I'm in a strange mood. I'm just not engaging in anything--except my writing.

I still have the urge to write. I'm finishing the last two chapters of Tuskers IV in the next few days. It will be nearly 20% bigger than the other books in the series.

I like it.

I have no idea if it works, overall.

Anyway, my engagement is all inner. I've done nothing about promoting my books and it's starting to show. Nevertheless, I have no intention of doing so. I hate the constant, "Look at me! Look at me!"

I'm writing my books and I'm sending them to where they seem to be welcome and if they get turned down I'll just take them and turn them around. The books with my publishers do much, much better than the books I put out myself. Obviously. It will be really interesting to see how the Tuskers books do in the bookstores.

On the 1st of August, I'm going to try to put up Faerie Punk online. I like this book. But I'm not even going to try to offer it to anyone else. I'm going to announce it here and on Twitter and Facebook--and that's it.

I suspect that means it will sell like 5 copies.

So...anything I say further may smack of sour grapes. I've searched my feelings and I really don't think that's what I'm doing here. I think this is as accurate an assessment as I can make. Reductive, possibly. Cynical, no doubt. But close to the way I see reality.

So does the fact that a book sells 5 copies make that book bad? No. It's the same book.

I've decided that quality is somewhat contextual. What a book is perceived is what it is. How is it perceived? By those who have opinions, who express those opinions, and have the hands on the levers of power.

Was watching a documentary on Vermeer, and it told how "the girl with the pearl ear ring" portrait sold for pennies at a flea market less than 100 years ago.

Now, of course, it's worth probably over 100 million.

Same painting. How could everyone have walked by that table and thought, "Nah, that ain't worth a few cents." ?

The success is the success. Like a tipping point, it is mysterious and definitely not always connected to quality. Or maybe quality is just the starting point. I don't know.

The question I asked myself early on was, "If I wrote a good book and did nothing to promote it, would it succeed?"

The answer, I think, is no. Except through sheer luck. (I still reserve my opinion on whether a "great" book will be noticed, but I'm leaning toward "no.")

Success is contextual, it only exists because the interactions with others with what you've done. Pretty obvious, and if you aren't engaging with others, success is impossible.

I've given up so much in wages to be a writer that there is no way my books could come even close to paying me back. So obviously, it isn't about the money.

Anyway, this inner engagement is very pleasant and I'm enjoying it. I can write my books as best I can, get them edited, arrange for nice covers, put up a nice description, and just put them out in the world.

One at a time, and I'll keep my daydreams going.