Being a writer, I naturally get excited when I’m nearing the end of a story whether I’m close to finishing a rough draft or a final one. Because of this excitement, I’m bound to talk about it whenever people ask me how I am. (I don’t do regular small talk. If you ask, “How are you?” be prepared for a ten-minute conversation on whatever fandom is on my mind.)
Something a lot of readers fail to
realize is that writing is just that: a business. So before you ask a writer
for a pre-release copy of his/her novel, consider in what ways this could
impact the writer. Now, that’s not to say that a writer will NEVER send out
pre-release copies. If you’re really eager to read a book before it’s
published, you might serve as a beta reader, giving the writer your thoughts on
the story in the earlier drafts. Or you could request a pre-release copy closer
to the publication date in exchange for an honest book review. But what exactly
can readers do if the drafts are nearly finished but not published yet?
A friend brought it to my attention
the other day that I kept saying I wrote a book but whenever he asked to read
it, I said blatantly said, “NO.” I was tactless to the say the least. (But
that’s nothing new. I’ve been told I can be brutally honest sometimes because I
expect brutal honesty.)
What I should have said, was “Yes, but not yet.”
wish readers would ask instead of “Can I read your book?” is “When can I read
Notice the subtle difference? Including WHEN implies an expectation that the story will be
available to read soon, and even if soon means 1-2 years, this is encouraging
to writers. Leaving WHEN out implies that the because a writer has a story (not
necessarily a published one) that writer has an obligation to allow EVERYBODY
to read it. And saying, “No, you can’t read it,” or even better “Not yet,” can
seem like a letdown for both the reader and writer.
Put another way, consider this
scenario: a baker who’s making a bread for his store. If somebody were to come
in and ask him/her to taste the dough before it goes in the oven, “Can I have a
piece?”, the baker will obviously say no. But if the person asks “When can I
have a piece?”, the baker may reply with a given time to cook and cool.
It’s similar (not the same) with books.
Pre-published books, while they may be ready to be read before publication,
they are not ready to be SOLD. Besides, suspense is half the fun! Please don’t
harass writers if they’re caught between the pre-publication and post-editing
So, my answer to everybody’s
question when you can read my latest novel ,Breaking
a Thief, is soon. Not yet. But soon. I’ll keep you posted when I
finally get a contract with a publisher. I’d like to say sometime in 2016, but
it might be 2017. Either way, it’s sooner than it was yesterday! Thanks to all
those interested in reading my work. Until my book releases, you can check out
some of my short stories and poetry here.
Aside from the premise and the
novel itself, what would you like to read next about Breaking a Thief?