Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When We?

We have about a month of summer left, and despite my earlier hopes that When We Were the Kids would be out in the summer, it's been postponed until the fall. Finances are the bigger concern right now. Eating and keeping gas in my car are the bigger priorities than looking into self-publishing.

As much as I know there are people that want to read my second book, this is a niche release. How some books get wide acclaim, while many others float out there to hardly any acclaim, comes down to marketing. It amazes me how books like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo can get people like my parents to read them, but that's the power of recommendation from trusted sources.

It's certainly frustrating when I read a highly-touted book and wonder, How did this get passed fickle editors and picky agents? Right now, I'm reading Justin Cronin's The Passage, a book that was highly-regarded upon release (and certainly made into an even bigger deal when its film rights sold in the seven figures). Overall, the book is intriguing, but (without spoiling anything) the narrative shifts way more than most books. Starting off the first 200 pages with development of a handful of fascinating characters, then it jumps decades in time to a few dozen new characters. The reader in me knows there's a point to all this (the book is the first in a trilogy, and I'm sure the first handful of characters will be very important down the line), but the editor in me thinks, How did Cronin get away with this? Wouldn't most editors ask to make this easier to understand for the common reader?

Yes, you have to have a thick skin to navigate your way around with authoring a book. I've been through the metaphorical experience of seeing your child getting beaten up on the playground and you can't do anything about it. It certainly helps when authors you admire receive an even worse beating by naysayers. And it is nice when authors personally tell you everything will be OK at the end of the day.

When We Were the Kids has been read by a few trusted friends; friends that are the target demographic. And they dig it. Their feedback has been a helpful boost to what I've been working on for five years. Certainly is a reminder that you should put out what you want to put out. But I'm of the attitude that I should finely sculpt what I want out there instead of releasing my first assembly draft.

I look forward to the day when my Word file "WWWTK final draft" is printed and bound (and also available as an e-book), but I can't commit exactly to a release date yet. But believe me, it will be worth the wait if you liked Post.

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