I woke up in a cold sweat last night and I'm on record from the outset that it's the cart before the horse kind of thing. Hell, the horse hasn't even come out of the barn yet. Maybe there is no horse in the barn at all. You get the drift.
This is what I fear: all the stuff that happens after you publish a book: the looking in bookstores that don't carry it; the checking of library sites to see if they have it and if they do have it, is anyone reading it, the bad reviews, the no reviews, the readings or no readings, the obsessiveness you must cultivate to succeed. Can I become this person? The one that drives around the country pushing his book so his publisher will take the next one? Can I make publicizing my book my life.
I have a good friend going through this now with a collection of terrific stories. Should she go into bookstores and ask them to order her book? Should she call and try to set up readings where no one is likely to turn up? How many calls should she make to newspapers? (Why does our local newspaper give no help to local writers?) Should she order a copy every week or so on Amazon to keep her numbers from going too high. Should she even watch those numbers at all or is it likely to make you crazy.
Sometimes writing short stories seems very safe. Maybe only a few people read them, but you're spared a lot of pain. I could just quietly file the novel away. I won't but it's a thought.