Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

A Year On: Books, Futures, Presents, and Your Help

Originally published at Ben Peek. You can comment here or there.


Has it really been a year?

I had copies of The Godless, but I think it was a week or two before the book seemed to be everywhere, burning swords and all. It is close enough, at any rate. A year has come and gone. Six months before that, Dead Americans and Other Stories was released. In April next year, Leviathan’s Blood will be released.

I’m not quite sure how to describe last year. Personally, it was a bit rough – there were deaths in the family, sadly – and professionally, I felt like I spent most of my time trying to get two books to break through, for them to find their audiences. In many ways, I feel like it is still happening. I feel it particularly with The Godless. It has a lot of expectation, and two books follow it. It is important for it to find its audience, for it to find its feet commercially, and survive in the harsh, violent environment of a bookstore (if you could imagine books with spears hunting books with swords, and looping rope bridges that unfortunate ones get trapped on above rushing rapids…)

I won’t lie: the books, and me, still need to find their audience. It’s out there. It’s more of the people who like the books and say nice things and enjoy the work I’m writing. But, to continue the metaphor from the paragraph before, both myself and the books are not safe off the rope bridge, and not safe in the secret cave that is filled with Nice Things. Both still need the people who like the work to tell others about it.

I think I have said that about a hundred times in the last year, but it remains as true now as it did when I first said it, long ago.

I like what I do, but there is no guarantee for it, and there never has been. What’s worse, is it sadly cannot be a single person carrying the work forward to find new readers. Publishing has never been about that: it takes writers, editors, publishers, and readers, each of them holding a piece and moving it forward in an incremental fashion. Each new advance requires you to pause and rebuild it for the new people who come to it.

If you’re helping, thank you, truly. The steps the books and I have made, the readers we have found, are due to you. If you’d like to help, you can tell a friend, you can leave notes on Goodreads, Amazon (the US one goes to all sub-Amazons, but my main publisher is in the UK), and discuss it on forums, or in blog posts, or in newsletters, which I have been reliably told are the new thing. You’ll note that we don’t have a lot, there, not compared to some, so any help is appreciated. But be assured that no matter what you do, I am entirely grateful.

I always am, and I always will be.

Tags: repost

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