So yeah! I’ve finally gotten around to figuring everything out, and in about a day or two I’ll be self-published. I’m pretty excited; who wouldn’t be? Before anything else, it’s a 25,000 word sci-fi/dystopian novella, the first part of a series, and I’ll have it on Amazon for $.99.
It would mean the world to me if you guys could snag a copy (especially right on the day it gets released) — every single copy I sell on Amazon helps push me up the ranks, and higher ranks means more visibility, and visibility is the key thing you need if you want to play the self-publishing game properly. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for your tablet or phone (apps like this), and if you don’t have a tablet or phone, you can still download the book onto your computer and read it from there on the Kindle Cloud thing on Amazon. $.99 — charging low because I need to build a following more than I need to make money right now, so maybe drink one less soda today and help a guy out? I’ll make another post right when the book comes out, and after that I promise I’ll stop spamming my followers with this blog’s emails.
The world is dead… and for a thousand years, they’ve hidden. The bulb in the sky burns too hot and the winds of the surface world cut like knives. But it is the air that will kill you—when the cold wind seeps in, you die.
In the underground city of Spes, one bloodline has been granted the living gift by the timeless Eye. Only the Numbers and their blessed blood can survive the toxins of the world-with-no-walls. Through the Home Gate, the Number teleports to distant Gates—where the speeds of time have ripped, and years in one are days in another—to see if time has cured the land from the sins of men long gone and dead.
Thirty-one Numbers have come and gone, the gilded cloak passed from kin to kin, and when young Victor takes his right as Number Thirty-Two, his callow heart leads him wrong. He breaks the code. He risks his life. He travels to the surface world without planting the seed in his chosen bride, the seed to continue the blood solely his.
The Chancellor and the Eye’s Guard must hope the young Number returns from the voyage to the dead world, or the ancient line will end. And if they end, how will Spes know if the world is habitable? If they end, how will Spes survive the Eye?
So self-promotion/classy begging aside… here are a few thoughts on the entire thing (anyone who isn’t really interested in ever self-publishing or writing can stop here.)
This is a really strange experience, because while I know I won’t be a horse that bursts out of the gates, I’m still proud that I’m going to have something out there and that I’ve begun my self-publishing career. Because the more you look into it, the more you realize that succeeding at self-publishing is more like a slow climb than an instant gunshot. If you want to make a living at this, you need to keep releasing good books at a steady rate, keep building an audience little by little by little. There’s actually a very inspiring thread on the KB forums right now, where writers who are now making thousands of dollars per month talk about how little they made in their first three months combined. It just goes to show that a slow start doesn’t mean you’ve failed (and I realize this sounds like me excusing myself for having bad sales a week from now, and hey, maybe it is! It’s my blog, alright?) It’s my party and I can cry if I want to.
But I have prepared as much as I (think I) can. For about a month now I’ve been sending drafts to anyone who’s offered to beta-read, and about a third of you guys who offered have actually done it (which is a number of beta-readers that most writers can only dream of, so thanks guys). Not that I’m bitter against anyone who didn’t; I know life can be busy and volunteer work can be tiresome. No worries. Also, the cover was made by Damonza, who is absolutely incredible to work with.
To be completely honest, I’m just preparing myself for the inevitable 6-digit rank the book will undoubtedly have when it first comes out (or at least after the people who know me buy the book). For months I’ve been debating with myself, whether or not I should do this, and for anyone who might be in the same unsure mindset, let me just give you a giant tip:
*Don’t go to AbsoluteWrite’s Self-publishing/E-publishing section, go to Kindleboards’s Writers’ Cafe instead. Just… trust me on that. While both may have good intentions, and while AW may have some good people there, Kindleboards is a better and more welcoming place for self-publishers. I apologize if that offends any AW people, but being an AW person, you should know where I’m coming from.
And if you want some more inspiration, devour everything you can find by Hugh Howey (starting with this blog post). While that guy is pretty much the star of self-publishing — showing that it’d be very hard to replicate his success — his success also helps open up self-publishing from the stigma that some people still view it as. Really, now that I’ve finally understood self-publishing and what it offers, my only regret is not starting sooner. I just have to wonder: had I gotten my head out of my ass 6 months earlier or a year earlier, what would it be like right now? I’ll never know, so I might as well start ASAP.
(And just in case anyone hasn’t noticed, I finally figured out how to put hyperlinks in my blog posts, so I kinda abused it.)