The End of the Beginning

It’s been about a month since the release of The Gutter Prayer, so the shininess has worn off a little and I’m out of the craziness of being a new release. Reviews have slowed to a steady trickle rather than a flood, and I’m no longer being interviewed all the time. I had my book launch and my signing in Waterstones, both of which went well (and my thanks to Warpcon and Waterstones Cork, respectively). Things are returning to normal-ish.

Normal will last about another 24 hours, tops. Tomorrow, it’s off to the hospital to welcome my daughter (first time I’ve typed those words like that) and everything changes again.

So, what have I learned from this first crazy month? Sales have been good, from what I can gather – it went for a reprint in the UK quite quickly. US sales are a little slower, but still on track for a solid debut. I’ve also gotten one as-yet-unannounced translation deal, which is a lovely bonus.

Reviews have also been mostly positive, and there have been lots of them. In many ways, they’ve been the biggest surprise. Coming from the tabletop games industry, where reviews are comparatively rare, it’s been intoxicating to get so much attention. I was warned, early on, not to visit goodreads too much, and I can see why – it’s too easy to waste hours clicking refresh on your book pages. (Imagine a social media channel which is all just people talking about you). The reviews are also useful in aggregate – you start spotting commonalities and trends, strengths and weaknesses. It’s a cloud of diffuse opinion that you’ve got to condense, distill and filter into usable feedback.

So, the month of self-obsession is over. I don’t think I’d actively recommend having a child a month after your book comes out, but it is an excellent way of marking the milestone and cutting off bad habits. For better or worse, The Gutter Prayer is out there in the world, and I can do no more for it. I’ve got other things to worry about now.

(Like Book 2. And, y’know, babies and six-year-olds and life and stuff.)

Thank you if you’ve read/bought/reviewed/retweeted or otherwise interacted with me or The Gutter Prayer in the last month. I am absurdly lucky on my levels, and remain (I hope) profoundly grateful for all this good fortune.

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