A Strange and Familiar Beat

I launched my first novel today. It feels strange, and yet familiar.

In my past life I ran a small software company. Product launches were the rhythm section for the whole company. Launch, upgrade, update, update … Launch, upgrade, update, update … that was the sound of software being released into the wild. Major launches were significant events that took a great deal of planning and teamwork. But each release was as much a beginning as it was an end — the start of a new cycle that involved maintaining and promoting the old while starting to work on something new.

During that same past life, I played drums for an indie rock band in Vancouver. We released two EPs — a four-song CD with the whole marketing package, and a three-song self-burned CD that we only ever sold at one fundraiser/release party. By the time that second EP came along, all of the original band members were beginning to focus on the next chapter of our lives — parenthood. The energy we’d had when we released our first EP was much harder to muster the second time around. Ironically, the rhythm I described from my software launches was harder to develop for the band than it was for the business (I’d like to think I managed to keep a decent rhythm within the songs … but even that is debatable). Of course, there was one significant difference between the two ventures: Techneos (the business) paid my bills, whereas The Lounge Cats (the band) cost me money.

How does this relate to releasing a novel? Launching Goodnight Sunshine reminds me almost equally of these two past ventures. It is both a business venture and an artistic expression. I don’t expect it to make me rich — I’ll be thrilled if I can break even — but I do want it to pave the way for shifting more of my energy toward being an author. And if my past experiences have taught me anything, it would be that a product launch is only the first step in a long process of building credibility, relationships, reputation.

So here I am … another launch day … with no fireworks, no grand celebration (though we already had a nice little pre-launch soiree), and no interviews lined up with Oprah or the New York Times. What I do have is a completed novel — with a pretty cover and everything. There will be plenty of activity for the first while — I’ve built a bit of pent-up demand by talking about my book to family and friends for three-and-a-half years — but beyond that, I expect there to be a lull. Then I’ll have to start beating the drum again (I like percussion, if you haven’t noticed) and get serious about an eBook, a book tour, and another round of promotion … all while writing my second novel and researching for my third. But for now, I will momentarily pause to appreciate this milestone.

Did I mention that I released my first book today?

12 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Sheilareply
November 26, 2015 at 07:11 PM

Woohoo Mark!!!! It’s a fabulous book! Much love, xoxo

Mark Cameronreply
November 26, 2015 at 07:11 PM
– In reply to: Sheila

Thanks! And fabulously edited, I must add!

Margaret and Larry Petersonreply
November 27, 2015 at 01:11 AM

We are ever so pleased for you, Mark…..congratulations to you, and to your dedicated partner in crime, editor and spouse , Sheila. It has been a long time coming, but here you now are…. A published author! Well done!

Mark Cameronreply
November 27, 2015 at 01:11 AM
– In reply to: Margaret and Larry Peterson

Thank you, Marg, for cheering me/us along throughout this whole process!

Sandrareply
November 27, 2015 at 02:11 AM

Congratulations Mark! So exciting :). Looking forward to reading the book soon !

Mark Cameronreply
November 27, 2015 at 05:11 AM
– In reply to: Sandra

Thanks, Sandra! You can probably imagine how helpful Sheila has been with this, huh?! 🙂

Ruth Baxterreply
November 27, 2015 at 05:11 AM

Way to go Mark and Sheila, so glad the day has finally arrived. Hope you can sleep tonight. My cousin Sherry wants to buy a book. I’ve sent her the press releases and a page of your blog Mark. Love Ruth/Mum

Mark Cameronreply
November 27, 2015 at 05:11 AM
– In reply to: Ruth Baxter

Thanks Ruth. It will be easier sleeping without that task list hanging over our heads. Looking forward to getting a book into your hands soon … and Sheila won’t take it away this time. 😉

Momreply
November 27, 2015 at 05:11 AM

Congratulations, Mark& Sheila!
Can’t wait to read the first finished product! Now, on to the next one!
Things never stand still for very long it seems!

Mark Cameronreply
November 27, 2015 at 05:11 AM
– In reply to: Mom

Thanks mom! I’m looking forward to hearing fresh feedback from those of you who read the beta version!

Momreply
November 27, 2015 at 07:11 AM

Dad,
Mark, having had a front row seat through every software launch, I had no doubt this day would come once you set your mind to it. I also knew that it wouldn’t happen without the necessary iterations to meet the high standards you set for yourself. Can’t wait to read the ‘final’ version !

Mark Cameronreply
November 27, 2015 at 07:11 AM
– In reply to: Mom

Thanks dad! I hope this ends up meeting my high standards — and yours! I have many ideas for how to improve upon this effort based on what I’ve learned. We’ll call this Mark Cameron Book 1.0!

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