It has come… as of writing this, just a few hours remain until I truly become a self-published author… until my debut goes on sale. So, it’s time for a bit of reflection.
First things first…
And because there are so many people without which I’d get nowhere, I think it’s right to start by mentioning them.
So, once again, thanks to Chatti and Kimund from my World of Warcraft raid team (disbanded two years ago) who gave me the first words of encouragement. Especially Chatti was a big moral support – and will live forever in my story as I named two characters after her gaming ‘alter ego’: Valentia Redwood ‘the chatty maid’ – a cameo character, and Calyssa, one of the major supporting characters.
Andres Rodriguez (Goodreads), my brave first beta reader. All the following beta readers/swaps, among whose the last wave was really great: Ed White, Rebecca Alasdair (I remember some of her comments just as well as my own story even now, half a year after she finished the read), and Ben Connor (seriously, if you love fantasy, read his book! It’s short so one rainy lockdown evening is enough!).
The people so tirelessly sharing their advice and that I’ve managed to come across (or maybe they’ve found me, in fact): K.M. Allan, M.L. Davis, Lorraine Ambers, Ari Meghlen, Mary from Wild Writing Dreams, Yari from MyIndieWriting, and Kathy Rodgers to name those I’ve been following the most, and a few more.
And Sadia, who managed to create the cover for me without going insane and despite her fair share of bad luck – such as her tablet breaking within 24hr of me submitting the order.
This poorly-painted celebratory cake is especially for you, guys and girls!
And now, something a bit different…
…a bit of hard data about my journey so far.
- Started writing the demo: 21.7.2015
- Started writing book one: 23.10.2015
- First draft finished: 26.11.2016
- First beta draft finished: 13.8.2018
- Beta stage concluded: 4.4.2020
- Final version: 19.10.2020
- Final word count: 167.214
- Maximum word count: ~239.500 (second draft, 2017)
- Raw writing time: 853 hours
- Kindle X-ray glossary items: 104
I think this is all I have reliably documented.
The next steps
As I say in this post, the book is about to be released (or maybe it is already released by the time you’re reading this). I have no big launch plan – it’s more likely I’ll give the book a nudge here and there but no major plan until at least book two is out, maybe not until the trilogy is (almost) complete as people are more likely to pick up a book when they can binge the whole series.
I don’t want to be the next G.R.R. Martin, Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, or Brandon Sanderson in the meaning you’ll have to wait several years to see the series finished (or maybe not see it finished at all) but life is unpredictable so who knows…
The book will launch at $2.99/€2.69 (the low end of Amazon’s 70% royalty range) or its equivalent in the other marketplaces, and will be (at least for now) included in KDP Select. The launch price will stay for a while (2-4 weeks, probably), then I’ll move it to something more appropriate for the page count (around $4 most likely).
Paperback is planned to be released in the coming months – I’ll spend some time looking at what I have to do to get it print-ready and have the cover adjusted for the actual thickness. My current plan is January 2021 but that’s just a guesstimate.
I’m not adding any buy links – if you like fantasy and were mentioned in the ‘thank you’ section (which probably covers everyone who reads my writing-related posts), give me a poke and I’ll send you a complimetary ARC version on the house. As long as you promise you’re 18 or older, that is. This isn’t a kids’ book.
I’m also thinking about including my sales stats in the monthly updates, to let you see the reality of being a self-published fantasy writer starting from zero. My first goal is to get one sale. My second goal is to get two. You probably know where this is going… If I get to 10 before the year’s end, I’ll consider it a success.
So, that’s it. The true point of no return. Me becoming a published author, which sounded like a mad-man’s ramblings to me less than six years ago yet here we are.
To everyone who helped me, whether with feedback, encouragement, or their own wisdom, thank you again.
A blog post that hopefully makes more sense will come on Sunday, as usual. Until then, feel free to ask questions or leave any other comment, and have a nice weekend.