I’m shaking in my little space boots

Yup. Space boots. Little ones. Perfect for shaking in.

Seriously, I’m terrified.

I mean sure, there’s excitement too. And relief woven in there somewhere. Today I finished writing the rough draft of my second book, Uncommon Stock: Version 2.0. I sent the manuscript over to FG Press and a small cadre of beta readers. The story ripped itself out of me and onto the page. It’s the sequel to tech startup thriller, Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0, which came out on March 5th and has been described as “John Grisham for startups.”

Did it feel good to get the sequel on paper? Hell yeah. The characters continue to surprise me and the plot took twists I hadn’t anticipated. Mara, James, and Mozaik are in a whole lot of trouble. Oh, and Mara’s at Burning Man right now so you won’t be able to reach her.

It was a fantastic rush to type the last “.” But it also scared the shit out of me. Writing a second book is a whole lot different than writing a first one. I wrote 1.0 for myself. I was going to be the only one disappointed if I didn’t finish it or the book never saw the light of day. But with a sufficient dose of blood, sweat, and tears, 1.0 did indeed launch.

And what a launch it was thanks to you guys. We didn’t spend even $1 on marketing but you sent us to a top ten debut in our category. We have 50+ five star reviews on Amazon, earned great coverage, received shout outs by top authors and tech folks, and established special partnerships with leading organizations like TechCrunch, TechStars, Evonexus, The Startup & Tech Mixer, Startup Books, and others. More than anything else, receiving outreach from readers has been far and above the most energizing part. Messages hit my inbox from folks talking about the story and what it meant to them. Many others demand a sequel ASAP. Seriously, there’s no better way to make an author’s day.

And that’s exactly why I’m shaking in my little space boots. What if my beta readers point out irreconcilable problems in the plot? What if my editor finds a fatal flaw in character motivation? What if fans don’t like it? You know all those movies where the originals are awesome but the sequels suck? That is NOT what I want.

I’ve planned Uncommon Stock to be a trilogy from the beginning. My dearest hope is that each episode gets better and better. It takes time and effort to develop craft as a writer and I want to pour more and more of myself into the story. We’re planning for a December 3rd launch date for Uncommon Stock: Version 2.0 and I’m going to be working my ass off between now and then to make the book the best it can possibly be. You deserve nothing less.

In the meantime, I could use your help. Good books find new readers exclusively through word-of-mouth. All our success so far has been 100% due to you guys. Every recommendation you make over happy hour, every review you write, every time you gift the book to someone, they all make a huge difference. Then a little lightbulb appeared over my head. If readers are my ambassadors to the world, why not ask them for ideas?

Many of you have blogs, newsletters, podcasts, companies, press outlets, social media followings, forums, audiences, book clubs, and other communities which you maintain or participate in. These are great avenues for getting the word out about a new book. No platform is too humble or grand. So if you have any ideas or suggestions or just want to help with the launch, email me (elpeper [at] gmail [dot] com) with answers to the questions below:

  1. What’s your name?
  2. What community do you have in mind (blog, magazine, mailing list, event, etc.)?
  3. What’s your relationship to that community?
  4. How would you like to help?
Thank you for all your ongoing support. You guys are the best and I’m one lucky writer.
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