I had one of those “Holy Cow this is really happening” moments yesterday. Remember when I said I was getting published in Bulgaria? Well, it has been a heck of a learning experience. There were contracts to be written and signed, bank accounts to be set up, wire transfers to set up, cover art to finagle, and a dozen other things I’ve already forgotten. My brain had long ago logged it away as “something that will be perpetually simmering in the background but never actually happen.” Then I got an email from my contact within the company. Predictably, he had identified another minor error I’d made in the paperwork that would need to be corrected, but he also mentioned that I should check out their Facebook page to see what they’d been up to. Now, unless you can read Bulgarian, that page probably doesn’t mean much to you, but like all people with a loose grip on a language, I was more interested in the pictures.
It looks like they’re having a good time, cosplaying at some sort of fair… but say… what’s that on the shelf on the left? Maybe there’s another picture from a different angle.
What’s that behind her head? Why, it is the trilogy! On a bookshelf! IN BULGARIA! Now I’m proud of every ounce of success I’ve had. My books are on virtual shelves all over the world, and they are selling remarkably well in places like England and Australia. They’re even selling a few copies a month in Germany for some strange reason. But seeing something I wrote show up on a physical shelf in another country feels absurd to me. What’s also absurd is the difference in media coverage you get when a real publisher, even a small one, is involved. After a quick search for my name as it appears on the cover, I found countless blogs I couldn’t read talking about my books as new launches from the publisher. Maybe it is just because the number of epic fantasy novels being published in Bulgaria is much smaller and any new title is big news, but it is still remarkable to me. I’m hoping that I’ve ironed out the last of my little mistakes and I can receive my first payment. (Technically it is an advance, but thanks to my lack of experience, it is now coming long after the release of the first book.) As far as I’m concerned, though, just seeing my book being treated the same way that one from an actual author would be treated is payment enough.
Thanks for reading.