Here I am, waiting for my books’ proofs, itching to hold them in my hands for the first time and see what they look like.
I remember when they were nothing but vague ideas in the back of my mind. I also remember seeing them take a more concrete form and grow up to be files… and now they are going to come to occupy a space in the physical world. It’s a big step, and yet I wonder if they are really ready.
I’ve spent literally thousands of hours working on them, but I also know enough to realize that just getting the word that they exist out there is likely to be an unsurmountable challenge, so I wonder, after all that work, who is going to read them? Who am I writing for? I don’t know.
I remember back when I published the first edition of Soulless some ten years ago. Even though on a rational level I knew better, back then I did harbor some hopes that my book would be the one exception, that it would be the one that would stand out in a sea of self-published titles going nowhere. Thinking back I can see not just how naive I was, but also why that book didn’t stand –or even deserve– a chance. Yes, I still believe that the plot was a good one, that that book had a story to tell that was actually worth telling, that is why it was fully revised and I am in the process of releasing a second edition rather than scrapping the whole thing, but at the same time I can see how back then it just wasn’t ready. Hopefully it is ready now, but I make no promises in that regard.
So what do I think is going to happen now?
I don’t know. I no longer expect to be an exception. I know that my books will probably be greeted with the same indifference that greets most self-published titles, and I am okay with that… but sometimes I still wonder, will someone read them? Will someone care? These are my babies after all, and I am releasing them into a big, bad world, a world I don’t control. It is a frightening thought, but there is nothing I can do about it, not if I want them to grow up to be more than files.
Yes, I can try to give them a little push, a nudge in the right direction, but in the end I know I am going to have to let them go, to allow them to stand or fall on their own merits.