• Marci Nault
  • [Countdown to Publication] THE LAKE HOUSE Hits the Shelves Today - Excitement and a Broken Toe
[Countdown to Publication] THE LAKE HOUSE Hits the Shelves Today - Excitement and a Broken Toe
Written by
Marci Nault
May 2013
Written by
Marci Nault
May 2013

Today is my pub day, and to celebrate my publisher Gallery/ Simon & Schuster is giving away two copies of The Lake House, to She Writes members. Just leave a comment to win.

The moment I've dreamt about is here. Ever since I was a little girl, sitting in the library tucked between the shelves with my nose in a book, I've imagined what it would be like to have my book published.

In the last few months, there's been so much anticipation, hard work, things I couldn't control (but boy did I try) that a part of me expected to wake up on pub day and have confetti, fan fare...something to make it a celebration. Instead, I woke up to a large, fat purple toe that I'd broken the day before - talk about the reality of life! Bills still came in the mail. Issues with emails and ABC liquor license for the launch party had me scrambling. Hold it! Wasn't I supposed to be carried around on shoulders - I'm published. (I'm kidding, except the carrying around part would help with the toe.)

My editor wrote to congratulate me and I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to return the sentiment. I couldn't shut off the intense fear I'd been feeling for so many months. 

I wrote back to her and fessed up that I was nervous and a little down. Right before I went into my interview with NPR on Insight Radio with Beth Ruyak my editor returned my email. "Don't be nervous. You've done everything you can. I've said this before and I will continue to repeat it - this book speaks for itself." (Check out the interview and my reading here.) 

I realized that my editor was right. I may hate watching videos of me speaking because I'll critique myself to death and hate pictures even when others say they're great, but one thing I know, no matter what page I open in, The Lake House, I fall in love with the story all over again.  

One of my closest friends came over to my house while I was dealing with launch party details and over-googling my book. She threw her arms around me, said, "Happy pub day!" and then whisked me off to find my book on the shelves. I was worried with the whole B&N vs. S&S battle that we wouldn't be able to find it. We started at the grocery stores, but they hadn't arrived yet. The local independent was getting it in tomorrow. We decided to try B&N. Last week, I'd gone in and spoken with the local outreach person and had given her a book, but I was told that the book wouldn't be there. As I walked around the store having a phone conversation with the caterer for the launch party, I wasn't even looking for the book, but then suddenly it was there - top shelf, turned outward and in-between some really fine literature. 

My girlfriend ran towards me as she saw me smile, the phone still at my ear, my hand over my mouth, as I realized that this moment that I'd dreamt about my entire life was real. After that, we celebrated to the max: I signed all of the books; bought a new dress for the party while every sales clerk oohed and aahed over my book; had a makeover with smokey eyes for the launch party; and dinner out at a great restaurant. 

I came home to see all the people on Facebook who'd congratulated me, shared my book, and a huge surprise - She Knows.com had chosen my book as one of three books to give for Mother's Day. (A basket with wine, chocolate, bubble bath, The Lake House, and note that says, "You deserve to pamper yourself every day!" makes a great Mother's Day gift.)

The day couldn't have been better even with a broken toe.

To the aspiring writers and those coming to publication I have a few tips. 1) As soon as possible create friendships with other published authors. Not just for cross-promotion and mentoring, but because they'll understand you in a way that no one else does. 2) Don't google your name every night - you won't listen to this one, but you'll get so much more sleep. 3) Remember to celebrate and have a life - you probably won't listen to this one either. 4) Trust in the story you've written, because that's what it's really about. Marketing and publicity are important and you have to be creative and think outside the box, but the story is what matters. Even though bad books become best sellers it's the ones that touch someone's deepest emotions, whether it be a fast-paced thriller that makes their heart beat or it's a sentimental journey that reminds them of true love, in the end you don't just want to sell well you want the story to be remembered

Let's be friends

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  • Marci Nault

    And I forgot to mention that five of the salsa dancers did pick me up and look like they were carrying me for pictures. So I got my fanfare after all!

  • Marci Nault

    The launch party was more amazing than Carrie's launch in Sex in The City. The party was amazing, the crowd incredible, everyone stayed most of the night and almost one hundred books sold. More than that people had the time of their lives. I'm ready to write another book just to have this experience again. The gallery that hosted told me their ready to do it again whenever I'm ready. Amazing moment. Go back and read how I did it.

  • Rossandra White

    Wow! You made it. A lot of work, isn't it?

  • Congratulations! I hope you enjoy every second of it!

