I’d Like To Thank This Curious Fellowship of Strangers

I’m on the eve, metaphorically speaking, of seeing Plaguewalker published. The interior has been proofed (by my ever-fabulous editor Dulcie), formatted, checked and re-checked. The covers, back and front, are uploaded and ready. I’m just waiting on one small detail, and then hope to have the book available within a few weeks. I figure hey, it took me a long time to write it and much longer to work up the courage to share it with others. I can wait a fortnight or so to make sure everything is as it should be.

While I’m excited about actually seeing it in print (though I personally won’t see it till August, when mail service resumes here in Antarctica), what I feel more than anything is a happy kind of gratitude. My family and friends have been supportive of this endeavor from the start, and for that I’m thankful. But even more amazing to me has been the number of total strangers willing to share their knowledge and offer encouragement.

During early research I did when I began seriously considering the indie publishing route, I stumbled on Joel Friedlander’s site, The Book Designer. Wow. What a fantastic source of user-friendly information. And it’s free. I did eventually purchase some additional guides he had on offer about specific elements of book design, but I paid less for them than I would for a decent meal and think it was money well-spent.

More recently, a friend who is a fan of sci-fi author Kay Kenyon suggested I check out her site. Again, I was astounded by the amount of useful (and free) information, and in particular the practical but encouraging tone. People like Kay and Joel are established in the business. They already have audiences. They don’t need to spend time helping out authors new to indie publishing but they do, and I think that’s terrific.

Even in the community forums at CreateSpace, the indie publishing hub I’m using to bring Plaguewalker to readers, there are dozens of knowledgeable people who’ll answer the most mundane questions from newbies, over and over, with no financial gain for themselves.

At a time when the traditional world of publishing is contracting (many would say imploding), it’s encouraging to see so many skilled and seasoned industry people sharing the wealth of knowledge they possess rather than clutching it tighter to themselves as they slink off into caves murmuring “my preciousssss…”

You didn’t think I’d go too long with a LoTR reference, did you?

So, as I wait for the final bit of preparation to fall into place before Marcus heads off into the world, I thank all these amazing people who offer their time and talent to anxious authors like me, not to make money but to make better books. For everyone.