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Week one

So, what really happens when the book is launched? Is it as incredible as you imagine? Better? A let down?

I've been lucky enough to have it happen this week. My book, Abendau's Heir, is on kindle. Physical stock gets to me this week (Easter is incoveniently on its way) for signing and for stores. Reviews have started to come in - this is a live book, not just to my betas.

So, first, my reservations - Abendau's Heir is a dark book and I am not a dark person. People will be surprised. My first reviewer has likened it to grimdark. I knew this would be the case, that some would find it too grim. But book one sets up a trilogy - and this one starts dark. I hope, as the series goes on, that darkness gets eroded a little. I hope to satisfy the reader in more ways than just a dark creation, but things take their own time and stories have their own pace, and this one started where it needed to, in the deep secrets which set things in motion.

My other big reservation was reader perception - this book has been a long time coming. In the meantime I've had shorts published and what not and some people are looking forward to what I might do with a novel. And I hope I don't disappoint.

That's my reservations - what about my hopes? I hope it does well. I hope enough people like it and want to read book 2 and 3. I hope they like my characters, and that what I've depicted asks questions of some of the storylines we see in sff, perhaps overused, that it does something different with them, takes things a different way. My characters are very human - they have flaws, they get things wrong, they get scared. I hope readers enjoy reading real, sometimes less than heroic, characters (who, of course, often turn out to be heroes after all.)

This first week has turned out so much more than I expected. A lot of people bought the book, particularly in the first couple of days. More preordered it. And many, many more are waiting for the physical stock. I was getting into best seller lists. Facebook and twitter were going mad. The sffchronicles.com gave me my own subforum, and people are discussing Abendau as they read it. Sffworld.com hosted an interview, a long one with hard questions. I needed to sit down and try to breathe.

Since then, things have quietened. Sales are steadily growing. The discussion thread is ongoing and I'm mostly sitting on my hands and saying nothing. My first review has come out, and has been challenging enough for me to feel that phew, I've got that hurdle behind me. I've had my first Goodreads rating - it was better. :)

I'm glad of the hiatus. In 4 weeks time I will be going to a comic con with a big bookseller and chatting to people about my book. In another few weeks, I have a bookstore event at which there will be stormtroopers. Much more frighteningly I will have to read from my book. Later, another signing.

Each of these will be another peak, another moment to savour. Because it is about savouring it. I may have other novels out - I'd be surprised if I didn't - but I'll never have my first one again. And so, the rollercoaster of the launch, the long drawn out list of events and moments, lie ahead, and I'm going to do my best to savour them all.

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