Today marks one week until The Iron Hound is on store shelves everywhere. This is a big deal, possibly even bigger than the release of the first book in the series. Why, you ask?
Because it’s the first time that two of my books will be on the shelves. Sure, there are some independent genre specific bookstores that stock everything I’ve written, but for general release, none of my books have lasted longer than six months. Considering that an average month sees fifty releases, and bookstores are not an ever-expanding gas, swelling to provide the necessary space for all these new books, it’s inevitable that the calculation of which books stay and which go back to the warehouse is particularly mercenary.
I’ll admit, it was pretty depressing the first time this happened. Heart of Veridon, my first book, was a work of love. There were years of development in the world, and decades of hopes pinned on its success. And while I hesitate to say that it failed, there’s no way to describe its release as a roaring success, either. But by the time it was falling off shelves, I already had a contract for another book, and plans for a third. So I was okay.
But as each of those books in turn hit shelves and then fell off six months later, I started to see a worrying trend. Was I going to be an author who could only be on shelves briefly? Would I even be able to keep selling ideas to publishers with this kind of sales record? Is there any way that this leads to a career?
This led to a deep think, and a five year pause. I was writing during that period, of course, but the project that I spent my days on was unlike anything I’d written before. Much bigger, much more fantastic. It took me back to the books I fell in love with in the first place, the Shannara series, Saberhagen’s Book of Swords, Tolkien and Lewis and McCafferey. Big fantasy.
The eventual result was The Pagan Night, which came out a year and a half ago. And wouldn’t you know it, that book is still on shelves. Nearly every Barnes & Noble in the US has at least one copy in stock, and if that copy sells, they’ll reorder another. That may not seem like much to you, but it feels like immortality to me.
And now we have The Iron Hound. A book that I’m proud of, a book that is a worthy successor to The Pagan Night, and more, a book that I think you’re going to love.
I hope you enjoy it. No, I hope you love it. Because I sure do.