My final editorial review of The Dragonprince’s Heir is done. I finished it around 10:00 last night, then sat up for another hour tweaking the custom metadata file we use to turn a Google Doc into an actual e-book. Then I wrote a little personal letter to tuck inside the back of the book, ran BookMaker, and mailed out copies to a couple hundred people.
My name is Taryn Eliade, firstborn son of Daven Carrickson. I’ve been called a nuisance and a little lord, a kingsman and a traitor. I’ve been called the dragon-born son and the heritage of Chaos. I was born the Dragonprince’s heir. In the summer of my fourteenth year, at the waning of the dragonswarm, I went on a quest to choose my destiny.
When I woke up this morning, I already had answers. Nobody had sat up all night to finish the book (or if they did, they were too tired to email me), but I had lots of gracious “thank yous.” Those weren’t at all necessary (as I’ll explain below), but they started my day bright.
I also had one fan who’d caught a typo. He was terribly friendly about it, and I was grateful for the heads-up. (It’s already fixed in the source document. Digital bookmaking is a wonderful thing.)
Anyway, as I was making that correction, I glanced down the page and saw this little exchange:
“Those are dangerous words,” I hissed.
Jen’s eyes glittered like a viper’s. “Less dangerous than yours. I only insulted a king. You insulted Caleb Drake.”
(That link isn’t in the actual ebook, it just seemed appropriate here.)
I know it’s not cool to be impressed at your own writing, but when I saw those lines I fell in love with Jen all over again. She’s a relatively minor character in the book, but (for me anyway) she stole the show.
It’s been an interesting week. I’ve split my time between sending out fanmail to people I respect in the desperate hopes of making a connection so I might generate some real publicity for the KickStarter campaign (in its last week, and not even 20% funded), and checking my email for the WordPress comment notifications which, by and large, read like fanmail sent to me!
That still blows my mind. I know a lot of people are buying the books (I check the sales reports obsessively), and I have a lot of followers at Facebook and some wonderful reviews at Amazon. But it still comes as a shock when someone takes the time to contact me directly, especially if it’s to say my books robbed them of sleep or inspired their imagination or left them wanting more.
Those are the things I live for as a reader, and it’s almost unbelievable that I’m getting to have that impact as a storyteller now. You’d be surprised how much time I spend just smiling at my computer monitor.
So, last Saturday I posted saying, “Leave a comment if you want an Advance Reading Copy of The Dragonprince’s Heir.” That was a shrewd, soulless, calculated business tactic. Positive reviews (especially at Amazon) directly and measurably impact how many people hear about the book and end up reading it. When I offer ARCs, I’m doing it as a greedy corporate mogul, to drive the machine of business. Or something.
And your response to that offer left me speechless. For four straight days, I got a constant string of comment notifications from Amazon. It’s like I posted a blog saying,
“Make me feel good about myself!”
And the internet obeyed.
I just wanted to take a moment to express my thanks to all of you. It’s because of my readers that I get to be a storyteller, and that has been my biggest dream my entire life. Thanks for reading, thanks for visiting the site, thanks for recommending the books and posting reviews and leaving comments and sending fanmail. Every bit of that is amazing.
Most of all, thanks for liking me. I like you, too.