I have a lot of things to say, and I'm not sure where to start. I guess I'd like to start with a 'thank you', as well as some Trigger Warnings for infertility. That seems about par for the course with me.
Content Note: Infertility
Last year around this time was when I was going through the IVF process that ended up failing so badly. I've wanted children all my life, and now I had found out that was never going to happen. I was able to make peace with that, but the question that tormented me nightly was the feeling that nothing I had done or would do would noticeably mark the earth such that my existence would be noticed or remembered. I don't know if this is a rational fear, but it was something that I couldn't let go of. I felt like a genetic dead-end, completely without value.
And then it hit me that I'd been writing little half-finished novels and fan fiction stories all my life, so why couldn't I write and publish a book? If my self couldn't carry on genetically, possibly it could carry on memetically. If nothing else, there would be a little card in a copyright library somewhere that said I had been here and that I had made a mark, however small and insubstantial. That little idea saved me from spiraling into depression, and it gave me something to work toward.
/End Content Note
And this is where I want to thank each and every one of you and take you out for a cold beverage, because none of this would have been possible if you all weren't reading and commenting and lurking on the Google Reader Subscription number that I watch obsessively. Without you wonderful people, I would have succumbed long ago to the doubt that no one really wanted to read anything I wrote anyway, so why was I wasting my time on this, etc. Because of you all, I was able to push that fear down and keep going. And I thank you for that. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you.
So that's enough of my blubbing. Let's talk about fun things!
My book looks like this, and I am so much in love with the cover:
There's a plot description and retail outlets on my publishing page, which you can access here or on the navigation bar up top, but don't zip over there yet -- wait until the end of the post. Trust me!
This book is "Beauty and the Beast" from a cynical feminist perspective. It's not a happy book. (The next book will be, I'm already working on it, but it's not a fairy tale book. The third book will probably be another fairy tale. I'm not sure -- I've got several things I want to do.) It doesn't have a happy ending. It doesn't have zombies or ninjas or pirates, although I kind of wish it did because that sounds cool. But I haven't gone there yet, because that wasn't the story I needed to get out and onto the page. This book tries to address some serious problems I have with Stockholm Seduction stories, and deals with patriarchal society. One of my beta readers described the book as "This is why we can't have nice things," and that should pretty much be plastered on every page.
This book is also not the best thing I've ever written. My second novel is already much better, and I'm only five chapters in. But "Pulchritude" is the best I could make it, and I'm happy with that.
So first and foremost, if you choose not to read my book -- whether it be because you prefer a different genre, a happier ending, or better writing -- I am so not going to be sad at you. In my worldview, you're supporting me just by showing up to read this post. Go you! I heart you so much! *grins* Please, please, please do not feel like you or anyone else "owes" me a read, a purchase, a look, or a single thought about my novel. This is one of many reasons why I am trying to contain this stuff on a regularly scheduled Sunday post -- because no book is for everyone, least of all mine. I'm okay with that.
Now, having said that, if you would like to read my book, read it for free first. Please, please, please read it for free and you can buy it later if you like. I'm serious. I'm going to put a link here in the post to a "free promotional copy". This is not the same as the paid version on Amazon, because if I put that book up publicly available for free, Amazon drops the price and there goes my "tip the author" infrastructure except via Paypal, which not everyone can use. If you're curious as to the difference between the promotional copy and the paid copy, drop me an email and I'll gladly tell you.
Here is a link to a free promotional copy of my novel:
Now, some random stuff:
- Sharing: My novel is released under a Creative Commons license that allows anyone and everyone to share it freely with friends, relatives, random strangers. If you or anyone you know has the technical know-how to load my book onto a torrent or three, I would consider it a great favor to me if you did so. (I don't know how and I don't want to learn for various job-related reasons.) I will say it again: Please "pirate" my book.
- Fan Fic'ing: If you are seized with a desire to fan fic my book, I would love to hear from you by email. Once I get over my excited squealing, I'll give you a nice official notice that you can both fan-fic my book and sell whatever you come up with. I decided to go the "No Derivative works unless you email me for permission" route after much lip-biting because I'd prefer the hypothetical ability to say no in certain special trigger-y cases. (If you don't want to get my permission first, it won't hurt my feelings or upset me but I could possibly take you to court for copyright infringement if you decided to sell your work. Odds of me actually doing that are basically nil.)
- Reviewing: If you decide to review my book, please disclose if you're reviewing based on the free promotional copy (this is a rule by the USA government that is supposed to result in better transparency to customers) and please try to disclose somehow that you read about the book on my blog. By which I mean, if you say something like "I was pretty sure that I would like this book given that I read Ana's blog, but it sucked like soggy pancakes," or "Who knew that when I first started reading Ana's blog, it would lead to me reading the best book ever written," or whatever, it's open and clear to the customer that you and I have a prior relationship. This helps me, since hopefully no one will accuse me of sending readers off to pad my rankings with dishonest/misleading reviews.
- Writing: This is entirely unrelated, but if any of you want to publish a book under my "vanity publishing company label" (meaning you get a free ISBN, and everything else is the same as if you published on your own -- you still own your work and get all your payments directly from Amazon or wherever and you're on your own for taxes, and just read the thread I'm about to link to because this parenthetical is now longer than the rest of the point), J.D. and I are working toward combining titles under a single vanity label in order to get into NetGalley and/or Overdrive. Details here.
Once again, I want to thank all of you for being so very very very very very supportive and wonderful and awesome. My life would be entirely different without you all, and not in a good way. Thank you. Most of all I must thank my selfless and completely amazing Beta Readers, who gave a great deal of their time and energy to point out areas that needed fixing and to give me welcome encouragement along the way. I owe my deepest gratitude to Angela D, Cassandra, Charleen M, Danielle C, Elfwreck, Ian Pérez Zayas, Janell B, Jeanine Wood, Jeremy Janik, Jill Heather Flegg, Layne R, Marie L, mmy of mmycomments, Rachel Pumroy, and Sarah W. Thank you, all. You are all crispy-fried awesome.
Oh! And now you can go to the description page if you want, right here. Ha. *excited Snoopy dance*