My publisher, Blastgun Books, and I finally decided on a release date for my something of an opus science-fiction novel, Arcadian Gates. This has been a long road, full of the required ups and downs, and now is the time when I keep tell myself a few things to get through the countdown and time to follow. Whiskey isn’t a realistic solution to book release neurosis, so these thoughts will have to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love the book. I am proud of it. I am eager to let it go on its merry way.
Here are some things I am telling myself to make sure this happens.
1. The book is done.
It’s been revised, revised, revised again. A real editor has looked it over. A recognized expert on the field has given it a seal of approval. I started this thing nearly a decade ago and now it is time for it to live its own life. There is no going back. Onwards!
2. Not everyone is going to like it.
Someone might hate it. There are plenty of things out there in the world that I either cannot stand or cannot understand. Most likely the people who enjoy those things will not like my book. Some might read it on a bad day. Some won’t get it. Some of these people might even be my friends or colleagues. I can’t control this and it is all part of being an author and putting something out there in the world. Reaction is a basic fact of physics. Appreciate the process for what it is. Enjoy it for engagement that it is.
3. There are other books that are similar.
I’ve drawn on some of the classics in the genre. I lived a life in this era that shares much in common with many others. There will be books recent and classic that may resemble my book on a surface level. This is okay, because this book is the story I can tell and it is told in the way that I have chosen to tell it. Comparable stories can help define the book rather than minimize it. If someone mentions a book they read that it resembles, good for them, and good for you. We’ve encountered kindred spirits.
4. The book is not perfect.
By all means, don’t let this stop you from reading it, dear reader! However, I know there are flaws and weak parts. There are flaws in pretty much everything I watch or read. None of these are fatal errors by my estimation, but I know where they are. I won’t be surprised when someone else notices these. I am much more critical than they will ever be, and it only helps me craft the next bit of writing.
5. I will not be an Oprah.
If I learned anything from my days as a ‘zine publisher, it is the special thrill you can get from readers who are sincerely interested in the stories you are putting out there. I don’t need to be mass market with this book. I don’t want to draw the attention of every person in ‘murica. I want to share a story with the people who will appreciate it for what it is. The more the merrier, but it’s not worth it if people are reading the book under false pretenses. Punk-fucking-rock, right?
6. There are other books.
I love this book and am so excited to share it with an audience. However, there are a bevy of short stories and two novels that I really need to develop and get out there. Dwelling too much on one book won’t help those stories become what they can be. In the world of music there are notes and there are songs. You need to move from one note to the next to make the song work. Now it is time to play the next bar.
So there it is. I hope this helps other writers out there. Basically this can apply to any creative work. Or sport. Or gaming session. Go forth and be awesome.