Thursday, June 9, 2011
A long time ago I set out three goals for my writing. Here they are/were...
1) The novel is published by a legitimate publisher. I will not self-publish.
2) I have to do a book signing. I don't care if the only people who show up are my family members. I will do a signing.
3) I have to get a photograph of me pointing at my book on the bookshelf at a bookstore. My last name is Heppe. This lands me right between Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert. I'll be insane with joy at the sight of Eternal Knight on a shelf between The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Dune.
1) I self published.
2) I didn't hold my book signing in a book store.
3) The photo (above) was taken in my school library.
How do I feel about cheating? GREAT!
1) I used to think self-publishing was for the riff-raff. Maybe it was. But the times are 'a changin'. "Real" authors are self publishing and the walls are crumbling. Getting published by a "legitimate" publisher was my goal because it would have meant that I had proven myself to the powers-that-be in the industry. I would have passed a test of acceptability. I didn't pass the industry test.
What is the test now? Before I truly feel that I have attained goal #1, I have to pass, not an industry test, but a reader test. Will the readers tell me that I have succeeded? Will the readers tell me that I am an author? That is the true test.
2) The book release party at Wissahickon High School was a blast. It felt real, even though it was a party I threw for myself. It was a coming out party for Eternal Knight. For the most part it was attended by people I know, all of them supporting me in my efforts. Did I attain goal two? I think the true test will be on the 24th, when I do my book signing at the Doylestown Bookshop. There will be a lot of friends, but a lot of strangers as well. And the event will be held in a real brick and mortar book store.
3) The photo. I LOVE that photo. Robert Heinlein, Matt Heppe, Frank Herbert. Soooo cool. But there is only one place in the world where that photo is legit: the Wissahickon High School Library. Will that photo ever be taken in a Barnes and Noble, or in a Borders, or in any other big bookstore? I don't know. I'd like to think so. However, I'm not so sure this goal is as important to me as it once was. More important is the feedback I get from readers who say that they have enjoyed Eternal Knight. It is hard to express how much enjoyment I get every time a reader tells me that they liked something I wrote.
Even more fun is when they ask, "When is the next one coming out?"
I'd better get to work.
Posted by Matt Heppe at 10:15 AM