• Cheryl Rice
  • Want to Know the Hardest Part of Launching a Book? (+ A Giveaway!)
Want to Know the Hardest Part of Launching a Book? (+ A Giveaway!)
Written by
Cheryl Rice
October 2014
Written by
Cheryl Rice
October 2014

It is hard to believe that my official book launch is happening this week--October 7, to be exact. In fact, while I’m still maniacally darting around like one of Santa’s elves on Christmas Eve, trying to spread the word (all 51,743 of them!), Amazon has already begun packing, shipping and delivering pre-ordered books. Oh my.

Deep breath.

So, there’s really only one more thing to do. And as any parent, control maven, or recovering high-achiever knows, it’s the hardest thing of all: letting go. 

Whether it’s delivering your shiny six-year-old daughter to kindergarten for the first time, savoring an extra-long, extra-tight hug with your son when you drop him at college, or presenting the project plan you’ve spent months developing to your boss and boss’s boss, at some point the work is done, the dye has been cast, the seeds have been planted, and you must stop. Back off. Get the heck out of the way. You must let go.

And it’s scary as hell. It’s an ending. It’s a beginning. And it’s precious. Time to put on the big girl pants. We don’t want to miss this.

And so it goes.

My book is leaving the nest for parts unknown. And on my walks and in my pre-slumber chatter, I murmur reassuringly to myself, “You’ve done your best, honey. It’s time. Of course it’s not perfect. Nothing is. But you’ve raised your book to be independent, truthful, strong, and, dare I say, wise. It is of you but it is not you. Your work is done. It can take care of itself now. Time to rest.”

And I do.

And I dream. And in my dream I picture my books falling like autumn leaves into the hands and hearts of those who will most treasure its message. And when I wake I surrender to the realization that my book is now much less about me and my story and much more about my reader and her story. 

And I smile.


+ Giveaway details: Tell us how you practice the art of letting go of your book or anything for that matter! At the end of the month we will be giving away a free book to three commenters, chosen at random. To read the preface and first chapter of my book, go to www.yourvoiceyourvision.com/book and click on “preview the book.”

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  • Cheryl Rice

    Great perspective, Lauren. Thanks for offering it!

  • Laura McNeill

    Congratulations Cheryl!  For me, it's not difficult to let go of a book ... I'm excited to share it with the world and start on a new adventure :)

  • Cheryl Rice

    Thank you, Gwendolyn. I will remind myself of your comment that letting go is a "love-gift to the universe." That offers a path to freedom from attachment to outcomes that I have been looking for. Best wishes. And thanks again for your tweets this week!

  • Gwendolyn Plano

    I am so happy for your Cheryl...heartfelt congratulations.

    I love your comment that "my book is now much less about me and my story and much more about my reader and her story." You will find, as have I, that it reaches into people's hearts in ways you may not now imagine. Letting go is a love-gift to the universe--ultimately, the book is no longer yours.

  • Bella Mahaya Carter

    Looks great, Cheryl! Congratulations! I just ordered your book, and am looking forward to reading it!

  • Cheryl Rice

    Thanks so much, SW sisters for your encouraging, empathetic and engaging comments. I am so glad to have your companionship.

    By the way - while I am practicing letting go of my book, I am also practicing letting in the love and my launch party last night was a great place to practice both. What a gift our writing life and writing community can be.

  • Dana Cowart Crisson

    Congratulations on the launch of your book! I am looking forward to reading it. I emphasize with your analogy about letting go; every time I write an article for our local paper, I kept editing and revising it until finally I have to make myself hit "send." And letting go with my children is something I didn't realize I would be dealing with all my life. I thought sending them off to college would be my biggest, final step, but actually it is harder to let go and let them make their own mistakes as adults. I watch as they make bad decisions and advise them, but ultimately I have to let them make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences, which is very difficult. I must take your advice and remember that I raised them as best I could and now, and my work is done.

  • "It is of you but it is not you."  Wow... that so resonates with me, Cheryl.  If only my first drafts were publishable, I would be spared the angst and heartache of 'letting go' of precious bits and pieces of my 'babies'!  I first began writing, for public view  - I've journaled daily since the age of six - that is, a few years ago... finally putting words to paper, my own short stories and flash fiction of the genre I fell in love with as a teen and only dreamed of one day writing my own noir and crime fiction.  No one told me then that writing the first draft of a story was the easy part.  No one told me that I would have to learn to 'let go'.  To say it has been a journey would be an understatement.  I am currently neck deep in my memoir and two fiction novels, several writing projects on my plate and published author 'creds' for stories I wrote for several fiction anthologies.  I am getting better at this 'letting go' thing, but still need reminders such as yours.  It's a process.

    I just ordered Where Have I Been All My Life?, resisting the impulse to pay extra for overnight shipping, and am really looking forward to reading your memoir.  Growing up, I thoroughly enjoyed summer camp - adventure should have been my middle name - but there was a girl who could have been you, she seemed to never stop crying, the poor thing.

