If I could, I would skip book release day all together. It’s like birthdays when you’re young or New Years Eve in your twenties. Too many expectations. Too much fear of rejection.

Plus, there’s my control freak’s worry about sharing my words with the world.  Have I done enough? Will the world be friendly? What did I get wrong? It reminds me of my oldest child’s first day of preschool, so many years ago. Or how I’ll feel on the day when my last child leaves home. “Nooooo. Not yet! What if we’re not ready?”

More than a decade ago, when my first books came out, I drove to churches and schools and bookstores. Shyly, I told the front desk ladies and sales clerks about my new young adult series. Most of them were sweet, but uninterested. I still squirm at the awkwardness of these visits. I was pretty sure I was doing promotion wrong. Nothing should feel this excruciating.

Then I got the guts to ask other writers how they felt about book releases. They all agreed that this can be the hardest part of the job. We writers are such a sensitive bunch, so good at noticing others’ reactions and internalizing rejection. We take everything personally.

Even when book releases go so well, we’re not great at it. For Last Summer at Eden, a Launch Team of enthusiastic, sweet readers has embraced and shared the book. Friends have mailed out packages with Save Camp Eden pins. It’s all so humbling and exciting. As a parent, it’s the feeling I have when my child makes a friends. You like her too! YES!

And so, I keep reminding myself…It’s a book release for a reason. I did my best. I can’t control if anyone loves or hates or ignores my book. It’s all up to God. And He is so good. He will do with this book whatever He is going to do.

More than anything, I’m so thankful for the chance to tell stories, and for the readers who listen to those stories. I’m hopeful Last Summer at Eden will find its people…and they will find their own hope through the story.

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