  • Marci Nault

    Thank you everyone! Such wise wisdom and fun in these comments. The toe has gone down in size but don't know if I"ll be rocking those red high heels I planned on for tonight's book launch. I think I'm giddier about my party than my pub day. I promise a follow-up blog (though obviously not on countdown) to share how it all goes. 

  • What a coup!!:) 

    As for the blog about ***** P Day*****, thank you for being so real.   Can't imagine anyone

    reading it without wanting to order your book.  On my way to do so now.  Gonna love it,

    I know!  CELEBRATE BIG...but watch yer toes.  xOx  Phyllis  xOx

  • Christina M. Rau

    Congrats! A great accomplishment.

  • Irene Miscione

    Yes, congratulations! Having a novel published has always been my life long dream too, and I hope someday I can experience the joy you must be feeling now!!  You have a right to be proud! 


    Congratulations!  There's nothing I like to see more than someone's lifelong dream coming true!  Your faith, perservernce, tenacity speak to what hard work of dream-achieiving really is -- nothing worthwhile comes easy!


  • Congratulations!

    I've shared that same feeling of excitement on being published (okay, they were only articles but they were mine! and potentially being read by thousands of people!), and discovering that normal life was going on as usual (although not, thank God, with any broken bones). Treasure that excitement for as long as it lasts.

    And your editor's comment about the interview is very similar to what I always tell my students: you are the world's expert on your topic. So don't let the others intimidate you.

  • Ruth Lambert

    Congrats Marci, and sorry for your broken toe! Perhaps the metaphor you were feeling is "I can't STAND this..."? Now that the waiting is over, celebration is the order of the day. Enjoy every minute!  And BTW: I think #1 of your tips is the most crucial. During my MFA program these last two years, the input, support and encouragement of a local author was tremendously helpful. She even proctored my Practicum by observing one lesson I taught. Authors help each other and that's wonderful. ;)

  • Congratulations on your pub day!  Recently, I heard someone on the Today show (sorry, can't remember his name) say that if you remember that a speech, or in this case a reading, is not about you but about the audience it will help to reduce your nervousness.  If opening your book to any page brings confidence then let the writing shine through in your presentation!  Best of luck, Christine

  • Jenny Darlington

    Thanks for letting us in on your Big Day, Marci! Congratulations! I look forward to picking up a copy of The Lake House, getting a mug of coffee and a snack, and treating myself this Mother's Day to a nice long read :)

  • Well done, and well said. Congratulations! And yes, I 100% agree that you can sell like gangbusters, but its more important to have a great book and story. A friend just asked me why I kept going for 7 months before I finally heard "beautifully written" from my editor. Easy. I know that if she doesn't say that, then its a pretty good guess that not many others will...and I want a book that sells, not just an ISBN #. I have a responsibility as a writer to future readers.

  • Thea Constantine

    Oh this really is an inspiration to someone like me who's about to go on the hunt for a publisher for my first book. I love the image of you as a kid reading like mad ( I can identify as I'm sure everyone here can) to actually getting YOUR book out there. Congrats.


  • Michele Peterson

    Congratulations! You're an inspiration to us all! I can't wait to read the Lake House. 

  • Tasha Turner

    Congrats on publishing your 1st book. Great tips at the end!

  • Congratulations on reaching a day--an actual date--that forevermore will be your publication anniversary. All the work that went toward creating this amazing day will be marked with a circle on your calendar every year. What an amazing achievement! For all the days that follow, your book will accompany you.

  • Sally Whitney

    Congratulations, Marci. Despite all the humdrum details of life that you can't avoid, pub day is a very special day. Seeing your book on the shelf at B&N must have been a thrill. I hope you can always remember how you felt at that moment.

  • Mark Hughes

    My best wishes, Marci - but you don't have to register me for the book giveaway, as I already bought it and have started reading. I look forward to a nice afternoon with it, and I'll put my foot up so as to send you healing energy. Have a good day, and many more to follow.



  • Karen Adams

    So happy for you! Can't wait to read your book. Congratulations!


  • Marci Nault

    Adela, thank you for the share. I hope you enjoy THE LAKE HOUSE.

  • Marci Nault

    Thank you Joanne for your post. There are definitely so many ups and downs, but all of it is exciting. There's so much dreaming when it comes to being an author while you wait for things to happen, but the better understanding you have of the reality the more you can prepare and do what you need to do. Writing is half imagination and dreaming and half business. 

  • Congratulations!!  I look forward to the day, and look forward to reading THE LAKEHOUSE.  I may be shooting myself in the toe (and limiting my chances to win a copy of your book,) but I am sharing this post on my own Facebook Page.  

  • Congratulations! So glad your dream came true. It (and sharing all the ups and downs) gives everyone hope and a good reality check.

    Have a wonderful launch!