Thursday, October 20, 2016
November brings the fourth Amra book. October brings an apology.
Little did I know, when I wrote 'the end' at the end of The Thief Who Wasn't There, that it would take nearly a year and a half for it to reach readers. Much changed right around that time -- Trouble's Braids won Mark Lawrence's inaugural SPFBO competition, and I was offered a publishing contract.
Both of these things were good things, of course. But handing over the Amra Thetys series to a publisher has meant delays for the fourth book. This is in some ways quite unfortunate, since Sorrow's Gate ended on what, essentially, was a cliffhanger. When I wrote it that way. I "knew" that the fourth book would be following in short order. And then of course everything changed. Looking back, the title of the fourth Amra book was entirely too prescient.
The upside of the situation is the fact that all the books in the series will now be available in bookstores, world-wide (you should go down to your local bookstore and demand that they stock their shelves with Amra goodness!) There's even the possibility of foreign language editions -- we'll see how that goes.
But let me get to what I really want to talk about today: My apology.
If you're reading this, it most likely means you've got an interest in the Amra Thetys series. And that most likely means you've been waiting for sixteen months to read book four. I'm sorry about that, truly. It was President Truman, I believe, who had the sign on his desk that said "The buck stops here." When it comes to my books, written by me, I feel I have to do the same. There are plenty of reasons the book has been delayed, and each time a new delay came up, I had a choice to make: agree with it and let the process continue, or say 'enough' and pull my books and go back to self-publishing. I made the decision, each time, to accept the delay. I did so each time because I felt, on balance, that the ultimate reward for patience was being able to reach a wider audience. Sometimes adulting is no fun.
There's one more delay, friends.
The release date is supposed to be November 8th (some places it is listed as November 1st). There are good odds that the book will not be released on that day.
I am told that we are not talking about a delay of months, or even one month; but I know that some of you have expressed frustration at the state of affairs. Believe me, I share that frustration.
Traditional publishing suffers from the fact that there is no one person who is both accountable and empowered, Self publishing lets the author make virtually every decision, and grants control, along with the responsibility to deliver a good book on time. Self publishing does not, however, give an author access to brick and mortar bookstores.
On balance, and after a couple of sleepless nights, I decided to accept one last delay. I hope that you will do the same, because I personally feel that this fourth Amra book is the best I've written.
When you finally get the chance to read it, I hope you'll agree.