The Pressures of a Second book by Kim Nash @kimthebookworm #AuthorTakeOver #GuestPost

Posted April 5, 2020 by Zoé in Author TakeOver, Guest Posts / 7 Comments

I am loving this TakeOver, Kim has taken over the blog! It is fab getting the inside scope on the books, the inspirations everything! So thank you!!

The pressure of a book 2!

I’ve heard people in the writing world talking about Book 2 syndrome and I never realised it was a real thing.  But oh boy! Indeed it is!

So, picture the scene.   You’ve written your first book, which has taken a long long time, years in fact, under no pressure, and you get a call from a publisher saying that they’d like to publish it, and give you a two-book-deal.  Emotions get the better of you, as the phenomenal news is still sinking in and you are amazed that someone loves your work enough to work on it with you, make it even stronger and then publish it.   Then all of a sudden, your brain clicks into gear.  ‘A two-book-deal did you say?  That’s two whole books?’   

‘Yes’, came back the answer ‘and we’d like to publish the second one around six months after the first so you’ve probably got about 6 months.  Can you get your idea over to us for Book 2 and we can discuss.

‘Of course, I’d be delighted to’ I reply, wincing inwardly.

I ended the call, still jubilant that my book Amazing Grace was going to be published.  It’s a really personal book for me, as I poured a lot of my emotions into that book around how I felt after losing my mum. 

Then, I had to write another.  Quickly. My inner voice was saying ‘shit, shit, shit!’ 

While Amazing Grace was being polished and proofread, Escape to Giddywell Grange was being created.   Luckily my editor liked my idea and I cracked on.  Working full time and writing is hard!  I had to fit the writing into pockets of time I had.  A couple of writing retreats with friends, gave me a great word count to come home with and eventually, it was done! 

But the pressure of a second book is immense.   My first book went down really well with most people.  Amazing Grace has an average rating of 4.7 which I was pretty pleased with.  But what if the new one was a flop.  I’d look so stupid in front of everyone.  What would people think of me if I failed?

I lost count of the amount of times that I picked up the phone to call my editor and tell her, that I’ll just stick with the one book because the second one was ok, but not as good as the first.  It became my mantra for everyone who asked me about my second book.  It was almost like I had to say that to protect myself in case it wasn’t as good as the first. 

The day it went on NetGalley was unbelievable.  I’m not an anxious person but I didn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and was sick with nerves, worrying what people thought.  If you think being an author is easy, then please do think again!  I awoke to an early morning message from a blogger friend, which I picked up at 6am.  She’d put it down at 3am and had absolutely loved it and said that I had nothing to worry about.   In fact she said that she preferred it to the first. 

I cannot tell you the relief that I felt as I sat with tears streaming down my cheeks.  More reviews came in over the next few days and I was absolutely delighted with the response from the bloggers who had been good enough to give up their time to do an early read and review it.  Some of the reviews I didn’t read until the day of the blog tour that it was their turn to share, but every single one was fabulous.  It currently sits with an average rating on 4.8.  Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed it.

And lots of people say, that they liked it more than my first and that my writing has grown, which is lovely!  

So, spare a thought for an author who is bringing out their second book, because second book syndrome is most definitely a thing!

Now, please don’t ask me about the pressure of Book 3! 😉

Oh I really wanted to ask about Book 3!!!! Thank you Kim!!

Until next time xxx

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7 responses to “The Pressures of a Second book by Kim Nash @kimthebookworm #AuthorTakeOver #GuestPost

  1. Oh, Kim! This resonated so much…
    I’m currently trying to write book two. I don’t have a deadline on my back from a publisher, but I have readers of the first (ahem, Zoe!) who want to know when the next one is coming!!
    I’m convinced it wont happen… But I want it to. The stories are there. The ideas are there, I just need the confidence!!!