The Texas Ranger’s Daughter releases on Wednesday!
Release is a good word for this type of parting. As an author, I want my book in the hands of readers and await their response to my latest work with anxious anticipation. Who will write me to offer praise and who will write me to offer constructive criticism? Will someone review this story on GoodReads, Amazon or B&N? Who will mention this book to a friend?
In mind, this is actually the second release. The first release comes when I send my manuscript to my editor. This marks the moment when the story is no longer only mine. It is the instant that it changes from a beloved piece of my imagination to a commodity to be prepared for market. Now the art department is involved with cover design and my editor is involved with suggestions on how to improve the story. There are production meetings and front matter to collect (the dedication & Dear Reader letter). The back cover is drafted and the book is scheduled for release. Finally, for me, there are revisions, copy edits, line edits and final author alterations to be made. During this time, the book becomes a collaboration of many interested parties, and although it is not all together mine, I still have input and a chance to make some changes.
The second release , for me, is when the book is available to the public. Anyone anywhere can pick up my story. They can read it, throw it, review it, offer it to a friend, set it on a precariously high reading pile, tuck it away in their electronic reader, review it online, trash it online, recommend it online or, maybe, just maybe, add it to their coveted Keepers Shelf. This is the highest honor a reader can bestow.
In any case, what they do with it is not up to me. The book, my story, is not mine any longer. Now it has a life of its own. Though the parting is a little sad, it is good to see your stories leave the house and not have to worry about them moving back in or asking to borrow money.
This Tuesday, it is the time for me to wish The Texas Ranger’s Daughter well, wave good-bye and turn my attention to the stories that are still living under my roof and in my head.