Q: I’m dying for an excerpt of the next book! Can’t you give us something to tide us over until the book comes out?
A: Reasons why I can’t:
- From an artistic perspective, no part of the book is ready for public consumption. I need to do several more passes. Two editors need to take a crack at it. I need to incorporate (or not) their feedback. That’s the earliest I would be comfortable enough with the quality to put even one word of it on display. It doesn’t do me any good to show off bad work. Maybe a “THIS ISN’T THE FINAL VERSION” disclaimer would convince a couple of kind souls to cut me some slack, but what’s going to stick in most people’s minds is the sloppy work and they’ll lose interest in the book.
- From a legal perspective, anybody can scrape my premature excerpt and throw it up on Amazon. Then when I try to publish the book I wrote, Amazon will hit ME with a copyright violation and possibly shut down my publishing account because the thief got there first. To protect my work, I can’t post anything until after I’ve submitted the copyright application to establish my legal ownership. (If that sounds paranoid to you, you don’t know enough about the rampant scams in the self-publishing world, you lucky duck.)
- From a customer-service perspective, it would suck to tease you with an excerpt of something that’s a loooooooong way from being available to read. Depending how much you loved the sample, you’d either get frustrated about the delay or forget you ever read it, neither of which is a desirable outcome.
No one is more aware than I am that it’s taking a long time. I am nightmarishly aware of the calendar. (And for the record, the odds of that aspirational early November release date coming to pass are vanishingly small at this point.) It’s been a crap year with SO MUCH garbage demanding action, emotional exhaustion, and bad medication reactions, all of which impairs creative work. Not only is it slow going, but every accomplishment, when it’s finally achieved, is kind of a disaster. (I have never in my life finished a rough draft that needed such extensive restructuring, even during my years as a pantser. I’ve cried about how much work I have to do. “Despair” is not an exaggeration of my mental state. Don’t get me wrong—I love the story. The writing is killing me, though, to a greater extent than my typical creative neuroses.)
I’m trying. It will get done eventually, and when I think it’s good enough for you to see, I’ll excerpt the hell out of it here. In the meantime, a gentle reminder that the New Release and Nothing Else Newsletter exists. Sign up and I will not clutter your inbox with anything other than a notification on release day (here’s a previous email so you can gauge how obnoxious my missives are), and then you won’t miss the early adopter discount before the regular price goes into effect, even if you get sick of checking here or Twitter for updates.
I truly appreciate the enthusiasm, and I’m truly sorry to disappoint anyone, but I truly have nothing worth showing you right now. I’m doing my best to make it worth your while to read when it’s finally done, though.