Yesterday I had the great pleasure of walking into my hometown independent bookstore, Bookshop Santa Cruz, a local institution that’s survived an earthquake, the advent of Amazon, direct targeting by Borders Books setting up shop across the street and purposefully undercutting their prices, and a pandemic—to discuss details of my upcoming book launch event at their store.
We brainstormed ideas for my virtual book launch event on October 26th and I handed them 300 The Burning Light of Two Stars bookmarks to display on the counter and stick in the signed copies that the store will be shipping out for me.
I walked out of the store happy, my mind pleasantly generating ideas for my hour-long digital launch event. As I headed back to my car, I compulsively pulled out my phone to check my email. As I scanned the column of unread messages, there was a long message from Ingrid, the head of my publishing company, Girl Friday Books:
“Hi Laura: I am afraid that we will need to move your official pub date back from 10.26 to 11.9, in order to ensure that we have a full 28 days (as Ingram requires) of books in warehouse before the pub date. Sheridan [the printer] has been totally backed up for lack of warehouse workers, truck drivers, and now a paper shortage. They also had one of their presses go down. We have been moving heaven and earth to get your book printed on time. We delivered the final files to the printer in plenty of time, but I am afraid the book, along with many others, has been the victim of the global supply chain issues that every printer, really every manufacturer around the world, has been dealing with…I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Onward and upward!
No? No way. Shit! Not again. This had already happened once before.
The first time, my book launch date had been delayed by a week—from October 19th to October 26th—the printer couldn’t get paper. My publicist, Girl Friday, and I all scrambled to reschedule events and to change the dates on which pre-recorded podcasts would run and blog posts and articles would drop, so everything would remain centered on the official week of my launch.
My astrologer told me that the new date was a better date for my book launch—an auspicious date for the birth of my book. She even told me the best time of day to send out my book announcement emails and social media posts. I settled into the new reality.
And now it was happening again. Damn it! NO!
I have to give Ingrid credit; she delivered bad news in the kindest and most straightforward way possible, and the rest of her email made it clear that Girl Friday had really tried everything to remedy the situation and would continue to do anything they could to help.
My mind began reeling with the implications of another delay. Shock, denial, frustration, bargaining; I felt all of it in the next ten minutes. And then, pretty quickly, I came to acceptance. This was the new reality I had to deal with. As I drove home, ticking off in my head all the people that had to be contacted and the myriad implications of this change, I flipped on NPR. And there was a story about supply chain problems affecting businesses across the US and all over the world. This was definitely not something happening just to me.
There are so many things in life (actually pretty much everything,) that we can’t control, and this moving target of a launch date is just one of them. In the greater scheme of things, there are a lot worse pieces of bad news I could have received yesterday. Someone could have died. My mammogram could have told me my cancer was back. There could have been an accident, a nuclear attack, an approaching forest fire.
The fact is, The Burning Light of Two Stars will come out. It will have its birthday. People will read it and talk about it and share it. It will inspire people and entertain them. A double delayed book launch is not the end of the world—far from it. It is unfortunate, it is an inconvenience, but I must be nimble and roll with it. I have no choice. Fretting over it will only waste precious life energy. I need to accept the new reality and move on.
The Burning Light of Two Stars is now available for presale. When you buy the book before its release date, you help me by generating interest with reviewers, librarians, and bookstores. To read about the great presale bonuses you can get, hop over here.
To receive this blog series in your inbox, subscribe here.