**Note: An updated perspectives entry can be found here.**
After putting so much effort into transforming a nascent story line into a workable plot, then developing the characters and having to either coax or threaten them into following said plot, it seemed almost insurmountable to then repeatedly rewrite the novel in workshop after workshop until it was polished to shiny perfection. As a first time fiction author, I had read many articles and book chapters on how I should not expect any publisher to look at my manuscript without it being as close to perfection as humanly possible. In comparison, shopping around for a publisher seemed easy, as I was lucky enough to attract the attention of Dragon Moon Press on my third try. I was prepared to go for at least ten rounds in this arena as well, since this was what all my previous reading had led me to believe. Well thank goodness for Gwen Gades!
I've also read that first time novels rarely find a huge readership, and a new author would be lucky to sell a thousand copies or so, most likely not getting much recognition until he or she has written at least three books. This notion was underscored by the comment made by R. Scott Bakker at Con-Version 22 last year. When he was contacted by the convention organizers to appear as a guest author, his response was, "Are you sure you have the right R. Scott Bakker?" He did have three published novels at the time.
So here I am, nervously waiting for my precious baby, The Longevity Thesis, to be printed this September. Seeing it posted on Amazon.com was really a shock to the system. All of a sudden it's real, and every particle in my being wants to race up the incredibly steep learning curve of book promotion. I'm ready to go, but where do I run?
Looking around, I see that another Dragon Moon author, Scott Sigler, is really making waves. At the time I'm writing this entry, his book Ancestor, which just came out on April 1st, has an Amazon.com Sales Rank of #1,506, and is sold out. Dragon Moon is scrambling to print more copies by mid-May. Obviously, I think I've found myself a role model here. Investigating how Mr. Sigler does what he does has left me staggering and feeling overwhelmed. He has built up a huge fan base through podcasting, handing out freebies and blogging, not to mention continuing to be a prolific fiction writer. This was all before he had the novel out. Until last week, I didn't know the difference between a plog and a blog, and had to clumsily wade my way through it. My notion of podcasting was limited to the explanation given by the "Ask a Ninja" series on YouTube.
Ask A Ninja: What is Podcasting?
Clearly, I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I can finally say, this is my world.