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#WritingCommunity, Is Post-publication Blues a thing?

By 15/11/2019November 19th, 2019books, Featured, reading
You Beneath Your skin

My debut literary crime novel,”You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fab team at Simon and Schuster IN is slowly making its way into the world.

It is available in India here.

Worldwide, here.

If you’re a netgalley reviewer, snag a copy here.

Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.

The publication of a novel is not for the fainthearted, and promoting it is only for those with a steel casing for all their vitals.

No other way to keep doing this thing I’m doing. Most days, I feel like raising my hands and saying, well, novel, I’ve done enough, you’re on your own now. I gave birth to you, I taught you things, you taught me things, and now you’re no longer mine, so go do your thing.

But a novel takes you by the throat, or at least mine did, and it does not let you go.

I wrote the first draft in 2012. Had I been a mother, the baby would have been a talkative 7-year old now. So today, when I feel low (apparently this is normal, post-publication blues is as natural as post-partum, only no one speaks of the former), I’m here on my blog, talking about it, the way I’ve been for the past 11 years.

I suppose the sum-total of 1600 posts I’ve written here is as big as a book, even if each post were to be 500 words (they’re more).

The only reason I keep myself going despite endless setbacks (well, you know, authors do have their share of setbacks) is because I’m hoping against hope that by some miracle we would be able to save schools at Project Why and start off women’s education programs at Stop Acid Attacks.

So even as I leave links to the book above my post (still working on the site redesign, so buttons are missing) I have a question to ask all the writers out there:

How does everyone else cope with a novel post publication? What’s the easiest way to cut a novel loose and never have to look at it ever again?


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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Ayn says:

    I think the trick is in writing one book after another. I heard from a writer that it takes seven books from publication to becoming a known writer. Having several babies/books in the market will create a lot more buzz then just one. And you will also feel alot more energized to promote newer books. And every new book, that attracts new readers, who love your book, will funnel down to other books you have written.

  • rolandclarke says:

    Damyanti, I sympathise with your post-publication blues. My debut novel, published in 2013, was uplifting and then a downhill slide – not helped by the poor response in sales and reviews. It took me almost five years to disconnect – and a few attempts to attempt something new. I wrote a sequel – draft only. I attempted other genres. I suspect that blogging about other things helped – and attempting to write shorts. I may have disconnected, but now I’m back at the beginning: how to get my current WIP mystery published. New diagnosis – ‘evaluation evasion’ disease.

  • aj vosse says:

    Yes… getting published is a dream… and your persistence has paid off! Congratulations… and celebrations!
    May the road be all downhill from now… the going easy and the wind at your back!
    Keep having fun, that’s the key!

  • It definitely is a thing. I usually cope by starting the next book!

  • Jessica says:

    Never have to look at it ever again, sound very hard. I like looking back to everything I wrote. Just wow that’s a long journey for one book. I can understand why you’re having “postpartum”. I went through it the first time I got one of my book accepted by a publisher, but instead of letting the blues get me, I move on and write another story. But then again I’m usually feeling burnt down each time I finish a book. Sorry I’m not helping. But congrats for having the book out there for the world to read 🙂

  • DutchIl says:

    Thanks for sharing!.. well, I haven’t published a book but in my humble opinion, whether it be a book or a blog, set down, relax, let the fingers do the walking (typing) and the heart do the talking and start a new one!!.. 🙂

    “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stopped the story.” ― Frank Herbert

  • Pam Lazos says:

    Your books are like your children all with their own quirks and canniness. You will never cut them loose. And that’s a good thing. ;0)

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I can imagine life is taking a different path to the one you were … the winding journey is now the motorway – but keeping getting off to those delightful places in the country to recover – you will … take care, rest, adjust and with care be ready … cheers Hilary xo

  • A well written, researched and engaging book Damyanti. I admire your generous spirit and concern for human suffering.

  • I feel it’s too early to let this one be. I’m glad to know it’s a 7 year old effort. You’re strong enough to deal with the tantrum already. First child tantrums are going to be the best as well as scary. Though you’d enjoy the second one’s just like the first, it’s all going to become a bit usual. So, as you jump into the second assignment, I’m sure things are going to take a backseat slowly. I don’t know about publishing a novel, but I know little about parenting 😆 so I can vouch for this.

