.
4. Speaking of which, spend time with people who are not in publishing. I had lunch with a friend who was only fleetingly interested in publishing and we spent 90% of the time chatting about everything else. I came away from it feeling so REFRESHED.
5. Ask your support group if it would be okay to moan to them, and...do so! This is the time to lean on your friends and family for support. And the author friends you've made who are in a similar boat would absolutely understand and empathize.
6. This rly should have been thought of like a month ago, but I'm just gonna slip this in here: Think about how you'd like to celebrate debut day, and go for it. I'm more of a homebody and I find social events stressful, but I realized that if I didn't celebrate debut day,
I would live to regret it, so I arranged for a celebration, and I'm so glad I did because I will forever have that time to remember it.
How to survive...debut DAY.

1. Okay, so first thing you need to know about debut day is that...they are weird. I celebrated my debuts a couple days prior to the actual days because the actual days were weekdays, so the actual debut days were...quiet.
Online, people are like, "YAAAY HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!!" and it's all wonderful! But in real life, I was still wiping runny noses and butts and sticky fingers and it was completely unglamorous and felt so UNREAL. I've seen other authors say that debut days are kinda depressing,
and I get it. Mine wasn't depressing because I was prepared for the strange quietness, but just be aware of that. How to combat it: I set aside some quiet time, made myself a nice cup of tea, and wrote myself a letter. I congratulated myself on becoming a published author
and reminded myself of how long the road had been. I looked back at my own journey and really took the time to appreciate this strange, magical moment. I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself I was a published author. Basically, I did things to affirm myself and
tried to soak that realization in. So don't expect too much from actual pub day. There's still exciting stuff ahead!

2. Send yourself flowers, or cake, or chocolate, or a gift basket, or whatever. I know, it sounds obnoxious, but DO. Treat yourself. Try to order it way in
advance so you forget about it and you're surprised when it arrives!

3. Don't expect your family and friends to buy or read your book. It's so much better when you assume nobody will read it, then when your cousin does, you're like, AAHH! 😍
Hmm I think that's all I can think of for now... if you have any questions, I'll try to reply to those here!

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Hey, #WritingCommunity! For #AuthorsForFireys, the amazing @sl_huang and I are putting out a mentorship! This includes a six-month mentorship where we give you writing career guidance AND critique your query.

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Bid in comments! ❤️
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