I made a huge mistake as I prepared to publish my debut novel, Chosen of Trees and of Talons.
In reality, I made a lot of mistakes. It was my first book and I knew almost nothing about the publishing industry. I’ve learned a lot since then, but will likely still make mistakes going forward. Such is human nature. One thing I learned from my father though, is to embrace those mistakes, learn from them, and don’t repeat them.
Many of my mistakes fall in marketing, or my failure to really do it. It’s approaching a year since the book was published, and I’m finally learning how to market a book. The marketing missteps were bad, but not the huge mistake I referenced above.
I made the horrible decision not to read fantasy while I was writing in that genre. I was afraid of having other writers’ stories bleed into mine. I had a clear plan for the Eagles of Eldara series, and wanted to finish that before journeying into other fantasy worlds. That was a big mistake. Reading is fuel for the mind. By stopping reading fantasy, I started slowly losing touch with everything I loved about the genre. There is also the benefit of seeing how other writers tackle challenges.
I’ve read a lot of fantasy books in my life. My first taste of the genre was Michael Moorcock’s Swords Trilogy (Elric of Melnibone). I devoured everything I could get my hands on from there. While I have many favorites, Raymond E. Feist’s Midkemia (Riftwar Cycle) and Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories are probably at the top of the list. Despite having read hundreds of fantasy stories, I am behind the times. While I have read all of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books, I haven’t read many of the newer, popular fantasy books.
I’m planning to fix that, and have already put a few on my shelf. Nicholas Eames’ Kings of the Wyld is next on my reading list. A few others will follow shortly after. In doing this though, I don’t want to overlook the indie writers out there. The first two books of Blake Hausladen’s Vesteal Series, and the accompanying novella, have been sitting on my shelf for some time now. James K. Burk’s The Twelve is also sitting there, along with G.S. Scott’s Cleansed. My kindle app has a half-dozen indie books on it, all of which were free, promotional downloads. There are also some holes remaining in my reading of the fantasy classics. I want to fill these in too.
My plan is to rotate. I’ll read a new, popular book first (Kings of the Wyld), followed by an indie book (or series), and finish with an older classic. I’ll then start the cycle over.
In doing this, I plan to write reviews, which will be posted here. For now, I will not accept books for review, but that might change in the future. My reviews will be honest. I will give indie writers the courtesy of keeping the review private if it’s not positive. I know how hard it is to build a following, and have no intention of helping to crush anyone’s dreams.
My first review will be up in the next couple weeks. This will be for the Inda Series by Sherwood Smith. Spoiler – I’m enjoying it!
Nicholas Eames is next. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and can’t wait to dive in.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep following my father’s advise, and will learn from my mistakes. And I will read…you should too!Share on Facebook