So Far Away combines the lives of a wayward teenage victim of cyberbullying and a lonely archivist. Given that a terrific set-up for a novel, it only makes sense that Meg would have such insight about a cyber quandary that many authors experience at launch time. Thank you, Meg! --Sarah P.
Before my first novel, The Arrivals, was about to published—this was a little over a year ago—a fellow author told me about Google alerts. “It’s great!” this author told me. “You put in your name and the name of your book and you get an email every day telling you where your book has been mentioned.”
As a debut author I thought that sounded pretty great. (“What? People talking about my book? Sign me up!”) Over to Google I headed, and it was with the pride of a mother enrolling her firstborn for kindergarten that I registered my name and that of my book.
Things went along swimmingly for a little while. It was through Google alerts that I found out about my first Publisher’s Weekly review, which was very positive. A couple of blog posts popped up too, and those were fun to see. Then, one day, something less nice came up. I don’t even remember exactly what it was but I think most authors can identify with the feeling that accompanied it: the hollow stomach, the shortness of breath. The flushed cheeks, even though I was the only one in the room. (Maybe that last one is just me: Irish skin.)
I hated it.
Four more days passed, same deal. And then I remembered this: you could un-register for those alerts just as quickly as you could register for them. So I did. And you know what? Immediately I felt better. Two-twenty became a much more peaceful time of day for me, during which I was able to concentrate on my work in progress or walking my dog or making my kids a snack rather than waiting at my computer. Life outside the book went on, as life outside books tends to do.
Did I really miss any good news about my book that way? Maybe. Did I miss any bad? Who knows! My second novel is coming out next week and while I hardly consider myself a seasoned novelist I have learned that positive feedback generally makes its way toward its intended recipient via publicists or agents or readers themselves. Negative feedback: not that helpful anyway, and probably best paid no heed.
Oh, while I was giving up the Google alerts I kicked the Amazon review habit. I got the Goodreads monkey off my back.
You can find Meg at http://megmitchellmoore.com/ or follow her @mmitchmoore.