In six hours, as I write this, the first book I’ve ever published will go live. People who’ve pre-ordered will have it downloaded to their devices, curious wanderers through the giant forest of Amazon products will stumble upon Wild Nines, perhaps purchase it, and find themselves blitzing through words I’ve written.
It’s a hard line to cross – that one where a creative actually has to put their work in front of other people. It was hard to show the draft to friends, hard to ask for feedback, hard to walk every step to this conclusion. It’s so, so much easier to work in a vacuum.
At least, that’s what I thought.
A strange thing happens when you click ‘Publish’, when your book becomes locked into the cycle. As I uploaded the final version (for now – always, with ebooks, a chance of updates) to Amazon, Wild Nines ceased to be just a book. It became an asset. And an asset isn’t a baby, a darling, a cherished object. Rather, it’s something to be sold, to provide a satisfying and fun experience to customers, a product to be advertised, promoted, and leaned on for income.
That flipped the script. Suddenly it was all about getting a mailing list together, getting book two up for pre-order to serve as evidence to other readers that the series wasn’t going to disappear. Completing the paperback version, as the last few posts have been about, become paramount. Not necessarily for the sales volume, but because it serves as an indicator of seriousness. That this author is real, that they’re trying.
It’s also a big moment for the little LLC, Black Key Books. I’ve been watching the business bank account drain in fits and starts as the accounting software noted every little deduction. Now, for the first time, there will be some income, Even if it’s just a dollar, that’ll be one in the green.
Is that healthy? The idea that a book stops being my creative love when it gets published?
I think so. I think so because it helps me move onto the next one. The next story, the next universe. If I clung to Wild Nines, then I wouldn’t be able to tell Davin’s next adventures, or work on the upcoming titles with new characters, stories, and places.
Wild Nines taught me uncountable writing lessons, from learning how to type the ellipsis properly, to the values of an outline, and the difficulty of tackling numerous rounded characters. It also taught me all the processes around getting a book ready to publish, from buying an ISBN, to designing a cover, to deciding whether or not to go exclusive with Amazon (a future post, that).
Even if it’s now an asset, I’ll always love Wild Nines for that.