A Record Year for Rainfall Beta Release

I’ve come to a point with Record Year for Rainfall that I can’t work on it any more. It’s not done in any sense I’d like to call a release, but it is finished for now. I’ve been writing it on-and-off since early 2008 and I need to work on other things. I’ll come back to it eventually, perhaps once I’m a better writer and can tackle the subject matter properly.

It’s not a failure either, though, since I think it’s fine in the current state. People can certainly read it. A few people have. Why not let more, if they want to? That’s why, instead of throwing it on the shelf, I’m releasing it. I’m calling it a beta release because I don’t want people to think it’s a finished book. But it’s something close to one, and that’s enough for me. The book will be free, and available in ePub and Mobi, which means you can read it on anything with a screen.

I began writing this book in 2008, sitting in a park cafe in Amsterdam. I thought it was a pretty good spot to start a book about Las Vegas. Five years later, I’m still not done. This isn’t uncommon with writers who don’t make a living at the craft, and not even that rare for people who do. However, I’ve reached the point with the book where I need to ship. I’m not finished, and I’m not satisfied with how the book flows, but when I began, I set an absolute ship date. It was my 30th birthday. I’m 30 now, and need to move on.

A few months before releasing this version, it became clear to me the book wouldn’t be done in time, but more than anything my own definition of finished’ became muddled. When is a book done? When is an author ever completely happy with a manuscript? I’m not sure any book ever really is, even if that process is happening only in the writers’ head. While this book exists as an incomplete product, it’s as good as I can make it with my available time and energy, and for the time being, I need to let it go.

I’ve spoken to other writers about this, and they think I’m nuts. But artists in other fields do this all the time, especially programmers, who often release apps before they’re completely satisfied. They ship and iterate. That’s my plan here. This is A Record Year for Rainfall Beta Release 1. There’s going to be another, then another, and another, until I’m finished. In line with most programmers, this release is free, and the eventual finished product will cost money.

The next release won’t come for a while. The whole reason I’m releasing this now is to get the book out of my head so I can do some other things. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve found it too difficult to work on two books at a time. I want to open up new documents and fill them with new ideas, and these ideas need to rest for a bit.

Until that time, I hope you enjoy this release. I hope you’re understanding of the various issues inside (I tried to get most of the typos, but I’m more talking about structure and foreshadowing that may or may not totally pay off). A Record Year for Rainfall is a pretty short book, but I tried to make it messy in a fun way. I hope you like it.



March 3, 2013