Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Release Day!

With virtual lines of dedicated readers standing in the cold April morning air, the doors have finally opened. At midnight this morning, Avempartha was officially released. What that really means is that I personally have books I am selling directly through my website and Amazon has books in stock that they are selling. The Kindle version is also done and should be live any day now. The last thing is the distribution channel into the brick and mortar stores, but that is the slowest avenue to march down.

Amazon popped the cork early, going live with its sales of Avempartha on Friday. Some of you diligent fans noticed and took advantage of this. Robin put up the sales page on my website on Monday, expecting to announce it today, but once more fans found it and began ordering by mid-morning Monday! So while today is the official launch day, the book has already been selling copies since Friday evening.

My name, not being a household word, is not able to command legions of fans to surround Borders and Barnes, so a real midnight release is not in the foreseeable future, but I wonder if for the next book I could do a virtual midnight release. Perhaps when we are not so harried as we were this time, I might be able to organize some kind of chat event, and maybe all of you can come…and bring a date.

So far sales have been pleasantly brisk, and I want to thank all of you.

The Crown Conspiracy was published through a small press with limited resources, and Avempartha has none at all. Robin and I have worked incredibly hard to make a success of this series, but we simply can’t do it alone. We don’t have the resources or funds to advertise. I have met people who think once you’re published you’re automatically a millionaire. I’m not even a hundredaire. In fact, being a published author is little more than an expensive hobby.

My wife Robin has been a saint. She has worked tirelessly as my publicist trying to get the word out that my book really is worth reading. It isn’t easy. Who’s going to listen to the wife of the author? Still, she strives, and miraculously, she succeeds, but even so, she can only touch so many.

We attend cons, and do numerous book signings. We exploit the Internet as best we can, but it will never be enough. We simply don’t have the visibility of the big publishers. I can’t afford to put a full color end-cap and reserve shelf space at every Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstore across the country. I don’t have the clout or connections to draw the eyes of major reviewers. My hope of success is doomed to failure despite anything Robin and I can do.

But there is one hope—you.

The only way The Riyria Revelations will ever succeed is through word-of-mouth spread by fans who enjoy it. In my mind, it is like a giant wheel that Robin and I have tried to turn, a pump we have endeavored to prime. It is too large for the two of us to move much, but at some point, we hoped there would be a momentum that would spin the wheel on its own. It’s a long shot, and we knew that going in.

As it happens however, it feels like the wheel is starting to turn.

Robin and I used to struggle to find anyone willing to review my book. Now people are writing to us, asking for the chance to get a review copy. Robin battled to get my novel into the schedules of book clubs. Now members of clubs are nominating my book on their own. Reactions to my work have gone from, “Wow! I have to admit I had my doubts when I was asked to read this…” to “My already high expectations were exceeded.”

The wheel it seems is starting to turn of its own accord. The books are building a life of their own. Interest is sparking an engine that is slowly sputtering to life, and all of this is your doing.

Like I said, Robin and I have worked very hard for a very long time, but none of these most recent developments have been our doing. The wheel is turning now because of your interest, excitement, and kindness. People are spreading the news, sharing the books, posting on websites, nominating it for reviews, for reader’s groups.

Each day I watch the great wheel creak and turn. It moves very slowly, but I don’t think it is my imagination anymore. It is turning, and that is very exciting.

I want all of you out there, those who mentioned my books to someone else, who gave one of my books to a relative, or bought one for a friend; those who did a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or on a blog, to know how happy you made me.

Royce thanks you, Hadrian thanks you, Robin thanks you… and I thank you.

You’re keeping us all alive.

Happy Release Day!

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you both! Thank you for writing something worth being excited about! :-)

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  2. Congratulations and Happy (slightly belated) Release Day!

    I'm really looking forward to reading Avempartha.

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  3. Thanks everyone. Not just for the congratz but for posting. I think this is the first double comment I've gotten. That midnight red carpet Barnes & Noble release party is right around the corner I can feel it!

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