Pittsburgh filmmaker Jonathan R. Skocik talks about Mornnovin as an allegory for coming of age on the autism spectrum.
We are six days to launch and I was expecting the first shipment of my books for distribution to my Kickstarter backers this morning. They still hadn’t come by the time I had to leave for my day job (dog walking), so I left a note for UPS and hoped for the best.
Naturally, when I got the delivery ping as I was driving between jobs, I had to do the whole steering wheel-throwing, tire-screeching course change and stop home to check.
There are now dozens of books with my name on them sitting in my living room, and they look gorgeous, and I am so excited to share them with you.
Confession time, internet: I’m a writer.
That is to say, what I am is a writer not a typesetter, a publisher, a business manager, a publicist, a social media coordinator, or any of the numerous roles I’ve taken on in order to get Mornnovin published and out in circulation. I absolutely respect the work that publishing houses do in order to fill the world with books. I’m just a storyteller, a painter-with-words.
In short, I really don’t know what I’m doing.
AND YET. Somehow, despite my ineptitude, physical copies of my book are being printed as we speak and will shortly be on their way to me, and I think they look pretty damn good. I’ve completed all but one last reward for my Kickstarter backers (and that one is only still incomplete because I was working on it and it broke and I had to start over.) I’ve set up my author profile on Goodreads. I’ve done the necessary official business with the copyright and my publishing imprint. I’ve set up an ad for the book in the upcoming Ingram Advance catalog that bookstores and libraries do their ordering from. I’ve already made contact with my local library about scheduling an author event. I’ve set up global distribution for the eBook through the following (rather extensive) selection of online retailers:
The paperback book release is currently set for April 9th — just in time to be the best birthday present I’ve ever had. I was pretty damn excited when I checked on a couple of those sites to see if they’ve already gotten the listing memo and I saw this:
So… this is happening. I’m publishing a book.
But because I’m just a writer and all of those other things are way, way out of my wheelhouse, I’ve been so consumed by the one primary task of making the physical book (and the eBook) happen that it has only just now entered my sphere of awareness just how profoundly I’ve neglected to do any of the sort of pre-launch publicity I ought to have been doing. Like. To the point where I don’t even know what pre-launch publicity I would even do. I just haven’t had the focus to spare for any thoughts of what would happen once I’d made the book become real.
Hey, I’m just a fantasy author, okay?
Holy shit, I’m an author!
I guess I’d better wander off and try to figure out how to promote this book in the little time I have left.
But not without a final squee.
The proof copy of Mornnovin was supposed to arrive today, so I was pretty excited as I checked the mail. In fact I opened the door, looked down, saw a package, and literally squeaked.
Let’s get this bad boy inside!
Well that does look pretty book-shaped. Let’s see what–
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!
THIS IS MY BOOK. WHAT THE FUCK‽‽‽
So yeah. Um.
I made a book and I am not calm about it. You must excuse me while I go hyperventilate.
Did I forget to mention here that, at long last, I’m finally making a book?!
Although my Kickstarter campaign closed (successfully!) on January 4th, I’ve spent much of the month in creative limbo while waiting for the site and my bank to process the donations. The waiting was not awesome, knowing what I needed to be doing but not having the means to do it.
Following the national holiday on Monday, the funding finally came through on Tuesday, and after doing a squealgasp of excitement I got to work.
The LLC is filed and paid for; I am now the somewhat giddy owner of my very own shiny new publishing imprint. That’s a check on the copyright, too. I also bought a bulk package of ISBNs and so was able to start compiling the files for the eBook, paperback, and special hardcover copies of the novel.
Do you know how long it takes to browse 658 pages of fonts online? I do, because that’s how I spent last Sunday night instead of getting a full night’s sleep, shopping for the perfect cover font.
One of the prizes going out to my backers is a short story set in the world of Asrellion, and I’d been kicking around the idea of using some of the surplus funds to print out nice little physical copies. That idea, unfortunately, has turned out to be a bust (too cost-prohibitive for anything halfway decent) so it’s back to Plan A on that which is digital. But work on the other little bits and bobs of backer swag continues while I also try to get a handle on the business aspect of everything that goes into not only publishing but promoting a novel.
Most thrilling of all, I’ve been getting progress sketches all week from my cover artist, Scott Baucan, culminating in a surprise message yesterday that it was done already, ahead of schedule. And guys. It. is. gorgeous. I can’t tell you how much I love it and how excited I am to see it in my hand on the front of my book.
