Category Archives: new book

Shared Disappointment

So, it occurred to me the other day that I had, in fact, left up on my website outdated information.  Specifically, despite the fact that it is December, and I have neither my first book out in print, nor my second book out in e-format, my webpage proudly announces that both should be out before Halloween.

Actually, I haven’t done anything with my website in about a month and a half.  It isn’t because nothing has been going on with me; plenty has been going on.  Sadly pretty much everything in my world has been a bit of a letdown these last couple of weeks.

And let’s face it; nobody really wants to share bad news.

Well, that’s not entirely true: we all have a great-aunt or great-uncle out there who’s only too happy to tell us about their latest growth, goiter, expellation or discharge.  But when it comes to our professional woes, the vast majority of us would rather sit on the latest bit of bad news, at least until we have something encouraging to soften the blow with.

But I think that this is a mistake.

Years ago, back when I was first trying to write movie scripts, I had a bad experience.  Or, to be slightly more accurate I should probably say that I had a Bad Experience.  Long story short, things had started to go wrong on this project I was involved in, and rather than tell us what was happening the guy in charge cut of communication entirely.

I don’t just mean that he stopped updating us, I mean that for several months he refused to answer any e-mails, or his phone, and everyone involved in the project found themselves in a state of limbo.

Now, writing books is a little bit different.  Very few other people are involved in the artistic side of the project with me, but I think that readers should be viewed as participants in your project, and I think that participants deserve to be kept abreast of any happenings.

So… just to clarify, my second book has been put off until March of next year, and I have no idea when my first book will be available in print.

Advertisements

A Cool Contest!

So a friend of mine, a talented writer, recently submitted one of his books to a contest on Inkshares.

For those of you who don’t know (as I didn’t) inkshares is a crowdfunding site for books, which is just awesome in and of itself.

My friend’s book, L.I.F.E. in the 23rd Century, is a hilarious satire of consumerism, coffee, and crowbars.  I helped critique it for him a couple of years back, and I’m quite excited at the possibility that it might get published.

If you get the chance, take a quick trip to inkshares, or just jump straight to my friend’s book here: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/l-i-f-e-in-the-23rd-century-1308 and preorder a copy!

Rate me! Judge me! AHHHHH!

So… my book has been out for a couple of days now.  Not too terribly long, but a little while.  Three days, basically.  It’s available for kindle on Amazon, and hopefully will be available in print before too terribly long, fingers crossed.  And it’s up on goodreads now, which is nice.  Unfortunately the only rating it has, which is on goodreads, is the one I gave it.  I keep on reminding myself, it takes most people a couple of days to get through a book.  Maybe even a week.

But the knot in my stomach refuses to listen to reason.  He’s curled himself into a ball so tight that I’m surprised any food is making it to my lower intestines.

It’s hard, twiddling your thumbs while you wait for strangers to judge you.  You know that it’s coming, and you fear it, but you need it, too.

Because if they judge me that means that they see me, and the only thing worse than being judged is being invisible.

I remember that feeling from high school.

Strange, isn’t it?  How high school scars us all.  It’s been a decade and a half since I went to high school, and I still have nightmares that take place in it.

I keep on expecting the day to come that I shift from childhood dreams to ‘adult’ dreams, whatever that means.  But I found out recently that my father, who’s in his sixties now, still has those same nightmares.  late to a class you haven’t been going to all year.  Test coming up.  All that jazz.

The Reviews Conundrum

I have long held that writers should not read reviews of their books.  What it comes down to is that reviews are not written for the author.  A review is simply a conversation between one person who has read a book, and someone else who is thinking about reading it.  As such, a review is not meant to contain information that is useful to the writer.  Where a good critique, which is intended for the writer, will note both positive and negative elements within a book, a review is essentially an argument for or against reading the work, and will mostly contain information designed to support the initial argument.

A critique, generally, will be specific in its points, identifying, not simply where the story fails to work, but why it fails to work, and what can be done to make it work.  A review doesn’t have these elements because there’s no reason for it to do so.  When an author reads a critique they will hopefully emerge on the other side with an idea of how to better themselves.  When an author reads a review, they will emerge on the other side either thinking more highly of themselves, or pissed off at the person who wrote it.

It is a no-win situation.

But authors, especially new authors and authors who have not achieved the level of success that they want, will inevitably read their reviews.  Because reviews are one of the best indicators of a books future success.  Did you just get twenty praise-filled reviews in a row?  Well, chances are those people are telling their friends.  Did you get a dozen one star reviews?  Good luck getting someone who stumbles across your amazon page to randomly purchase that.

So our eyes are locked on it.  We are fully invested in that next review.  that next comment.  that next X-star….

Every once in a while, one of my writer friends will post a story about a writer who replies to a bad review.  Inevitably, things go poorly.  No matter how bad a review is, how much we think that they just didn’t understand, writers have to learn to keep their thoughts to themselves.  The truth is, we’re listening in on somebody else’s conversation.  They aren’t talking to us, so bursting in and screaming at them is unacceptable.  After all, if they bought a copy of the book, then they’re entitled to share their opinion of it.

Sorry, just had all of this running through my mind while I wait for Awfully Appetizing to get its first review.  I have to remind myself that I may not like what they have to say.

Then again, maybe I will.

Either way, the truth is, I shouldn’t read it.

But I will anyway.

It’s (a)live!!!

My book is out!

Well, sort of.  My book is available in e-format.  Very exciting!  And terrifying.

Now all I can do is sit and twiddle my thumbs and pray that somebody reads it.  And likes it.  And tells their million friends that it’s awesome so they’ll all buy copies too.

Of course, most of my friends are old school, they want the book in paper, and I’m not sure how long it will be before it’s available.  Eh, whatcha gonna do?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do:  I’m going to sit in a chair twitching and trying not to think about my book, sitting out there, unnoticed…. Oh god, what if nobody reads it?  what if nobody likes it?

I need a valium.

Incremental Progress

So, my website is now, technically up.  www.ldfitz.com.  If you’re reading this the same day as I post it, don’t bother actually visiting the site just yet.  What is there is essentially a placeholder.  The real content, such as it is, will be up in a couple of days.

My friend, who knows a billion times more than I do about computers, is frustrated with me for using godaddy to host my site.  To be fair, I know about as much about website hosting as I do about heart surgery.  I’m sure there are options and I’m sure that some of the options are better than others, but the only way I’m going to find the right answer is if I trip over it.

Anyhow, he had to do some finagling to get just that much up.  And believe me, I appreciate it, because if my history with websites is any indicator, what I would put up would likely cause seizures, and possibly result in a third world war, somehow.

But the situation with my website is a lot like my situation with my manuscript in so much as it is vitally important to me, and yet I have no real power over it.  I am sitting here, practically shivering with anxiety and anticipation, and there is nothing that I can do to make things go faster or slower, better or worse.  I’m just waiting for the next thing that will have a massive effect on my life to happen of its own accord.

Well, that’s life for you, I guess.