Book Two   Leave a comment

A couple of years ago a friend acquainted me with the idea that self-publishing, or independent publishing, was now a viable route for getting a book out to readers. Having struggled for years to sell a book to a traditional publisher, and having seen a few people burned by “vanity publishing” scams, I was both curious and skeptical. But I looked into the matter, and curiosity quickly overwhelmed skepticism as I discovered the still new world of self-published ebooks on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, and the options presented by “print on demand” book production. There appeared to be something to all of this “indie publishing” talk, after all, something perfectly legitimate. It really was a chance to get books out there in front of people, without an agent or a publisher. (Of course, that’s all it is. A chance. You can publish a book this way, but contrary to the claims of countless internet carpetbaggers, producing sales of that book is another matter entirely! And a subject best examined separately.)

In that lunchtime conversation, the same friend suggested I dig out one of my unpublished novels, clean it up, and give it a chance out there in the big, bad digital world. When I convinced myself that it would actually be worth the effort to try the self-publishing route, I did just that. I pulled out a book I gave up on sometime between 1998 and 2000, with the title The Way of Leyra’an, and started working it over. I meant to make an experiment of it, but that’s not how things unfolded. It very quickly became a renewed commitment to writing. Rereading and rewriting that book in the last half of 2011, two things became very clear. First, there was a lot more to this story than I’d originally imagined. Second, I still enjoyed writing, and getting back to it again was like discovering that I really could go home again. So the revision became extensive and laid the groundwork for a series, and being at home with words again sort of pulled the cork from the bottle. Words poured forth.

I rewrote what became The Luck of Han’anga. When I found volunteers to beta read the book (one of them the very same person who set this all in motion) and the book passed out of my hands for a time, I turned my attention to the shorter work that I published as the memoir Mr. Olcott’s Skies. This was a test, a way to quickly learn the ropes of indie publishing. It worked, and developed a small following of its own into the bargain. By the time I had The Luck of Han’anga in hand for necessary revisions, I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing. By the middle of 2012 I was ready to launch my first novel, and did so, even as work progressed on the next novel in the War of the Second Iteration series. (A draft of Book Three took shape as Book Two went the rounds of beta readers.)

On Valentine’s Day, 2013, I released Book Two of the War of the Second Iteration: Founders’ Effect. That makes three books out in the span of a year – March 21st being the anniversary of Olcott’s Skies. As I watched the first few sales I was reminded of what a strange and wonderful thing this is, to be putting my work out there in the real world of readers. There is a touch of the unreal to it, because I’d given up hope of ever seeing it happen. And now – here I am, with three books published and a fourth well underway. That’s a huge change, in only a couple of years, from having no hope at all, to taking the first steps forward on a grand adventure. All the more so, as I didn’t see this coming.

Founders’ Effect – War of the Second Iteration, Book Two is available, and a few people have already begun to read it. This is all for real. Book Two is my way of pinching myself, to make sure I’m not dreaming. But I’m wide awake after all, it seems, and in a way that has not been true in far too many years.


Founders’ Effect is currently available as an ebook for Kindle and Nook ereaders, and in multiple formats from Smashwords.

Book One, The Luck of Han’anga, is available from the same sources, and as a paperback from Amazon. (The paperback version of Founders’ Effect is in production.)

Posted February 17, 2013 by underdesertstars in Books and Writing, Science Fiction

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