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  • gardnerjg

The story that happens after "The End"

Whenever I finish a big project there is always this moment when I look at whatever I made and just have a moment of quiet reflection. After years of writing, revision, and working with editors, I recently got the paperback ARC of The Path From Regret in my hands and I had one of those moments. To see what had been a Word file for so long now actually as a physical book that I can put on a shelf, next to other fantasy novels that entertained and inspired me, is a bit surreal. I imagine that all debut authors have that feeling, along with a great deal of pride that they made it across the finish line and have a complete story. But the story isn't really finished because now the real hard work begins. Now the task is to find the people who want to read it.

My publisher told me that the easy part of being a novelist is writing the book, and now I believe him. Searching for, and then pitching, authors, bloggers, podcasters, and magazines to read and comment on the book has been a daunting task. So far I've been lucky that several other authors have agreed to read and give a blurb for the book. Getting anyone else to look at it has been another matter. Hundreds (thousands?) of fantasy books are produced each month, so trying to get mine to rise above the rest is near impossible. I can now see why some authors pay quite a bit of money for a publicist to help with attracting attention for their book. While it might have been a better idea to go that route, I wanted to see how much I could do on my own for this first novel, if for no other reason than to get a baseline. So in addition to writing quite a few emails asking for reviews, I've made accounts at Goodreads and Amazon, so my author page isn't completely blank on those sites. I'm not on any social media, for professional as well as personal reasons, so I'll make due with those author pages and doing my best with SEO to drive potential readers here. And that is the plan for the next several months, until the May 2nd, 2023 release date, to promote and market the book.


I suppose there is one other thing to mention. In the background amongst all the promotional activity for The Path From Regret, I finished the v.1 draft of my next novel. Writing this one took a lot less time, mostly because I think I did a good job applying all of the lessons learned writing The Path From Regret. Now begins manuscript revisions and polishing, so at some point in the not too distant future I'll hopefully be ready to see if it has the potential to be my second published novel.


Thanks for stopping by.

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