It’s what I do.

On February 21, 2017, I was working on the final, final polish of chapter 97 (out of 120) of The Black Ring. I was quite pleased with it — there was emotion, a progression of ideas, a tying up of some loose ends, and preparation for a significant turning point a couple chapters later. It was my final read-aloud for performance, and I felt that whoever read it would enjoy it, and be moved by it.

And then I thought —

Nobody’s going to read this. Nobody is going to even know that it has been published. So why am I wasting my time. How many of you have read Slaves of War? Dead Hand? Sturgis? Stroad’s Cross? I’ve sold about a dozen copies of some of them, and none of others.

The sense of despair and futility was crushing. It still is. It was not easy to keep going, but I did. It’s a good chapter, in an epic story, which explores the limits of fantasy, real science, character growth, courage, duty, hope, and super extra-cosmic meta-reality (ahem). But who’s going to even know about it?

I need publicity, and I don’t know how to get it. I did some reasearch, but they don’t help much, and almost all advice on how to promote your self-published book says you have to have a blog. Like this one.

I tried a blog once years ago. I couldn’t get it to work, I couldn’t post to it, I just didn’t understand the mechanics. The site remains empty, and by now it’s probably closed down.

But I have to do something. A search through Ralan and Duotrope comes up with nobody who whats to publish books like mine. My books are too long mostly, or too complicated, or too hard to categorize. Which is why I publish myself. And I have to promote myself, get my name out there, let people know that my books are available. Start a blog. That, they said, is how it’s done.

I must be missing something.

I did research, I learned about blog hosting, about blogging software, and I think I can do this, because here I am. But nothing I’ve read answers one basic question. How do I promote my blog?

It may not even matter, though I would like people to read my books and enjoy them. Some have. But even without readers, I know I will not stop. Stopping is the surest way to fail. I write, because I can’t not write my stories. It’s what I do.

Okay. I’m feeling better now.


  1. I like your honesty. Thought of you today, Allen, after these many many years, and looked you up. I hope to read you.

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