Halfway through launch week and thinking back
Well, we're halfway through launch week, and things seem to be going well! They could always be better, but that's the case for anything, and I'm always looking for the positive spin on any circumstance. To get it out of the way, if you haven't grabbed a copy of The Path of the Divine Order or any of the other books you might want, feel free to do that now! I'll wait.
Ok, now that you're back with your newly ordered book (thank you!), let's talk about this entire process of self-publishing a bit. When I first started thinking about Fall Winds Blow in terms of publishing it, I was impressed at how much I could do by myself. I made the cover myself, I found a free place online to format the internals - Reedsy is a great place for authors starting out - and I was off to the races. I thought it was going to be a fun little adventure, nothing big would come of it, and maybe I'd get a few sales. I dipped my toe into Amazon ads, but nothing really happened with those. Then I kind of...lost track of time. Lockdown happened. You'd think that being stuck at home and isolated would be a godsend for a writer, but I lost all motivation or ability to concentrate at all. So the plan to release the next book got pushed back, and back, and back.
Eventually, we went back to the office, and I was able to focus on writing again. I started whipping up some short stories, submitting them out to places, and thinking about a new book. As so often happens with writers, I was struggling to find an idea for the book, so I went into my collection of old ideas and dusted off one that had been rolling around in the back corner for a while. It took some time, and some polish, and a few multiple week breaks during which I was stuck at some point in the story, but I came out with a finished novel. An actual, full length, for real novel.
I decided that if I was able to level up the writing from novella to novel, I needed to level up the publishing also. I found a cover designer through a recommendation from a YouTube writer (thanks Jenna Moreci and MiblArt!) and started putting actual work into the publishing process. Thinking about release schedules, planning marketing, looking into all the ways I could get the book in front of people. PsyConics came out and I was so proud of it. It wasn't a best seller or anything major, but I had done my job of trying to make it known, and I felt accomplished. Fast forward a year, and the level up has happened again. Moved to a new apartment, found a writing habit that seems to work for me - at least in terms of actually getting words on the page consistently, which is really any authors dream - and worked to try and make this book the best it can be, even hiring an editor for the first time, which really helped tighten the story and bring it all together. There's still a lot of room to grow, and with the website now, I'm starting to think of the "business" aspects of this whole writing thing a lot more, which seems like the next level in the process. That's my goal. Showing the journey from fledgling writer working on a story because he's bored to releasing a novel a year and trying to make something of his words. Even if you don't want to follow the story as it plays out, I hope you at least enjoy the books if you read them. That's really all any writer can ask for.