Back in the olden days — five or six years ago — a writer would polish up a book manuscript, ship it off to a publisher, then have six months basically to recuperate.
During that six months, somebody else would edit, copy-edit (different thing), lay everything out, proofread, design a cover, draw any charts or illustrations, write blurbs, and take care of all those necessities. Then the wonderful somebody else would contract with a printer, send out press releases and review copies, get the thing distributed, and all would be done.
Sure, sometime during the six months the well-rested author would receive a proof copy to check. She would be expected to make corrections (without, the publisher devoutly hoped, attempting to rewrite the entire tome). After publication, said author might give interviews and make public appearances; but even those would be arranged by that blessed somebody else.
That’s how it worked, even on the itty-bitty small press level where this particular author operated.
I knew things had changed, of course. But Basics of Resistance was my first personal brush with those changes.
Not only did Kit and I have to do all those things ourselves — plus design a website (Kit’s work and beautifully done) and keep a blog going AND upload two differently formatted books to Amazon (again Kit, but with me scrambling along on the side). But we did much of it in two frantic weeks.
Then, literally without a day’s pause, it was marketing time.
Kit has insane energy and drive. Me, I was already staggering. I picked myself up and managed to stagger a while farther.
The first week, the energy of “#1 New Release” and “Best-seller” carried us along. That was exciting. But on Amazon, those are ephemeral designations and not as big a deal as they seem. Now sales have begun to settle at a lower (though expected) level.
And I’m so beat I could weep.
I’m in a dangerous mood. I might yell at the dog. Or go to the Big City and buy something I don’t need. Eat an entire box of Cheez-Its. Or go to bed at 6:00. (Yeah, that’s as dangerous as I get, these days.)
And weirdly, while you guys are already getting your copies, I haven’t even seen the book yet.
I’m in a state of collapse because of weeks of book-related intensity and I might be the last person to see the darned thing.
Soon, too, I have to finish that RebelFire-universe story I haven’t touched since November. THEN it’ll be time to create a third edition of The Freedom Outlaws Handbook.
The plan is for that to be done more in the old-fashioned way, via Oliver Del Signore’s Mason Marshall Press. But the very prospect of sitting down and writing another book this year … well, if I drank, it would drive me to drink.
I’m not complaining, mind you. Whining, yes. Complaining, no. I was excited to work with Kit. Your reception of Basics of Resistance has been beyond gratifying. It’s been an exhausting few weeks (and months), but fun, too. It feels good to have this job done and to have a new book reaching out to the next generation of freedomistas.
Besides, there are benefits to the new way of doing things. Speed of publication has plusses even if it’s a shock to a lazy writer’s system. And because there are no somebody elses (other than the blessed friends and helpers authors have always relied on), we get to keep more of the profits from our work.
There’s not a writer on the planet who doesn’t see the value in that.
Still. I. Am. BEAT. Flattened. Exhausted. Ready to cry, to slug down a Margarita (with extra salt on the rim), to pitch the computer at a wall, to — gasp! — go out and PAY FULL RETAIL for something. It doesn’t even matter what. Just something.
But I fear my mother knew what she was talking about when she admonished me that there was no rest for the wicked.