What not to do when you hold the first copy of your first book in your hands

A primer for the new author

Nita Sweeney

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Woman holding book at author book signing.
Nita Sweeney with reader at book signing.

Nothing illegal.

Seriously. I cannot think of one single legal thing you should not do when you hold that very first brand spanking new copy of your very first, brand spanking new book in your shaky hands.

Not. One. Legal. Thing.

But what should you do?

BEFORE you take 10,000 selfies or ask your poor, exhausted husband to take 10,000 photos of you and your book, and you share 5,000 of those images on social media, take a breath. Pause. Have a private moment with your lovely new baby. Just the two of you.

Stare at it!

That name on the cover? THAT’S YOU!!! I recommend a small shriek or maybe a full-out ROAR!

Smell it!

There’s not much better than that new book smell and when it’s a book created by your very own hard work, sweat, tears, and sadly, yes, agony. Smell it all. It’s all in those pages. Sniff. Sniff. Who’s cutting onions?

Open it!

Riffle through those pages. Look at that type. Find your name on the title page, your bio, and your photo. Admire your handiwork.

Hug it!

Wrap your arms around that lovely baby and pull her to your chest. Embrace your creation. Perhaps wrap your arms all the way around yourself and, with your brilliant book against your chest, hug both of you long and hard.

Dance around!

Or not. But at least give a little hop or maybe a shimmy. Let your body express your joy.

Thank the entire world!

Now that you’ve had your private moment, remember gratitude. Writing is a team sport. Chances are, while you may have spent countless hours alone, hunched over your keyboard, it took a tribe to bring your effort into the light of day.

Spread the news!

Get the selfies and the photos and the videos and let the world know your baby is for sale!

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Nita Sweeney

Bestselling author of A Daily Dose of NOW, Depression Hates a Moving Target and other books. Runner, mindful reality coach, mental health warrior, dog mom.