The Just Beyond will be released for digital reader sales in June
48fourteen, the publisher for The Just Beyond, is having a banner year. That's great news for me and all the other authors in their catalogue -- the more successful the publisher, the better platform it becomes for distribution of our work. They've got a number of exciting new books coming out, new channels for publicity and attracting the attention of literary critics, new marketing and promotional campaigns. It was 48fourteen's creative and forward-looking angle on publishing in the information age that put them high on my list for submissions, and it's palpable as I work with them in detail.
And that success, ironically, is the reason The Just Beyond is taking a while to move from sale to publication. Frankly, I'll take it. I'd much rather have the book undergo the thorough, painstaking editing process necessary to maximize its commercial potential as opposed to shooting it out to market without professional polish. After seeing the editor's work last month -- he had obviously invested weeks of diligent attention in producing numerous improvements to the novel's clarity, pacing, and language -- my perspective shifted from understandable anxiousness to see my book in print to a patient appreciation of what the publisher was adding to my chances of success as a writer. It took me most of a year to write The Just Beyond and I expected the publication process would take at least as long. It's only been four months since I signed the contract, and in the context of what is necessary to finish the quality process and move to market, that really isn't very long.
Which brings me to today's news. As noted in the block quote, 48fourteen has let me know they expect The Just Beyond will be released for digital reader sales in June. They have not completed the second round of edits, not because there hasn't been enough time since my work on Round One was turned around in March, but rather because they have several other novels coming out this spring and summer that came into the pipeline ahead of mine. They expect to finish my edits by mid-May, submit final changes for my collaboration and approval, and if that process produces no unexpected further changes, the June release will be a go. I really had no idea how much was going on with the publisher till I started receiving their in-house updates as a stable author. It was gratifying and envigorating to see how vibrant their little publishing house is becoming -- and enlightening as to the pre-pub process with my own book.
Which brings me to an important point I've delayed making until there was truly light at the end of the publication tunnel. There is going to come a time, a matter of weeks from now it looks like, where I am going to need your help. I haven't kicked off a real torrent of promotion for the book yet simply because I felt it would be useless to do so before it was available for sale. But once we have a firm release date, I am going to push hard for a successful launch. The book's profile on this site, Facebook, Twitter, and numerous other promotional outlets is going to explode. I put the time and effort into The Just Beyond not as a lark, but because I truly want to make a serious living as a speculative fiction writer, and the initial reception this first novel gets is going to make all the difference. I have the second book well underway -- again, I haven't promoted it heavily because I felt the best time to push it would be when the first book was released -- and it will be teed up and ready to go in a hurry if there's a market of readers anxious to follow Michael Chandler into the dark reaches of the Afterlife when his mother goes missing while searching for his lost brother Max.
And YOU are the key to that success. I'm going to do my part and then some -- you may see and hear more about the Beyond trilogy than you ever wanted to -- but your word of mouth, your personal recommendations, your own social networks can multiply the effort by a factor of hundreds. And I'm going to baldly ask for your help spreading the word. I use the word "baldly" in part because yes, my days of going bankrupt at the hair salon are comfortably past, but also because this really is important to me, and the one thing I dare not do is let this novel fail because of a timid or measured effort on my part. Writing is only half the work. It's important work, but the coming promotional push is no less so. And you -- if I'm lucky enough to earn your help -- can be the difference between true success and just a Really Good Try.
Who knows -- if it's what the readers want, maybe I'll sink the first proceeds from The Just Beyond into that vain Bosley hair surgery those annoying commercials keep yammering about. Who am I to defy the wishes of all those people kind enough to buy my book? :) - Mark