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Post-book blues

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.


  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X April 9, 2018 1:17 pm

    Sounds like a good day to go to the range to me but I think that of every day.

  2. Cindylou
    Cindylou April 9, 2018 1:34 pm

    This may sound trite, but I MEAN it… take care of yourself. You are important to many others, sure… that’s irrelevant, right now. Be important enough to yourself to be “selfish”. Rest. Reflect. Refresh. Please do try.

  3. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal April 9, 2018 2:50 pm

    You’re not wicked. Just an outlaw. 😉

  4. SKSK
    SKSK April 9, 2018 3:18 pm

    I now have three copies of your book. (Two are for friends.) Thank you, so much!!! Next on the agenda? Please take time to rest for awhile; you most assuredly deserve it!

  5. Claire
    Claire April 9, 2018 7:46 pm

    And thank you all for that.

    I spent the afternoon watching Danny Deckchair, one of the few romantic comedies I actually like. I ate tres leches cake, a favorite, and started an EZ jigsaw puzzle. I need more, but that was a good beginning.

  6. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty April 10, 2018 4:23 am

    Get some rest, Claire. I’ll have to look up the three milk cake thing. Sounds interesting. 🙂

  7. jordanms2015
    jordanms2015 April 10, 2018 8:35 am

    Just wanted to report that I got my paperbacks yesterday, the extras will be winging there way off to deserving folks.
    Quick scan last night, looks like a great job.
    With the weather you’ve been having lately, better to to put your feet up, load up the wood stove, eat bon bon’s and read Atlas Shrugged again.

  8. Claire
    Claire April 10, 2018 9:17 am

    Thank you, jordanms! I’m relieved to hear that people ordering books are getting them quickly and that they look good. Our authors’ copies are not yet in sight; Amazon has delayed them for the second time and it will be weeks (at least) before we get them.

    And yep, the PacificNorthWET has been having more winter this week (high wind warnings, record rains) than it had all last winter. Now, if I could only get Ava to agree that staying indoors is a great idea …

  9. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack April 10, 2018 11:57 am

    BTW, (veracity unknown) Amazon owns 40% of the commercial property in Seattle.

  10. Joel
    Joel April 10, 2018 12:01 pm

    Of course I won’t see it for two more weeks earliest but Amazon tells me mine arrived at my maildrop on Sunday.

  11. maDDtraPPer
    maDDtraPPer April 10, 2018 2:27 pm

    If you had an amazon gift wish list a guy could send you a copy of your own book so you have it now – as backwards as that sounds it would drive me crazy to be in your shoes right now.

  12. Claire
    Claire April 10, 2018 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the kind thought, maDDtraPPer. I had to take my Amazon wish list private because it’s incompatible with my Amazon Associates links.

    Really, though, if I get desperate to have a copy of the paperback, I can buy one for myself. Amazon even seems to be discounting them at the moment (their choice, not ours, BTW). But I’ll hold on a little longer.

  13. fred
    fred April 11, 2018 1:12 am

    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.
    Hee Hee,Just how I felt while ordering the book,but for Claire I had to do it.So look forward to it tho…. 🙂

  14. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay April 11, 2018 3:26 pm

    I asked my wife for a copy of the Kindle version, she sprung fer the real deal, too! Instead of miserably side scrolling PaperWhite “pages”, I’m flipping actual white paper pages, with a mis-cut title page I’m not going to fix.
    I’m looking forward to those autographs.

  15. Claire
    Claire April 11, 2018 5:34 pm

    Well, I must say I approve. You’ve got a good wife there.

    But what did they do to that title page? Is it one of those things where it’s not properly cut away from another page or what?

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