There are many, many steps on the path from contract to publication, and each one makes the entire thing feel more real. And I think I've stumbled into the next-to-last step right before holding the book in my eager little hands: reviews and promo.
One of the awesome reviewers who'd requested an ARC of THREE DAYS TO DEAD emailed me yesterday to say she'd received the manuscript. I had a brief moment of WAAHOO!!! followed by sudden terror.
It's one thing to convince an agent and editor your book is worth their time and investment. It's another thing to get wonderful cover blurbs from authors you adore. It's a fantastic feeling for folks to love your cover art as much as you do.
But hearing that a complete stranger will now be reading and reviewing this book I've lived with for the better part of two years? Terrifying.
It makes the entire thing seem closer to real. I didn't just imagine this book deal, or hallucinate the cover. Copies are going out. Strangers will be deciding whether or not they like it. Gak! I'm as scared of this step as I am excited by it.
So in the interest of not appearing too wussy about the whole thing: Bring it on!