I’ll Write it, and we’ll do it Live

So it looks like the book will go live tomorrow on Amazon, for the Kindle. For reasons unknown to me, other formats (Nook, etc.) take longer and won’t be up for another ten days or so. I have a Kindle, so, dorky as it might seem, the first copy will certainly be purchased by me. I’m cautiously skeptical about sales prospects, at least at first. Any book – let alone one marketed by a small independent publisher like mine – on Amazon is entering a market crowded with a hell of a lot of dreck. I haven’t the slightest idea how most people decide whether or not to take a chance to an author they’ve never heard of. Hell, I don’t even know how I come to that decision. But it happens. A lot of things that don’t deserve much attention strike a nerve and find a huge audience, bigger than works of theoretically much higher quality. But I think it’s also true that if something is good, it finds an audience of some not-insignificant size. And I think the book I wrote is good.

How liberating, strange and good it is to say that and believe it. I’ve almost always refrained from self-criticism of writing, positive or negative. For one I have a very poor barometer for the quality of my own work, for another I just have a sort of built-in sense that it’s tacky to talk yourself up (or down) too much. But, on its merits, independent of my considerable aversion to self-promotion, I do think this book I wrote is good. It’s not the best book you will ever read, but it’s certainly not the worst. I think the sequel is going to be much better, but the first one is pretty good. If someone else had written it and I’d read it, I think I’d have given it three or four stars on Amazon, depending on my mood that day. I think it’s reasonably original, at least – there aren’t many science-fiction bank heist stories (that end up eventually being about polytheism) running around in the market, to my knowledge. It isn’t remotely high literature, and it isn’t meant to be. My target was about 95 percent entertaining, 5 percent thought-provoking.  I have no idea at all if I succeeded in hitting that mark. We’ll see.

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(Image Credit)

On the eve of the book going up for sale, the first time I’ve ever tried to sell anything I’ve written, it strikes me what a bizarre act of madness it is, trying to write fiction for a job. What you’re doing is asking someone to give you their money and spend several hours of time and energy on something that in the end just came out of your head. Something you just made up. It’s different from film; with movies you can just sit back and be passively entertained for a couple hours. Books require active engagement for a much greater length of time, especially a book series. They’re a commitment.

I’ve wanted to be on the other side of that transaction for almost as long as I’ve been able to read and write. Only now that I’m actually trying to do it does something strike me as odd about it.

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I had no say whatsoever in the book’s cover art, but all things considered I couldn’t be happier with it. I’ve never liked book covers that show close-ups of characters or scenes from the book. A painting of a star cluster is not far off from what I’d have chosen myself, if I’d had any input. It’s subtle and evocative of a particular atmosphere, rather than an artist’s representation of one particular scene.

So I wasn’t going to ask my internet friends to buy the book… meh, the hell with it. Aspiring writers can’t afford dignity. What have you got to lose? If you like science-fiction, give it a go. You might like it. If you read it, do me a favor and go write an amazon review or something (an HONEST one, featuring your true opinion, sparing nothing for my feelings). If you liked it, and you really want to do me a favor, go tell a friend. Come on. I’m a nice guy. I’d do it for you. It’s only five dollars. Skip one Starbucks and boom! You gotta book.

All right, self-promotion tour over. They can’t say I haven’t done my part.

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~ by kroveechernila on December 29, 2012.

One Response to “I’ll Write it, and we’ll do it Live”

  1. […] Here’s a portion of a recent blog post by Kevin McCormick: […]

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