Here is just a little teaser-taste for your ogling enjoyment.
This week I’ll be getting craftsy, and continuing work on the files to be sent to the printing company. I’m trying without much luck to untangle a pretty knotty riddle: they want my page count in order to complete the setup file and issue my cover template, but how do I know what my page count will be before I’ve seen the thing formatted as a print book?
So yeah, that’s where I’m at. Now that I’ve got an imprint, and cover art, and ISBNs, and funds to pay for printing, the only thing standing between me and a spring release of my debut novel is my own ability to format the interior files, navigate the setup process, and figure out how one goes about obtaining advance reviews on a book that does not yet physically exist. This is dizzyingly exciting, but I’m also discovering that the stress and anxiety of being in charge of this whole thing myself is pretty nauseating and I’m sure I’m going to mess up something crucial.
Still. For tonight, I leave on this high:
Well, Christmas is over. The year is on its last legs, and so is my Kickstarter campaign. At 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January, 4th, this fundraiser ends for good or ill. Will we make it to $4000 by then? I think so. There’s only $1244 left to go. But we can’t let up, not yet.
This is a time of year that I always associate with beauty in all its forms. Sparkling, glittering, star-filled nights, delicious aromas, lovely chords of magical music, the warmth of love and kindness. The holiday may technically be past, but the season is not. Not just yet. It is still a time of beauty, of magic, for just a little longer. I think it’s fitting that this is the setting for the final days of this fundraiser.
In the spirit of that beauty, and because it’s all Kickstarter all the time for a few more days yet, today I’m going to show you something pretty. One of the very special rewards I’ve offered to backers at the $100 level is “a hand-made piece of custom elven jewelry crafted by the author.” So I thought I’d share some of the jewelry I’ve made in the past, to give an idea of what that might look like.
Most of the pieces of jewelry I’ve made over the years have been gifts, so all I have anymore are the unimpressive cell phone photos I snapped before sending them on their way. Here is one:
That is a pendant hand-sculpted and then finished with gold and silver leaf.
This is an iridescent bit of seashell I picked up at Cannon Beach in Oregon. I fixed it with a genuine pearl and finished the back with silver leaf.
Hand-sculpted iridescent purple lily.
Swarokvski crystals, genuine pearl, feathers, paper flowers, and a crocheted choker band.
This isn’t jewelry, but I sculpted and leafed these leaves too:
This also is not jewelry, but it was intended as a sort of mixed media rendering of Loralíenasa Raia’s falling star symbol. Here is my old sketch of the symbol itself, for reference:
And here is the craft version:
But this is my favorite. I made this for one of my very best friends, oh, so many years ago that I couldn’t even tell you when, and she still wears it. She wore it to my wedding in October.
So there you have it: a sampling of some pretty elfyness. If you like what you see here, maybe take a jaunt over to the fundraiser page and think about donating to the book. I’m so close to being able to publish this thing, and I’d love to be able to thank you for your help.
I knew before I started running this fundraising campaign that this is well outside my wheelhouse and I’d be groaning about existence before it was over. I’ve got 13 days to go and let’s just say I have mixed feelings about that.
Want to know what’s great? Being only $1514 away from your $4000 goal.
Want to know what’s really stressful? Still being $1514 away from your $4000 goal.
You know what, though? I really feel like this is going to happen. $1514 may be a lot of money, especially at Christmas, but it’s not an impossible amount. Just look what all those frightened xenophobes have managed to raise in order to keep the poor and the needy at arm’s length at the holiday season. (Imagine what they could have done to care for those poor souls with that same amount of money. But I digress.) There’s another $1514 out there somewhere for a hopeful, starry-eyed writer just trying to get her words out into the world. I have to believe that.
I might be feeling a bit maudlin today because of the grey weather, an immune system that’s struggling to fend off the crud my husband brought home from work, a puppy who has an upset stomach, the adrenaline crash of being done with all of my Christmas preparations, and the inevitable feelings of inertia you get when you receive word that something (in this case the arrival of a client) you were all geared up for is going to come later than expected. Tomorrow it’s fun goofing off and holiday parties and another update to the Kickstarter, but for right now I’m taking a moment to say, candidly, “Oof.”
And hey, you could help me shave that $1514 down a bit, eh?