To conform to a cliche that’s so overworn, you can see through it to the next author: I am excited to announce the final cover design for The Dark Queen of Darkness!
This book has been four years in the making. It took a dozen beta-readers, years of revision, criticism, editing, cover design, a massive fight with InDesign, creation of a new imprint with a logo, and at one point I even deleted the whole manuscript. But now, we’re just under two weeks from launch.
I’m going to be talking a lot about this over the next few months, including book signing events, pre-orders, and pictures, so I’ll leave this short post here.
In January of 2019, I announced that I’d be publishing The Dark Queen of Darkness in September of 2019. That didn’t happen, and that’s part of the learning process. I’m still aiming for a Feb 14, 2020 release. What I realized sometime in April or May of last year was that I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what went into self-publishing. Lots of people do it and it looks easy, but until I’ve had my hands on something, it might as well be magic. To prepare myself, I decided to self-publish what I’d come to consider a terrible throw-away book: Wine Bottles and Broomsticks (I did a series of author interviews and a series on what I learned and I recommend you have a look if you’re prepping yourself for indie publishing your first book). Wine Bottles was a book I first shopped to 40+ agents and got a lot of help from author friends on that with no luck. Then, I tried to crowd-source, still no luck. I reckoned that my failure here meant this book had no real appeal. Wine Bottles and Broomsticks surprised me by doing spectacularly well for a debut indie-published book. At least by my reckoning. So far, here’s where I am with it:
100 copies sold over 6 months, 80% were paperbacks,
Picked up by a book-club, I’ve been invited to attend this month and discuss the book,
More than one reader, who I have never met, has reached out to me to tell me how much they liked it – if you’re one of these readers, you’ve got no idea how much it means for me to hear that. You are the reason I do this and I thank you,
I was standing in Black Birch Books, the only place Wine Bottles and Broomsticks is available locally and the woman behind me had actually purchased and read the book!
All of this came with a totally botched launch and poor planning on my part. My take-away is that no I’m not Richard Castle, and I’m not a viral success, and that’s totally fine. I understood this going in. The win for me, as an author, is a foundation to build on and the knowledge that the series I’d planned for Rick Basket does, in fact, have an audience. The bullets I’ve put up there exceed my expectations and I call that a success. I suppose that 2019 was a good year for me, and I just need to remain focused as we go into this year. My goal for 2020? Repeat 2019 and take it one step further. Can we do 2 books? Who knows, but I’m going to try.
For the past year, I’ve been working toward publishing The Dark Queen of Darkness. While I’ve had a date in mind for a couple of months, I’ve finally taken the step of looking into my magic mirror to see if I was even close. After he was done telling me all of the things I already know, but don’t really want to hear again (ie: lose some damn weight), I learned that I’m ready to announce the release date.
~ Feb 14, 2020 ~
Right now we’re still working on final cover design and some minor internal tweaks. I’ll do a full cover reveal once it’s ready. As I get closer, there will be giveaways – so keep an eye out for those! If you’re local to Anchorage/Mat-Su Valley, I’m also drafting up plans for a release party or event on or shortly after the official release date, I’ll have more details on that as they become clear to me. In the mean-time, you can still check out Wine Bottles and Broomsticks on Amazon.com, if you haven’t already.