Did you have a novel come out in November? Oh honey…

So… hey. I went on book tour for Ghost Talkers in November, specifically, the week of the election. It was…difficult. Audiences were way, way down as in — places where I’d previously had standing room only were half-empty. At this point, it’s not likely to hurt me because, honestly, the book itself came out in August.

For any author, having a book come out when people aren’t buying books or when it’s difficult to self-promote because the national conversation is focused on other topics… that’s going to be hard.

A debut author though?

Oh, man… You work so hard and then your book finally, finally comes out. And it’s this month? Oh, sweetie… I’m so sorry. It’s not usually like this. Usually, you can trumpet about it, and people are super-excited for you and it feels really celebratory, and scary, but mostly filled with squee.

I know you’re feeling like your book came out, and that no one noticed. I know it feels like if you promote it, people are going to look at you funny.

So, hey– I’m looking for something new to read. Did you have a book come out in November?

Tell me about it.

(And if you’re a debut author write in all caps I AM A DEBUT AUTHOR.) (Also, congratulations!)

Edited to add: Or a short story!

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

17 thoughts on “Did you have a novel come out in November? Oh honey…”

  1. Thanks for writing this, Mary.

    Not a book, but I had my first pro short story, “The Penelope Qingdom,” released on the Friday before the election. It’s been a hard sell. If you don’t mind, I’ll leave a link and a description here for your readers. 🙂


    Growing up in small town British Columbia, Ivan doesn’t know much more than fighting off bullies and dreaming of a larger world. But when Penelope Qing moves in next door, she introduces him to a rich and vast magical kingdom in her basement. Soon, he assumes the mantle of Sir Ivan Wandsworth, Cleric of the Wending Wind, and his adventures alongside King Penelope become a thing of legend.

    For fans of Stranger Things, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie,” “The Penelope Qingdom” is a love letter to growing up, ’80s Saturday morning cartoons, Dungeons & Dragons, and falling in love for the first time.

    For those interested in reading “The Penelope Qingdom,” it’s in Mothership Zeta #5: http://mothershipzeta.org/2016/11/04/mothership-zeta-issue-5-released/

    Looking forward to seeing what everyone else published during the post-Election apocalypse.

  2. Hi Mary,

    I have been trying to get advance word about my new book – With Grace, a children’s picture book and a Caribbean faerie tale – due out *fingers-crossed* in time for Christmas. So, no, it didn’t come out in November but I’ve been pushing it in to public spaces throughout November. I’m really excited about this one because it’s only my second picture book (the first one had a false start and I’m hoping this one fares better) and, also, because it’s my first fairytale… and it occurs to me that inasmuch as fairytales begin to shape our imagination and the way we see the world, they’re also our introduction to fantasy. This one is rooted in the Caribbean but has values and principles which I think are universal. I am, therefore, particularly excited to see how young readers around the world respond to it… as we all know, fairytales travel and endure. Fingers crossed mine is one of the fortunate ones.

    Here’s a link about it: https://jhohadli.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/we-could-use-a-little-grace-new-book

    And here’s the Summary (blurb)
    “Grace, of Grace’s Peak, loves her hill, and her home above the village, above the whole island.

    All her trees are lush and full of ripe fruits, except for the one at the far end of her orchard. She hates that tree. So when the smiling, barefoot, girl from the village asks Grace if she can pick fruits to sell at the market, it is from that sad, bare tree that Grace “generously” allows her to pick.

    Little does Grace know that the young girl’s kind, generous heart and her sweet special song will make the impossible happen, and change life at Grace’s Peak forever.”

    Thanks, Mary, for always being so generous to other writers. I look forward to reading Ghost Talkers. Wishing you the best for the season ahead.

  3. Mary, thank you so much for posting this! What a needed perspective. Earlier in the year, I had a book that was to be released in November, but the stars didn’t align. At first I was quite discouraged by the delay. After reading your post, I just released a huge sigh.

    It has been rough time for our whole nation. The build up to the election was exhausting. Then post election the unrest carries on. In this environment it is extremely difficult to make a little noise amid this very clamorous orchestra.

    Thanks for the insight. At some point, people will need the entertainment break. And good books will provide a much needed sanity relief against this excessive disquiet.

  4. My second book, Remnants of Trust, came out on Election Day, so…yeah. Most of the promo posts (including one you hosted here, and thank you for that, because it really did help) were written in The Before Time. And it’s all been very weird, and frustrating because I’m quite fond of this book. I figure in a few months it won’t matter when it was released…but right now publicity feels very strange.

  5. I thought we’d be done talking about the election by the time my book was published. As it was, promoting it just felt so exhausting. And all the pre-release promoting I did seemed wasted. I was so excited for it, too.

    My book is The God-Touched Man, and it’s a sort-of sequel to another book–same world, different characters, five years after the first. Here’s a little bit about the book:

    Five years after the defeat of the Despot, the southern country of Santerre has finally recovered from his rule and sends an embassy to Dalanine. Piercy Faranter, government agent and man about town, receives an assignment to watch over the princess of Santerre, who is disguised as one of her own ladies in waiting.The beautiful Ayane Caligwe seems shy, but Piercy finds behind her coy smiles she’s more than a match for him in cunning and cleverness.

    When a rogue magician opens a portal to the past, dragging Piercy and his reluctant charge with him, they are both forced to put pretenses aside. With time running out, he and Ayane must work together to stop the magician’s madness—even if it costs them their lives.

    There’s more on my website at http://melissamcshanewrites.com/books/the-god-touched-man/

    I’m interested to see if there are any more out there like me. Thanks, Mary, for your kind words.

  6. Not me, but a close friend who is a DEBUT AUTHOR.

    TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim. It’s a wonderful, magical, steampunk mystery featuring a gay couple front and center. Tara’s a bisexual WoC and I feel like her book got lost in the melancholy chaos that was this month.

    Thank you for doing this.

    1. I’ve had Timekeeper on my wishlist for over a year now. The premise just sounds amazing. I should be getting it for Christmas and I’m planning on buying a copy for my sister-in-law as well. 😀

  7. Hey, I AM A DEBUT AUTHOR. Good times!

    I found people were still supportive but I was so upset and worried (and still am) that I lost a lot of energy for self-promoting. I’ve been doing some anyway but, whew. It just feels really grungy. But a friend pointed out that we need stories now more than ever.

    Dust Bath Revival is the first book in my series about, well, Florida zombies in an alt-history world in which zombies rose during the Dust Bowl. Hank Goodness is queer and fat and she isn’t in any way prepared for what is ahead of her: losing her brother, betrayal by her family, and government conspiracy.

    Available for Kindle and in print – you can order it via your local bookseller or pick it up online as well. The easiest link is:


  8. My latest book (Shades of Circle City) released October 31, so not quite November, but I still feel people’s pain about doing book promotion during the emotional typhoon that was the election. What a rough, exhausting month it’s been!

    Thanks for doing this. I’ve added to my reading list thanks to this post! 🙂


    And as my lovely friend Tristina said above, my novel is TIMEKEEPER, the first in a new YA historical fantasy/steampunk/LGBTQ trilogy from Sky Pony Press.

    Unfortunately, my release date–which was originally November 1–got moved to November 8. Yup, the worst day of the freaking year. It’s been incredibly difficult moving forward, or feeling like any of my hard work has paid off, and I still don’t feel like it’s something to celebrate. Hopefully things will go better with book 2 next year (she says, aggressively optimistic).

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top