Locked and Loaded
One thing The Last Whisper of the Gods has taught me is that the process of publishing a book is nearly as time consuming as writing it. One of the niggling things about pubishing electronically is that not all e-readers format text the same way. So something that looks perfect on, for example, a Kindle, may not look nearly as good on an iPad. So there's been a lot of tweaking source html and so forth. It's a pain in the ass. But it's finally done.
So all the pieces are now assembled: the fantastic cover by Jacob Atienza (visible on this page), a revised map (which looks better than the previous iteration but still isn't great - I'm a writer, not a cartographer), and the text. The book checks in at about 160,000 words, which is roughly comparable to a 450-page paperback. I like to think it's an easy read although I haven't intentionally dumbed down my vocabulary. I think one of the metrics I ran it through pegged it at somewhere between 10th and 11th grade reading levels.
It will officially be submitted before the weekend and should be available for pre-sale early next week. That's when I'll start marketing it to the best of my meager ability. I admit to being bewildered about how to get the word out beyond plastering my website with little thumbnails of the cover. Is anyone intrigued by them? My impression is that only about 10-20% of those who visit the website are aware of The Last Whisper of the Gods, and even fewer are intrigued by it. I'll see how things go but I admit my sales expectations are modest. I think there's an audience for the book but the problem is making that audience aware of the book's existence. It's a little like on-line dating.
Is it appropriate for kids? Or, to put it another way, is it YA? My intention was never to write something targeted for teenagers. It's too limiting. PG-13 is too often a source of frustration. The sex and violence in The Last Whisper of the Gods is neither cute nor neutered. It's R-rated without a question. I think I'd be comfortable with an "average" 15-year old reading it. Younger - depends on the child. I can tell you I won't be reading this to my son as a bedtime story anytime soon.
Sample chapter #2 (which is book chapter #2) will be available before the end of the week. Feel free to comment on it or ask questions.Writers enjoy feedback even if it's profoundly negative. It's too late to change The Last Whisper of the Gods or its sequels now but this won't be the last fiction I write and I take criticism very seriously. Some of the harshest critics of my reviews have (I think) challenged me sufficiently to make me a better reviewer. I would hope the same will be true for me as an author.