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The book is starting to show up in various online venues.  I’m really disappointed in Amazon because the book is creeping onto their system so slowly.  They do offer the hardcover but just now finally added the price.  Amazon doesn’t show my cover image yet, Apple and B&N show it.  Few of the venues offer the ebook yet which is ironic.  I’m told full launch could take a week or two.  Amazon added a couple dollars to the price I set for the paperback – which I suspect they will keep.  If you want to buy this at a bookstore, until it is stocked, which might be never, you will need to ask them to order it.  They should have it in their catalogues.  These links should take you to the respective sites.

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Hardcover

Apple iBooks ebook at $11.99 standard selling price

Barnes & Noble paperback at $11.49 best deal

My favor to ask of anyone who reads this is to please submit a review online.  That’s the biggest thing that will help sell the book.  Assuming it’s positive.  And really, if the review is somewhere in between, but helpful to other readers in terms of being descriptive, that’s great too.  I sort of think bad reviews are helpful too in that it will steer the book to the right audience.  Receiving reviews will be an interesting process.

One of the more complicated aspects to writing a book is taking criticism. Maybe not taking it so much; after working decades in corporate America, I have pretty thick skin. But knowing how to take that criticism and do something constructive with it is an art form. I can structure my critique groups into three categories. The friends and family I submitted my first draft to. A critique group. And my editor.

Let me start out by apologizing to my friends and family for sending them something so rough it probably was not readable. I was advised not to use friends and family because they wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings by commenting. That’s probably true. Most never gave me feedback. Could be they were too busy to read it but more likely they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. A few were less sensitive. A friend suggested to me that anyone who reads probably at some point thinks they want to write a book. I agree with that. I suspect my friends who took the trouble to provide feedback did so because they enjoyed being part of the writing process. I was actually counting on that.

Then there was my critique group. The mistake I made with this group was I started too late. You should begin with a critique group as you start writing in order to get instant and constant feedback. But I didn’t know what critique groups were until I’d already completed my first draft, and didn’t join one until I had my second draft.

Then there was my editor. Awesome feedback from her. Hours if not days and weeks worth of suggestions and corrections and rewrites. That sums up my three sources of criticism. The art form is in what to do with criticism.

Being my first book, I’d have done well to simply do what everyone told me. The feedback from friends and family was generally safe stuff that wouldn’t hurt my feelings. Make it less technical. Fix glaring errors. I did all that.

The feedback from my critique group tended to be genre specific and basic rules of writing. The genre stuff was to keep my story moving. Delete anything extraneous. Delete commentary that doesn’t deal directly with the story. I mostly ignored that. And this is where the art comes in. This is where I took risks because as a new writer, what do I know? I was advised by yet another writer to take everything with a grain of salt and make my own decisions on what to change and what to keep. I did.

I struggled much more with my editor’s critiques than with my critique group. She read half the book before responding to me so she had more context behind her than my peers who would only read ten pages at a time. And she’s just good at what she does. I probably accepted 90% of her suggestions.

I’m more than a little nervous waiting to read reviews on my book. Worse thing would be to not have any reviews. My expectation though is to have a little of everything. Good reviews will be awesome, they’ll help sell the book. Otherwise they won’t be nearly as interesting as bad reviews. I’ll totally discount the trolling, but most bad reviews will be constructive to an extent. And I’ll have to consider them just as I did with the criticism I received while writing my three drafts. I’ll have to decide what I want to accept and what to discard. Ironically, some negative criticism might actually flatter me. Readers might think I’m writing my personal position, but if it was really only a specific character’s point of view, I’ll accept that as good writing.