Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: Anticipating the Worst

“Anticipating the Worst” may not be the most uplifting or optimistic phrase I’ve used in any of these pre-publication posts to date. Overall, it’s been a joy and a blessing simply to know that my story collection, Quiet Americans, is going to be published.

But this weekend, as I sat with a printout of the designed book interior, reading through the entire book (aloud) to catch any last glitches (yes, there’s a professional proofer at work as well), I became a bit queasy. What if these stories aren’t quite as good as I’d hoped they were? What if people begin reading and dislike the writing intensely? What if the reviews are uniformly negative?

Admittedly, some of this newfound nervousness may be due to two concomitant factors: this week’s focus on negative reviews in Janice Harayda’s #bkrev tweets, and my visiting a number of book bloggers’ sites and reading their review policies, many of which warn (fairly and honestly) about the possibility of negative opinions.

Then, too, I’m sure it’s natural that as a publication date approaches one simply becomes a little fearful about the book’s reception. Right? Right? Totally normal.

It may be normal, but it’s also nerve-wracking. I’d love some tips from other authors about managing this kind of pre-pub anxiety. Please share–and thank you in advance.