Release Day for The Straits of Galahesh!
Wow. It's been an entire year since The Winds of Khalakovo was released. It's strange, it feels like the year has been comprised of two separate wholes that have somehow coexisted even though they're traveling at different speeds through timespace. One part, the part that's been traveling at normal speed, is the day job, the family life. All that stuff feels as though a normal, typical year has passed. The kids have gotten older. I've gotten older. The day jobbery continues apace.
The writing part, though, feels completely different. That part feels as though years have gone by. The initial release of WINDS was very exciting—I was finally a published author!—but it was also exhausting, stressful, and demanding. I had some idea of the things I would have to do to try to promote myself; I just didn't understand the magnitude of those tasks. It takes so many disciplines. Organization, dedication, careful preparation. Technical skills to create trailers and maintain a website. Soft skills to go to readings and to create promotional materials. Dogged determination to follow through on all these things. A bright disposition so you don't come off like one of those cranky writers that never stops bitching even though they finally have what they've been working toward for years. And on and on.
Writing is, effectively, a small business, and as such someone has to do all the various jobs that need to be done. Early on, I'm afraid that's you and only you. I'll say it again. It's both exciting and exhausting.
There are dark times, too. If you haven't heard of the long tail of sales, you certainly will after you sell a book. It's great getting a rush of sales when a book comes out. But nine months later, when all the luster has worn off and it feels like everyone has moved on and you're still in the thick of the slog trying to wrap up the next book? Those are tough times. You start to wonder if your first book (or second or whatever) is going to be your last. You wonder if all of this is worth it.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. You'll have to decide the answer for yourself. As always, though, if you know what to expect, you can better prepare yourself. That's just part of the life of the full-time writer. And it's going to be hardest during that first novel when it's the first time you've experienced it. Next time, I'll be more ready. I'll also be ready to handle the grind of marketing. Some things are coming easier to me this year. I'm pushing myself to do other stuff, and hopefully I'm more efficient at all of it, and word spreads.
Getting this second book out feels really great, not simply because it's another book out in the world. It's also the second book in a trilogy. Two-thirds of the story is now out, and I'm closing in on the first draft for the final book. And that's a really cool feeling, to have this pretty massive story nearly wrapped up. Early reception of the book has been great, and I'm looking forward to hearing from more readers. And this brings up another positive thing. As the second book has approached, I've met a ton of people that have read WINDS and are coming back for more. What a change from when WINDS was released and nobody had heard of me outside my small circle of friends. That is one of the most gratifying things in this business, the chance to meet people that have read and liked your work.
I'm looking forward to the year ahead. I'm looking forward to pushing hard to get the word out on STRAITS. I'm also looking forward to putting The Lays of Anuskaya to bed. As much as I love the story, I'm also looking forward to the next tales. My fingers are already itching to start writing them.
I'd like to take a quick moment to thank those who have helped to spread the word. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and while I can't catch every single mention, I do appreciate all that you've done and will do to help bring new readers to the series. Thank you so much.