Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance and the ARC

I just read my first ARC and I’m devastated.

An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy that the publisher prints up and then sends out to buyers and reviewers to get an early buzz going. Authors get a case of these too, to use as they see fit.

As part of The Tenners, a group of Young Adult authors making their debuts in 2010, we circulate the ARC among our ranks so we get a sneak peak at what’s going to be published next year.

I just finished Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder and am blown away. To say I’m intimidated would be an understatement; it’s honestly made me consider never sending my ARCs out at all. Ever. To anyone. Kim has a perfect plot with two great lines of tension. As the engine of the book, this plot makes The Body Finder read like a luxury sports car runs—really fast with a smooth ride. In comparison, my plot is more like one of those early model Fords, where after pushing and pulling lots of levers, you would crank the car to get the engine going and then bounce around in the cab because the thin tires absorb none of the shock of the crappy unpaved roads.

I’ve been thinking a lot about cognitive dissonance lately—you know, that bad feeling you get from having two contradictory ideas at the same time. For instance, these two thoughts live side by side in my head at all times:

- I want to be a published author.
- I don’t want anyone to ever read my book.

As my release date inches ever closer, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle the public scrutiny.

While I privately suffer with my crisis of confidence, may I suggest you place your order for The Body Finder? Congratulations, Kim. Amazing debut work!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think maybe my plot is like a horse and buggy. But guess what? People are going to read our books.

Commence freaking out!!!!!

We will have to help each other through it.

Teri Hall

Tina Lee said...

You have made The Body Finder sound fantastic. I will look for it.

You have a lot of generosity despite your crisis of confidence. It does sound scary. You can do it though--look at this great network you have!

Irene Latham said...

I so share your dissonance, girlfriend. It helps to remember all our books our DIFFERENT and they should be. Great in different ways...

Anne Spollen said...

It's just stage fright. You want it, then it becomes real and hiding under the bed seems the next natural step.


You'll get good reviews -- this will chase away all the self doubt.

Angie Frazier said...

Irene is right. Our books are all different--different plots, different styles, different strengths and weaknesses, different motivations, different stakes, different EVERYTHING. I can't wait to read your book, Christy!

Jennie Englund said...

Your ARC will have the same effect.

I promise.

PJ Hoover said...

I'm psyched to read The body Finder. And YOUR book!
The two side-by-side thoughts are probably a very common thing, I think. I know I felt that way.

Katie said...

Yikes! This post actually scared me! I think I would feel just like you and yet I know how adorable and wise and wonderful you and your blog are - so surely your book is all that! Yeah - and you have a superstar agent, so I wouldn't worry.

But yowza. I know that icky feeling. I hope it passes.

loved the car analogy!

Can't wait to read her book - AND meet her in LA :)

Christy Raedeke said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I know it's stupid of me to freak out, but having a bit of an odd book is making me nervous...

Little Ms J said...

I'm positive that other readers are picking up things, making comparisons and getting worried too. It is our nature. If you didn't worry I would be concerned. What's that expression I hear every time I turn my head? Oh yea! ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Anna Claire said...

Everything Katie said is pretty much what I want to say. You're amazing and also your own worst critic--cliched but true. And keep in mind: out of all the wannabe writers, your agent picked YOU and then out of all the manuscripts out there, your editor picked YOURS!

Your book will be a smashing success and I can't wait to read it.

Casey said...

I feel the same way and I'm no where near publication.

I'm sure your book rocks just as much. I can't wait to read both!!!

Reverie said...

you are SOOOOO gonna be read. And cant wait!

ahh yes the Body finder... drool, yes?

Shelli said...

i want to be a tenner just so i can read the arcs!