I've been informed by the great people at Blood Bound Books that if things go "as planned" my debut novel Loveless will be released on the 10th of June. There are a couple of hurdles still ahead, but I'm hopeful that everything will go according to plan.
Ideally, my next post will be one of those seventeen-point headlines about Loveless being loosed on an unsuspecting population like some redneck-ghost-story Godzilla. ("AIEEEE! GOJIRO! GOJIRO!")
You've been warned. Prepare yourselves. Gird (or ungird) your loins accordingly.
But here's the tricky bit...I've been told that in this day of immediate, adrenalin-scented, faster-than-humanly sensible self-publishing, writers have an even tougher row to hoe than before (as if hoeing was easy in the first place NO I DIDN'T SAY HO'ING...BEHAVE). New writer discovery is hard...damned hard. The market is cluttered with people who don't bother with such mundane things as EDITING their work, or even finding a competent proofreader to unscrew their mistakes.
I know how it happens.
The writer writes and writes and writes until his or her wrists ache with the sort of freakish carpal tunnel Wolverine must suffer. But then, a magical thing happens. He finishes. The writer types "The End," and some sort of monster begins to grow in his skull. An Ego Parasite that feeds on positive feelings of accomplishment. (And yes, finishing a first draft is a pretty awesome feeling.) That parasite grows fat drinking the blood of the confident. Before long, it crowds out the smarter, necessary feelings of "Hey, wait a minute, how did THAT fuckery get in there?" and pushes the author to self-publish his novel without any changes. He thinks he'll sit back, rake in the waffleicious literary dough and maple syrup flavored-accolades, and wait for someone to call him with a six-figure movie deal.
The book comes out, and lo, and behold! It's fifty shades of baby-shit yellow, and the few people that actually give it a chance (because it's WAY cheaper than, say, a book by one of the big publishing houses) get screwed. Not only does the multitude of self-pubbed books glut the market, but the fact that most of them are humongous rafts of reeking squid shit makes even the most open-minded reader a little jaded about trying someone new on their reader.
Are there exceptions? Of course. I imagine that some writers can self-edit the hell out of their work. I've heard it whispered in dark alleyways that there may even exist great works that were done in one draft (but if you see any of these cryptozoological wonders, make sure you get photographic evidence). For the vast majority of us, though, a critical, objective view of the work is essential.
Loveless went through three and a half drafts before I thought it was ready to send out. I could have tinkered with it for much longer. Some writers do. Even after it got accepted at Blood Bound Books, my editor went through it with a fine-toothed comb and said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you stepped on your dick here, and here, and HOLY SHIT ESPECIALLY HERE, and why the hell did you screw up the subplot like that?" Granted, he said it with brilliantly smooth tact and genteel editorial aplomb, and I made the advised changes as craftily as I could. The end result, hopefully, is a work readers will enjoy. That's the biggest gun I've got in the fight to be "found" by readers.
The next step? Easy. Just do it again.
And make sure all the squid shit gets edited out.