Completing a manuscript and typing “The End” is always a great feeling. It’s an accomplishment, the culmination of endless invested hours. But “The End” isn’t really the end. Not even close.
Once you find a home for the book a host of new tasks descend upon you. We’re assuming for the purposes of this post that the book has a publisher, and is not being self-published. That option carries with related, but divergent necessities. Where to start?
I have made no secret in these posts that I write a bit of fiction now and then. At least I believe I haven’t kept it a secret. If I’m mistaken, well, allow me to correct that: My name is Ken Lizzi and I’m a writer. And I don’t intend to quit, cold turkey or otherwise.
Bearing that in mind, instead of discussing and promoting the work of other writers, this post will plug some of mine. Because that’s how I like my commercialism: Crass and brass.
As with many of you, home improvement projects have played an unusually prominent role in recent weeks. Now, I’ve not had the excuse of being home with time on my hands. I’ve been going to the office every day. Nonetheless, at the behest of MBW, we’ve been buckling down, checking off items on our to-do list.
Thick As Thieves came out a few years ago. I’m rather fond of that one. Crime and fantasy are not strangers. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser met during a robbery. Conan’s rap sheet would fill an entire scroll. Heists instigated a number of his adventures. Even Bilbo acted the burglar. There are plenty more examples. But I may have added a novel element by filtering a sword-and-sorcery story through the sensibilities of Elmore Leonard. I hope I succeeded.
This means I get to engage in my favorite activity: marketing. You may note a hint of sarcasm in the preceding sentence. If not, allow me to restate it bluntly: I don’t like marketing. Shilling your own wares feels uncomfortably like begging. I honestly don’t care for it. But, it is absolutely necessary. If no one is aware you have a book for sale, no one is going to buy it. And I want people to buy Captain. I wrote it in order to entertain people, and it can’t do that if people don’t read it.
So, yeah. Marketing. Sigh.
“Don’t miss out on the entertainment sensation of April, 2020. Pick up your copy of Captain: Falchion’s Company Book Two today. Tell a friend. Leave a review.”
Cue confetti and balloons.
Anyway, I hope you are all doing well in these interesting times.
Whether we’re facing a world-changing pandemic, or not, I’m still working. Not just at my day job; I’m also still producing books. I expect to have another book out early in April, perhaps by the first. Specifically, Captain: Falchion’s Company Book Two, the sequel to Boss.
Falchion is back, now running his own mercenary company. I think you’re going to like this one.
I got the rights back to Thick As Thieves. I’m considering just putting it out myself, rather than shopping it around to another publisher. That way I’ll have a book out between Captain, in April, and Warlord, in July. What do you think? Sufficient distance? Too much? Not enough?
If you’ve read Thick As Thieves, do you have an idea what you think the cover art should look like? Or was the first edition’s cover on point?
The sequel to Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger is off to the publisher. I’m waiting on comments. Of course, I hope it is perfect as is, without the need for more than, say, a proof read. There is a first time for everything, I suppose.
When I first started writing, years ago, it was primarily as a challenge. Could I get a story published? Then, how about a few more? After a while, I wanted to see if I could get a novel published. That accomplished, I discovered I had more novels I wanted to write, that it wasn’t enough to have a published book under my belt.
At the moment I find myself dealing with multiple projects in various stages. I’ve got the word mines running, and the words must flow. It is gratifying. It is also time consuming for someone with a profession that already demands most of his nine-to-five hours.
Some days you just need to punish innocent steel plates and sheets of paper. And as a writer, it is good to remind yourself of the sounds, smells, and feel of firearms. You think, “I really ought to go back and revise that scene, get in at least a mention of the noise.”