Give Yourself A Celebration (Plus: Giveaway!)

photo by Velo Steve

Because of ongoing negotiations between Barnes and Noble and Simon and Schuster, the new trade paperback release of M.J. Rose’s The Book of Lost Fragrances isn’t on display in any Barnes and Noble stores -a loss of visibility that can hurt a book’s sales potential. In the spirit of helping a fellow writer, WU will be sponsoring a giveaway today. Leave a comment on M.J.’s post for a chance to win a copy of her novel. In two days time, we’ll randomly chose a winner. Even if you don’t win, we hope you’ll support this book by buying a copy yourself and/or helping to spread the word about this book. Thank you!

This business is brutal. Very few books win the lottery. There are too many million things that have to line up just right for your book to get a chance to be bona fide hit. At every step anything can go wrong. Even everything can go wrong. From sloppy edits, to bad covers, to meager marketing budgets, to snarky Kirkus reviews, to books not being shipped, to not getting table displays.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the trap of what you should be doing for your book. From Tweeting to building Pinterest boards, to growing a phenomenal number of followers at Facebook (even if we all know that Facebook doesn’t show them all our posts).

It’s so easy to obsess over your upcoming launch. To worry that you aren’t doing enough. To say yes to everyone who asks you to write an essay for their blog. To go above the budget you gave yourself in order to buy extra marketing. To fixate on every bad Amazon review. To compare yourself to every other author doing better than you. To check your rankings incessantly. To beg your publisher for yet more free books because you didn’t give one to the shoe shine guy in Grand Central station who might give it good word of mouth because he talks to so many people a day. Right?

But what’s hard to do is stop.

Deliciously sensual…Rose imbues her characters with rich internal lives in a complex plot that races to a satisfying finish.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred)

“An absorbing and thrilling ride through the centuries.” —Library Journal

“M. J. Rose’s multi-stranded plot skillfully hits all the right buttons, blending exotic settings, romance, and paranormal fantasy with political intrigue into a colorful story that would be right at home as a Hollywood thriller.” —New York Journal of Books

To stop and celebrate this truly amazing thing you have done.

You have spun a story out of thin air. Created characters so real and compelling that an agent took you on without getting a dime in advance. Written a book so powerful that an editor went to bat for it with the acquisition committee. That a publisher paid you money for a dream you dreamed.

Isn’t it amazing? You imagined this. Whether it’s your first or your thirteenth or thirtieth book, isn’t it really truly wonderful? Doesn’t it deserve a day of celebration?

It doesn’t have to be noisy or expensive. You don’t have to be feted by 100 people.

But you must stop and celebrate. Be it opening a bottle of champagne, taking the day off to play golf, or buying yourself flowers or a new pair of red-soled shoes– however you want to celebrate – just so long as you do it.

Fiction Writers Coopw2It’s too easy to get caught up in the strum and drang. To see mostly the clouds. To fear the sales figures.

Don’t do it. Instead, do what Margaret Mitchell did with Scarlett and leave all that for tomorrow.

Today is for cheering your achievement. For honoring your creativity. Respecting the magic that is your talent. Let the rest of the year be about the problems. Allow yourself this one day – your pub day – to be about fireworks and cheers.

And email me and tell me what how you celebrated – send me a picture – I’d love to share your wonderful pub day.


About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose is the international and NYT's bestselling author of several novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. In 2005 she founded the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz, and is the co-founder of BookTrib and Peroozal. She's a founding member of ITW.


  1. says

    It’s unfortunate that this seems to be a trend – books having a hard time making it on the shelves at a “book”store. Crazy. Especially when it sounds like it would be a great read.

  2. says

    I don’t have a book out there (yet?). But from my side of the computer, I truly admire and cheer anyone on who has an agent, a publisher and a real book with a lovely cover like yours. Yes, indeed, celebrate. You are absolutely correct; the obstacles will be there regardless. But taking time to focus on the birth of the “baby” is vital to our health as writers.

  3. says

    It is very hard to stop all that and celebrate, as you say. Because of all the “work” involved in keeping your book out there, it can be so easy to let the accomplishment of it all just fade from your mind. Thank you for reminding us to take time to stop and smell the sweet fragrance of a job well done. P.S. Your cover is GORGEOUS!

  4. says

    So sorry about the S&S problem. I hope it didn’t dampen the launch– WOOHOO << Me cheering with you! I am so looking forward to reading your book — it sounds incredible.

    For now, the fates have determined I'll be following the self publishing route (at least for this book, launching next month), but I still plan to take your advice: stop and celebrate. I like that!

  5. says

    It’s such a shame that the bickering of others has put such a dent on what should be a momentous occasion. Congratulations, M. J.!

  6. says

    Every book that makes it to publication is a bit of a miracle. Who is to say which miracles are big or small? I celebrate them all. Hurray for The Book of Lost Fragrances !

  7. says

    I really needed to hear this. Stop and celebrate four years of work? Seems logical, but I woke up this morning listing all of the jobs left to be done to do a proper job of promoting the book. Just to be crazy, I’ll opened some canned peaches for breakfast – such an extravagance – to taste the sweetness of summer and sunshine. That’s a celebration!

