At the fantabulous Austin SCBWI conference this past weekend, various folks asked me what I was working on these days. I know they wanted to hear about new picture books or nonfiction projects or the like, but what most came to my mind was Groucho Marx glasses and curriculum guides.
Why’s that? Well, I’ve got a new book coming out in less than two months, Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities, and I’ve been taking the jittery, nervous excitement that comes with a book release and trying to channel that energy into plans and efforts to get the word out about it.
There are lots of things I could spend my time and/or money on in support of the launch of Can I See Your I.D.? A book trailer. A blog tour. A launch party. Paid advertising. Lesson plans. And so on, including — yes — novelty Groucho glasses in keeping with the “false identities” theme. And at least some of those, I will spend my time and/or money on.
But there’s a limit to it, and I can feel that limit approaching. The book is finished — it’s as good as it’s ever going to get — and there are other projects of mine that would also like me to finish them. (The feeling is mutual.) So much of what happens with Can I See Your I.D.? from here on out depends on work that’s already been done, and I need to keep that in mind and keep the importance of the promotional efforts in perspective.
Does that make me a little uneasy? Does it make me wonder whether I’ve considered everything I could and should do in order to give this book a happy launch out into the world? You bet your life. But a year from now, the launch will be long over, the book will still be the book, and I’ll hopefully have a new launch to start thinking about — if I get back to the work of writing, that is.