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Update on Fugue in Ursa Major


I regret that, several times, I’ve made optimistic projections about when Fugue in Ursa Major will be released for sale. Then I keep missing the targets.

My new target date for release is June 20. I am reasonably confident that, even if I miss that target date, I won’t miss it by far.

The novel is now in its third round of revisions. I am really fortunate to have excellent first readers, and I have taken their suggestions very seriously. With each round of revisions, I think the book has gotten much better. Not only do I have the first readers’ markup on the proof copies to work with, there also have been many discussions around the dinner table, or around the fireplace, with significant quantities of wine consumed in the process. Literary labor is hard, hard work. Literary work also sometimes involves damage to an author’s ego. But I think that serious writers roll with the punches from their first readers and then get to work to make the story better. After all, it’s the reader’s experience that matters, not the writer’s. Not that readers call the shots. But it’s OK to argue.

One of the things that became clear was that Fugue in Ursa Major demands a sequel. The second book of a series must knit nicely with the first, so many of the revisions have involved background and setup for the sequel. A lot of work has gone into thinking about the characters, getting to know them, and getting them right.

Every self-published writer is terrified of not selling many books. I am, of course, developing a marketing plan for Fugue in Ursa Major. I’ve also gone to a good deal of trouble to ensure that the book is published with my own imprint — Acorn Abbey Books — rather than the publisher being listed as not my own Acorn Abbey imprint but instead one of the providers of on-demand printing. The book will be available for sale through Amazon, of course. But bookstores, it seems, don’t like to order books from Amazon. Bookstores will, however, order from small publishers as long as the orders go through their usual channels. So a considerable amount of work was involved in setting up the book for on-demand printing from Ingram, from which bookstores and libraries order books. This area of publishing and book distribution is changing rapidly. But I was in the publishing business for much of my life, so I am better prepared to navigate this terrain than many self-published authors. We shall see. Release day approaches.

In any case, I wanted to let blog readers know that I’m working as hard as I can to get the book out in June.

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