No, this post isn’t about government or corporate conspiracies. There’s more than enough talk about those sorts of unpleasant things going on already. Maybe another time lol.
No, this is a positive post, since the One behind the plan is far, far greater than you or I.
As many of you likely know already, I’ve been working on Light Unto Another World (specifically the first 5 volumes) for about a year now, and, finally, the books have been getting to my backers and getting released, gradually, on Amazon. (Volume 2 releases Thursday, as does the paperback of Volume 1!)
As anyone who’s followed the Light Unto Another World journey so far may know, there have been several delays, most of which were outside of my control. Chief among these was a full two month period where I didn’t hear from my artist, while the art was super close to being done, and I there was nothing I could do about it.
Fortunately, (and actually as I was in the midst of trying to find a replacement since I couldn’t just wait forever), he returned. As I’d strongly believed the entire time, it was something beyond his control that had kept him out of touch, and when he returned not only was everything done, but he even did a couple minor revisions to improve some previous art, free of charge. We’ve also since taken steps to make it far less likely that internet troubles in the Philippines, or other problems, will lead to such a long lack of contact again.
But I more want to talk about that stressful period, and what it taught me. In a grander sense, this whole indie publishing thing is a struggle. A struggle to manage all the aspects of writing, producing, and releasing the books, and an even harder one to gain some kind of traction in a marketing sense. To this day it can get extremely frustrating, to the point where it feels like despite your best efforts at trying to move forward, you’re just stuck. But that one two-month period taught me to look beyond that.
See, before that long delay, I had something else I was trying to figure out for a couple books in the series. Namely, I wanted to use partial lyrics of a couple old Israeli songs in 2 of the books. However, copyright is a thing, and I can’t afford to get sued lol. So I tried to look for who held the rights to at least inquire, but had no success. An email to the relevant government office had seemingly gone unnoticed, and I was prepared to revise those scenes to remove the lyrics despite the fact that it would make them weaker.
I want to put out the best books I can, both in terms of the writing itself and the art, and with Light Unto Another World in particular, where I get to put forward a truly genuine and aspirational Jewish hero into the world of fiction where such characters really don’t exist for a variety of reasons, it’s even more important, since there is a spiritual component to this project. One of the goals is to provide honor to G-d through this, so why is He seemingly preventing me from putting out the highest quality story I can to achieve this aim?
Then, during that stressful time, I finally heard back from the government office, who were surprisingly helpful and pointed me right to the correct people. Buying the rights to use up to half the songs (more than I needed, honestly) was surprisingly inexpensive, and within a week or so I’d bought them.
During that process, I said (and a couple family members I spoke to at the time can confirm I did say this) that if, after I secure the rights to use those song lyrics, my artist gets back in contact, then it will be a clear sign that I am on the right path here. When I said that I acknowledged that it was at least partially wishful thinking.
Then, within a week of my securing the song rights, he got back in touch.
Now, I’m not saying I’m on some divine mission or anything like that (I don’t have that much of an ego lol), but it’s the clearest sign I think I’ve ever seen in my personal life that I couldn’t understand why at the time, there is a reason for things to happen. Had the art arrived on time, I’d have just revised the scenes in the books and released them. In the end, both those books are better for having the lyrics in there, and of course the amazing art.
So while it’s easier said than done, and while I am only human and thus going to complain and get stressed, I am even more confident now than before that all the current impediments, whether they be little issues getting the print covers ready, or Google Ads being dumb and suspending my account for no reason, are happening for a reason, even if I can’t see it yet.
There’s still only one direction for me to move: forward. And that’s what I’m going to do. Eventually, I’ll make it all work, and so will you as long as you persist despite the various obstacles.
Light Unto Another World Volume 2 releases this Thursday, and volumes 3-5 are also available for pre-order. If you haven’t already picked up volume 1 of this exciting new isekai light novel series, now’s the time! And if you were waiting for the paperback release, that’s coming Thursday as well.
For all its struggles, this year has still been a great one overall, which means I’ve got to put in the work to make next year even better. You can help me do that by picking up the books, or by subscribing to my Patreon, where you get access to a free monthly serial, early looks at artwork for upcoming projects, and more, for as little as $2 a month!