Staggering the Revelations

May 13, 2024 | Art, Books, Me, Updates

What do I plan to do with my life?

I plan on publishing at least one book every year, until I die.

As such, I have started to think of publishing new titles as an annual tradition—a kind of yearly building up to an amazing event, like summer vacation used to be when I was in school. And each turn of this carousel brings new insights into how I can perform this process better.

You already have the title of my upcoming Middle Grade novel—Secret Sky: The Young Universe. As the author, I must ask myself the question: what do I reveal next, and when?

Things That Are Done

Most advice to authors available in print and online recommends that the author give information about the book in a slow drip—here a little and there a little—as a way of building anticipation in readers. And I must admit, the idea of tantalizing my audience is itself tantalizing.

Yet there’s no hard and fast rule for when to reveal which parts of each upcoming title. For example, the cover art for SS:TYU is complete, as are the interior illustrations. I might consider releasing some of these publicly, as a way of giving a free sample of what the book will be like.

But does it make sense to reveal the cover art without revealing the cover? Will the illustrations even be an enticement without the context of the words they represent?

I don’t want to put everything off too long, however. Once I reveal my cover art, I can start hanging it all over my online presence. My Twitter/X profile will be upgraded with the images. I can deluge my social media with the beauty of these fanciful artworks and set my brand aflame with images, instead of trying to kindle interest with mere words.

Yet waiting until I have a completed cover allows me to sell the image as a book. I can’t open preorders until I have the finished cover image. And without preorders open, I have no meaningful call to action. It’s infuriating.

How much time is too long a wait? How much is too soon? These are things authors have to decide on instinct, and which will differ from context to context.

So How About This?

The full reveal of this book is coming. It just might be another week or two. I want the full cover to show off, and once I have it I will show it off twice as hard to make up for lost time.

If that disappoints you, then take comfort in knowing that the reveals will be amazing, and the finished book will be even more worth it. It’s easier to sell this book with the final assets, but just between you and me, it’s going to be glorious to behold and well worth the wait.

Until then, you can always go back and read my first book, Advent 9.

This one’s going to have some company soon.

I know not all of you have read it, and you are missing out BIG TIME.

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