  • Mick Canning says:

    Take a bit of a break (how much is up to you) then begin something new. But don’t rush into a new project, or you end up writing the wrong story. Wait until you know what you want to write. And it’s all quite usual.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I already have the first draft of a new project–waiting for feedback before diving into the second draft….thanks for your support on this one, and it is reassuring (and scary) to know this is all usual.

  • Hi Damyanti

    Agree with every word you said, especially the “not for the fainthearted” part. I had to muster up a lot of courage to write down a simple travelogue which I had been postponing for almost 2 years.

    I guess everyone is plagued by their set of ‘limiting beliefs’ before they go limitless. Writing a book is about going to the last page of all those ‘self-limiting’ beliefs.

    Its like running a marathon, (I do that, so that’s the best possible way I am able to put it), running one step at a time, with the same pace, relentless, until the finish line seems to appear in sight, while the sweat drips down from every pore of your body including the facial muscles.

    The easiest way I could cut it loose was to jump on my new assignment right away.. I did that, because I realized that writing a book is a journey, not a destination. Eventually, people come to know we have substance if we move like a rolling stone..

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for the long and thoughtful comment, Rajat. Yes, it is like running a marathon, though I’ve never run one. I’ve always taken writing a book as a journey, it is just that right now I’m not enjoying the journey quite as much!

  • JT Twissel says:

    Start working on something new. Maybe something a bit different from your first.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, have already done that, Jan. Let’s hope it works out.

  • someone sent this quote to me today. not about writing, but about the letdown felt after achieving a major goal.

    “I sometimes get asked how it ‘feels to be lean’ or hear remarks like ‘it must be awesome to be lean all the time’. I reply that I feel great and that being lean feels great. But that’s not the whole truth…I think I expected that it would elevate me to new heights in some vague undefined ways. I reached my goal a few days before Christmas 2007. It was a great anticlimax.
    I was content and proud of myself for the fact that I finally conquered the goal I’ve had for several years. That I had reached a condition that I would be perfectly content to maintain rather than to seek constant improvement.
    But the experience was disappointing in many ways. Is this it? It left me with a sense of a void inside myself. After all, I had invested a fair amount of energy in this over the years.”

    -Mark Berkhan, founder of Intermittent Fasting

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Joseph, that’s a great quote. Mine is just exhaustion, I think. I had no great expectations from the book, so there isn’t any letdown. I just feel like I have an adult offspring at home, and I need them to go find their own path and quit bothering me. I know I’m being a privileged brat, but with all honesty, I loved my hermit existence before this whole book promotion thing landed on my head 🙂

  • The best way for me to get over post publication blues is to start another one! And sorry to say, I don’t think you ever “cut a novel loose”. Rather you just cement it into the foundation you’re building as an author. It’s with you forever! And congratulations!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks Deborah! You’re so right. It just gets cemented into the foundation–this is why I blog–readers like you always bring me great perspective.

  • post-publication blues…may have to write a song about that.

    It’s a thing, for sure, though I’ve not had a novel published and have no first-hand experience. But in my line of work (designing and getting projects constructed), I sometimes spend years working on a project, anxiously awaiting the time when it’s given to the world to experience. Then it happens and they love the project and it wins an award and all is good. But it’s over. Now what. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. And it’s on to the next one.

    A toast to you and your accomplishments. Enjoy the moment. And on to the next one. Keep moving. It’s the only way.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Such wise words, Joseph. Thanks so much. I have already moved on to the next one, and that’s where i want to be, writing, not on this mad whirl of promotions.

  • bwcarey says:

    Great stories open the gateway to the heart, and raises the issues, as the Spirit of goodness grows, change happens quickly, amen

  • Zehra Naqvi says:

    I signed the contract for my debut book a few months ago. Now am just waiting around for my turn in the editing queue. Reading this gives me the jitters! For one, I have butterflies in the stomach just thinking about how it will be received once it’s published. And now, am wondering what post publication is going to be like!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Sounds very familiar. I was jittery throughout.

      Congratulations on the contract for your debut –keep us updated!

  • Since my book is about fresh graduates, we primarily target those at university. I think it’s more about branding ourselves as authors and then finding our unique tribe of readers.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, Jasveena. It is a long road, this bit about ‘branding ourselves. I’d just much rather write than worry about branding…but I guess nowadays that’s part of the writing life as well.

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