I woke up to snow this week. It means a day of writing and working next to the windows with hot coffee, and a snug blanket. It’s beautiful. Peaceful. A much-needed change of pace.
The launch date for Scold of Jays has been set (04/09/19), and the print scheduled. This means the chaos will escalate for a few weeks, then there will be a drift…whatever isn’t done by March 20th, won’t get done, so, at that point all I can do is make peace with whatever happens on the April, 9th launch.
There’s a resolve in knowing when the cut-off date will be. As an indie, the field of launch can feel like a field of battle. Especially as so much time has lapsed on this book while waiting for circumstances to come together. I’ve had a wonderful six years of near-miss release dates, and six years of answering pointed, eager, hungry questions from readers.
I’d rather march naked and unarmed into a hungry wolf den, than face another reader if I miss this launch window. I suspect anyone who’s had a long drought between releases can sympathize.
March 20th is my cutoff for print. But my job as an indie doesn’t end when the manuscript is uploaded, it continues far beyond launch. Part of planning means I’m building my marketing options on my limited budget, setting up ARCs, looking for reviewers, and preparing to ship copies to the bookstores I have relationships with.
I’m not making a lot of noise about this launch. In fact, it may be a publishing mistake, but I’m sort of just slipping it out to the public with little fanfare. It’s practically a ninja launch. Super quiet on the down low, ya know?
Why? Well, for two reasons really. The first being that finances for publishing are still low, and marketing can be a pricey expenditure. But secondly, and more importantly, the readers who’ve hung in there, the ones who’ve supported, encouraged, maintained…well, they’ll get the book first. And that’s important to me.
It’s important to me that they’ll see it before anyone else does. It’s raw. It’s not professionally edited. It’s proofed, but not combed. It’s me as a storyteller, giving this book to the fans and readers (all ten of them) who’ve clung to The Pillars of Dawn tagline from the get-go. Trust the story.
And they have. They’ve trusted me, and I feel that. I’ve got all the feels about that.
So a quiet launch will give them time to get their hands on it first, to take their time with it, and process it before anyone else stumbles across the book. Meanwhile, I’m already knee-deep in Plague of Gargoyles.
It’s taken six years to get to the release stage on this book, and almost a year of that time was spent with me in my own head, processing the emotional and mental space I needed to be in to be able to release a book without a professional editing job. There’s a foreword in Scold of Jays, explaining the decision.
I had to get past the fear and shame of it, in order to be in a space where I just wanted to be able to keep telling the story to readers who wanted to know what happens next.
So, long story short, it doesn’t matter to me anymore if there’s a typo or two, or if the pacing is just a little off. It matters to me that the readers who’ve been valiant, I’d even say heroic in their support, get to keep writing with me, even when that writing isn’t perfect.
Just a few more weeks. It’s almost here. In the meantime…snow in the Elder Glade.