    Your book sounds wonderful. You’ve found your audience in me. May you find millions more like me who can’t resist a pretty cover and beautiful premise.

  8. says

    Thanks for the reminder to stop and smell the roses of our successes, MJ! Energy goes where one focuses it, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in the drama of money and politics. Not conducive to creative flow – unlike the joy of celebration.

    All the best with The Book of Lost Fragrances. I’m eager to read it; it looks right up my alley. May it defy the B&N odds!

  9. says

    Congratulations and kudos, first, for being at the end: beautiful book available for your fans. I hope your book will have ‘legs’ and survive long after the publisher/distributor kerfuffle.

    I hope you ALSO celebrated lots of places along the way: when a character started coalescing from a bunch of traits into a person. When you finished the first scene, the first chapter, the rough draft, and each revision that felt so good because some element was now locked down right.

    Writing has its own internal sources of endorphins which non-writers don’t get. People who struggle with every word when they HAVE to write something don’t get to know the particular joys of finishing something of which you’re proud, and of creating something which didn’t exist before you thought of it.

    In my writing life, the little joys get celebrated, usually quite privately – but they get noticed and recorded and savored.

    Wishing you much joy.

  10. Charlotte Hunter says

    Thanks for the affirming post, both for those of hoping to realize our first publishing contract and for your own work. I hope the S&S dispute with BN is resolved very quickly; in the meantime, I’ll order your book online and hope your royalties are generous and quick to appear.

  11. says

    Thank you all – so much. So much!!! And to answer… we opened a bottle of champagne and we went shopping and my husband bought me a very lovely necklace so there would be a reminder of the day.

  12. says

    Hi M.J.,

    I will remember this when my first book comes out next year! Congratulations on your book and launch. It is a huge accomplishment to get an agent, a publishers, and then readers. Success is a floating bubble. We will grasp it unless we stop and realize we are already successful!


  13. says

    I’m guilty of too often putting off the celebrations until tomorrow. Thank you for the reminder not to do that.

    Good luck with The Book of Fragrances. I’m looking forward to it.

  14. says

    Congratulations, MJ, and I hope the issue with B&N is resolved. Writers should celebrate not only publication, but other milestones along the journey. If we don’t nobody else will on our behalf.

  15. Jana says

    Agreed – it’s time to give ourselves a little party and celebrate. I’ll bring the cupcakes. And maybe some booze…

  16. Sonny says

    The Book of Lost Fragrances is not lost. Your fans will share the word about the release and celebrate with you your wonderful story. Thanks for writing it.

  17. Larkin Warren says

    I will celebrate your day by buying your book, because that’s the best gift I can give you. I am ordering it from my favorite indie, because that’s the best gift I can give them. And maybe, someday, when my turn comes, I might ask you to do the same. Mazeltov!

  18. Lisa says

    I haven’t published a novel (yet!) but I do try to celebrate little successes along the way. My husband took me out for dinner when I had finished the first draft – that felt pretty good!

    Looking forward to reading your novel!


  19. says

    Congratulations, MJ! I, too, will order your book. I love the cover and the title.

    Although I self-published, it still felt absolutely surreal and incredible when that first proof copy arrived in the mail.

    Cheers to many successes!

  20. Elaine Williams says

    I will be watching with interest for the release of The Book of Lost Fragrances. It looks like a winner from where I sit.

  21. says

    Congratulations, Julie! You’ve been randomly chosen to win a copy of M.J.’s novel, The Book of Lost Fragrances. I’ll be in touch with you shortly to arrange for delivery of the book.

  22. says

    Terrific BookEnds interview on your webpage. The Book of Lost Fragrances sounds fascinating. I love the way you weave history and mystery together, and your curiosity about ancient religion and reincarnation. Sounds fascinating and I’d love to read it.

  23. says

    This book will NOT disappear, regardless of the publishers’ insanity. WONDERFUL book! It occurs to me that I forgot to go in and post reviews after I read it. Going to do that right now…
    And I can’t wait to read the next M.J. Rose release, Seduction, in May!

  24. says

    This is a good piece worthy of comment, even if I am way too late to possibly get a free book out of it.

    I was told just yesterday that I don’t celebrate my achievements enough. (I tend to shrug, maybe make a couple of positive comments, and move on.) This happened when it was brought to my attention that lately I’ve sold a short genre piece, then a nonfiction piece, then a poem, and, last week, a non-genre piece, with a great comment attached in an email from the editor/publisher. My reaction: “Yeah, but my novel’s not done yet. I’ve gotta get that novel done.”

    Of course, they’re right. Publishing stuff out of thin air, on a blank piece of paper (or a blank screen) is a unique achievement of creative birthing that we should not ignore for ourselves. After all, as this article points out, so many things can–and will–go wrong, that, ultimately, if we don’t pat ourselves on the back every now and then, who else will? The buyers who don’t buy it? The readers who don’t read it? The editor who mangles it? The publisher who publishes a lousy copy? The distributor who forgets to distribute it?

    Nope. Just us. So celebrate away. (I did, by going out with friends recently, who paid for my food and drink as their congrats to me. It’s the least they can do, since they probably won’t read the thing.)

    Celebrate however you do. But don’t forget to move on to the next piece–and fast.