An important message from an author (who is me) on the day of their book release.
October 20, 2015
I have a new book out today. It’s called ENVY OF ANGELS. It’s the first in a new series of books I’m writing for Tor.com Publishing called Sin du Jour, about a crew of professional New York City chefs and magic-users who cater events for the underworld of the supernatural. I do my best to make it funny and fucked up and unexpected and about people you care about. I think it’s pretty good. I’m writing at least three more after this one, and I have more planned.
But I’ve talked enough about the book this year, and the truth is if you’re reading this you’ve either already bought it or decided you can’t or won’t.
So that’s what I’m going to write about today. The truth. I’m going to tell you the truth about a few things, and then I’ll tell you what’s important.
Here’s the truth. This book isn’t a big deal, and it’s not going to be. There are more books out there than opinions, and fewer people read this stuff than ever, it seems. Mine is a short book (a novella) being distributed mostly digitally as part of a new line of a new imprint of a massive publisher. The whole thing is an experiment, an untested quantity, and if it’s going to become anything eventually it’ll need time and trial and error to grow. And I have the absolute privilege (no sarcasm) of being a Guinea pig for this new model and new way of publishing SFF books I really truly believe could be cool for readers and beneficial for authors.
BUT. Even if my book was a big hardcover brick-and-mortar kind of book, there are still a bazillion of those, and in the grand scheme of publishing and popular fiction I’m nobody. That’s the truth. I’m a guy who scrapes out a meager living writing any ol’ thing anyone will pay him to write most of the time, who a few thousand people seem to enjoy watching get angry on Twitter, and who a few hundred very dedicated people (on a good day) actually actively seek out and spend money on his original fiction.
Today isn’t going to break records. The book isn’t going to go viral. I’m not going to be surprised and overwhelmed by the results.
Today isn’t a big deal to anyone except me, the folks who worked on the book, people who love me, and a small group of fans who were and are really excited about the book, those dedicated few hundred I just mentioned.
That’s the truth, and those are the people I want to talk to right now.
If you’re one of them? One of those few dedicated hundred? You?
You are the most important person in my career right now.
That is also absolutely, unabashedly, unexaggeratedly true.
Obviously I want you to review and rate it on Amazon and Goodreads and all that crap that’s become so desperately vital (and it does matter), but that’s not why you are important. Not at all.
Here’s what *can* happen *after* today, realistically, and what I’m cautiously optimistic will happen.
You can read the book you’ve been anticipating since I started shilling it ceaselessly earlier this year. And if you like it…*if* you like it as much as I hope you will and you hope you will, if it entertains you and helps you escape (because that’s what this is all about, you being entertained and escaping into your head for a little while)…you can tell people about it.
That’s it. That’s the secret. That’s the key. That’s the whole deal. That is GOD of this process.
At work, you tell people, “I just finished this book and you HAVE to read it, it’s hilarious and fucked up and there’s more coming.” You tell your friends you know would like it. You tell your family. You tell the people who will actually listen to you and buy the book and read it and love it and tell more people.
If you’re someone with a social media platform, and folks who actually follow you and listen to you? Even better. Doesn’t matter how many. It matters that you communicate how you personally dig this book and recommend it. Retweets and shares of my stuff are fantastic and I appreciate it so much, but nothing is more powerful or convincing than you expressing your genuine passion for something.
That’s it. That’s what sells books in the end. Sometimes I think it’s the only thing that actually ever does.
That’s what important.
So, there you go. I’m not asking anyone else to buy the thing right now. I’m asking you who’ve already bought your ticket for the ride to take it and then if you’re satisfied help me grow this little series of weird, funny books into something big. We have a little less than a year and three more books I promise will be just as fun and funny and fucked up and moving as this one. I love this world and these characters and these stories and I want to keep telling them. I’d love to turn this thing into a TV/streaming series myself. And I’m actually working on that. It’s not out of reach if you help me on the book side. This little thing that’s not a big deal can, in reality, be anything we want it to be if we believe in it and work our asses off to make it happen.
Today isn’t a big deal, but tomorrow and Sin du Jour can be.
It’s up to you folks, if you dig it.
In any case, thanks for coming this far with me. Truly. I hope I entertain you for a little while.
I also want to thank my editor, Lee Harris, who championed this book and series for me on day one. I want to thank associate publisher Irene Gallo, who is the kind of publisher this industry needs. Carl Engle-Laird, Mordicai Knode, my copy editor Liana Krissoff, cover designer Peter Lutjen, and anyone else at Tor.com Publishing who helped make this book and this series a real thing.