Welcome to ARC Week
I was just coming off bedrest from some annoying medical stuff when I got my developmental edits for Lucky Lovers Book 2. The timing really couldn't have been better. I was getting a little stir crazy, and was exited to have some meaningful work to ease my way back into normal life. I took the weekend to mull over my editor's brilliant notes, and by Monday morning, was ready to rock.
And then the ARCs came.
The ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) came in three formats: a 5 chapter preview on NetGalley, the full e-ARC, and this box of gorgeous, gorgeous girls:
Holy crap, I can hardly imagine a bigger distraction! I carried one of these things around with me like a teddy bear all day, astonished to see a story that until now has existed only as a Microsoft Word doc printed in book for the first time. I had no choice but to reread it and drag it around town to show my family. The term "emotional support ARC" may have been used. Meanwhile, I was unable to quickly master the art of ignoring internet reviews, checking NetGalley for the glorious high of seeing that someone I don't know and has no reason to care about me has read my book (and more often than not so far, enjoyed it!)
I did get my edits in on time, but man, I cannot deny that my debut novel being so suddenly out in the world led to a more intense week than I was expecting. The physical ones led to lots of emotions after such a long publishing journey. That's why I didn't choose to do an unboxing video; it was a very personal moment. I didn't realize they would be full-color with the final cover and everything! When I flipped open the box and saw the hot-pink back cover with my headshot on it, I immediately closed the box again like it really had been full of sharks!
As for the internet buzz, I am thrilled that it's gotten into the hands of a few people who really vibed with it, but I'm definitely going to have to learn how to turn down the noise a little if I don't want my productivity to go through the window. Getting feedback of any kind is always my favorite part of writing -- I love critique groups, beta reader feedback, and formal edits. I'm not sure why I assumed I would be more chill about internet reviews, but I was definitely not!
One big surprise was that I am actually more distracted by positive than negative reviews! I am well aware that my work is not for everyone, and have gotten enough rejections to have my head wrapped around that fact pretty well. It's almost comfortable at this point. But the positive reviews? You guys just knock me off my feet with happiness.
A huge thank you to everyone who has said nice things about VICES. As I work to break the habit of checking reviews (which are for readers, not for authors, someone please come tattoo this on my face), I've taken screenshots of the ones that warmed my heart so that I can just look at those ones again instead <3