If the best moment in an agent’s life is telling a writer that a publisher has made an offer on his or her book, the worse is when, about three weeks after publication, it becomes clear that without an act of god the book is likely to slip beneath the waves. How do you tell a drowning man there’s no raft?
The tour that didn’t materialize, reviews that didn’t appear, feature articles failed to showcase you at your desk, your cocker spaniels aloof on the couch. You had to throw your own publication party and your editor didn’t come. Or your agent for that matter.
I’ve never met an author who didn’t think that publishing a book would change his life. The problem is you never think it’s going to be a change for the worse. Some writers never recover from their book going unnoticed, some can’t take the negative reviews (JDS). Even those who get good attention can get stage fright. Can’t live up to or live down from expectations. And some, just some, can access their gift, harness their desire, and get back to work.
If you have been published, what was it like? Did you get rich, famous, laid? Did you get another contract? Did the book help you in achieving other career goals. Did your father stop calling you a bum? If you have not yet been published, what is your fantasy about what might happen. Don’t be shy.