    Congratulations on the publication of your memoir... and letting go.

  • Margie Ann Stanko

    When I began writing, each word was too precious and the concept of letting it go stood in the way of my success.  Many years later, after learning the art of editing with grace, I sustained a traumatic brain injury and language was stolen.  I worked for over two years with speech therapists and TBI specialists to regain the language I loved so thoroughly.  Now, a couple of decades later, I still write first drafts, not knowing if I'll know what the emotion beyond the words was meant to be when I return to it.  Yet, I listen to the pattern of the sound, the texture of the words in my ears, and I know whether something fits or doesn't.  If it doesn't, I let it go.  Knowing, as I do know so well now, that when the time is right for those words, they will fight their way into my writing and win their place on the page.

  • Millie Mac

    Congratulations on your new book.  I am in the middle of writing a memoir and have an idea of the courage and pure hard work you have undergone to reach this point. I read the opening pages and am looking forward to reading the entire book.  

    I love how your post captures so vividly the sense of release when one has accomplished all one can and must now let destiny run its course.   It is well.

  • Rita Gardner

    Cheryl...congratulations, and thanks for the "letting go" ruminations. Yes, you HAVE done your best.  Wishing you the best - it is a major accomplishment! (Mine launched last month, and my book launch party is this weekend, so I can really relate to how you are feeling.  And I too, have to remember what you said - the realization that the book is less about me - but more about my readers and their story.  Thanks for putting it so well! 

    Much love,


  • Jill Zima Borski

    Congratulations. Now it's on its own to fly and be free, and inspire or enlighten others in the process. May the feedback help you in your next endeavor1

  • Janet Singer

    Congratulations on your book launch - I'm guessing it was amazing! This post is so timely for me because for the first time in six years, I can't say "I'm working on my book." I recently completed the index and sent it back to the publisher. There is NOTHING left for me to do (except market it but that's a whole 'nother story!) Yes, it's hard to let go but your post helped! Thank you.

  • Betsy Teutsch

    Off to celebrate at the book launch party. I read your book during quiet parts of Yom Kippur services - it feels like a deeply sacred process you describe. WIll be writing my review on Amazon as soon as I finish it. 

    Bravo for the healing the book describes, and bravo for sharing it with the world!

  • Carolena Torres

    aI remember the cold chill that came over me when I held the first printing of my book in my hands.  A huge frightening thought crashed into my brain when I thought, "Some one is going to read this!"  Years of note taking, books full of it, even pictures of my proposed characters.  I kept doing  research, appointments and conversations with friends, seminars online and in person for about four years, ending of course in the inevitable.  It was printed.  What else? I looked around and other writers didnt seem frightened.  What else could I do but open a bottle of Pinot Grigio and sharpen my pen for book signings.

  • Jessica McIntosh

    Congratulations on your book, and best of luck as it launches into the world!

  • Sherrey Meyer

    Congratulations on your launch, and letting it go! I'm a type-A and letting go has always been the bain of my existence. It's challenging, frightening, and totally foreign to my being. But, at 68, I'm finally practicing "letting go." I've let go of worry -- according to my type-B husband, it's a waste of time, and I needed the time for other things. I've let go of work -- again my husband's doing suggesting I retire early at almost 62. What I really need to learn to let go of is the desire for everything to be perfect. But this week stressed by an intense creative writing class I had started, volunteer work I had signed up to do, and severe back pain source unknown, I had decisions to make. Unrelenting pain told me I had to let go of the class and the volunteer work in order to heal. It wasn't easy but I did it. And I feel OK about it all. Look forward to reading your book.

  • Colleen Haggerty

    Cheryl, my book will be released into the world next month so your words resonate perfectly for me right now.  How do I let go?  I take that deep breath you mentioned and I trust.  I often imagine putting "it" into an imaginary bubble that is cupped in my hands and then blowing on it with loving breath.  Set it free. 

  • Sue Y Wang

    Congratulations on the book launch and letting go. I echo your type-A sentiment. Once 'trained' that way, it's can be a challenge to release and trust the energy of the book. Blow it kisses. When I create something, I hold the structure of how it 'should' be; if it doesn't turn out the way I wanted (thank it for the message), then I envision my expectations like a color cloud/aura leaving the project. Deep breath and wish it/the child/the creation well. Best wishes to you!

  • Yoga is my time to let go. 

    Congrats on your book, I look forward to reading it. 

  • Rossandra White

    Congratulations Cheryl. Scary and exhilarating! Good luck. 

  • B. Lynn Goodwin

    "But you’ve raised your book to be independent, truthful, strong, and, dare I say, wise. It is of you but it is not you. Your work is done. It can take care of itself now. Time to rest." 

    I so hope you are right, but like any wise parent, I know you'll be rooting for you book and helping it out with every publicity opportunity available.