If you’ve been hanging around here for long enough, you likely appreciate that my publishing career probably would not exist were it not for the ubiquity of the ebook. Most of my sales come from ebooks, and in some instances–the standalone novellas of The Immortal Chronicles, as well as Eve–it’s all from ebooks because no print edition exists.
The Spaceship Next Door is a first for a couple of things in my career. It’s my first novel since I finished The Immortal Trilogy. It’s my first novel to exceed 110,000 words. (For comparison, Immortal is about 95,000 and Fixer is about 103,000.) It’s the first time I’m publishing something larger than a novella without the involvement of a publisher. And it’s the first thing I’m able to publish in both ebook and print format at the same time.
The print edition is coming to you by way of Createspace. (I used them once before, last year, for a short collection of the first three Chronicle books.) I’d like to talk about that edition because, when I held the proof copy in my hands for the first time, it reminded me how much I love physical books.
I’m not really sure why this is the case right at this moment. Every author, at one point in their lives, dreams of the day they can hold a copy of something they created, see it on a shelf, find it in a bookstore, and so on. I’ve gone through that many times already. The first time was back in 1999 (!) when a collection of my humor columns was published in a volume called Beating Up Daddy. It was a thrill. I got over it, though, because after holding the book, putting it on a shelf and seeing it in a bookstore, I was still a mostly-anonymous, struggling author. There were no seraphim.
But then I got the proof copy of The Spaceship Next Door. Proof copies are sent out in order to perform a final check of the manuscript and make sure the formatting is okay and everything lines up right, so when the book goes out to people who’ve actually put down money on it, they’re not disappointed. When I received it, I skimmed the contents to look for any glaring problems, and didn’t see any.
Then–perhaps because this happened to coincide with my catching a cold and being unable to do all that much else–I decided to read it cover-to-cover.
Now, aside from discovering about ten minor errors that would have driven me insane had I found them after the release date, the two things that kept thinking were:
- Holy shit I wrote a 400 page book!
- This is a really good book!
Point number 1 was my rediscovering that feeling I had the first time I held one of my own books in my hands. Point number 2 was my seeing the book as a reader for the first time, instead of as a writer.
It’s hard to get to point number 2, which is why self-editing is not only difficult, but almost never recommended. For the most part, writers are just too close to be able to step back and look at the entire tapestry, because we’ve been focused on the color of the threads for so very long. I think one of the reasons I was able to was that I had the physical book in front of me.
The timing for the release of The Spaceship Next Door is just about perfect in many ways, because there is such a thing as Amazon wish lists and there happens to be a lot of gifting going on right around the 25th, three days after the book is available online. There will (I am assuming) also be a number of people receiving new ebook readers and similar devices at around that time, looking for things to download and read.
The release date is a little less perfect for the print edition, because there’s no way a book available for purchase for the first time on the 22nd will be obtained for gifting purposes by the 25th. (It will be ready for all you folks who just got gift cards from Amazon for Christmas, though…)
I’m wondering if I should consider releasing the print version prior to the 22nd, though, for anyone who wants to ask for it for Christmas or who wants to give it out for Christmas. It’s hefty, pretty, and only $20. And, oh yes, it’s a really good book.
How many of you readers out there are ready to see a print copy of The Spaceship Next Door? I just need to hit a button to make it so. Should I? Let me know, in comments or by email.
It’s possible I’m just too impatient to get to the 22nd already, because damn, the book looks good. Or maybe I’m just not looking forward to the part where I have to figure out how to deliver an audio version. Let me know your thoughts.
Pre-order your copy of The Spaceship Next Door below: