This day has come! My first book — it's here!
I’ve announced it, perhaps, a year ago, and after some production-related and psychological struggles, I finished it and it’s finally in my hands! Here, look:
Being honest, it felt surreal rather than real. I still don't quite grasp the situation. Nothing has changed and everything has changed for me at the same time. I'm now an author, independently published, but it still counts these days, right? Right? RIGHT? I love the way it looks and setup despite some minor mistakes that I noticed too late, but they don't affect reading experience, don't you worry. Yet, I wanted it feel as professional as I can make it and as my laziness and intermittent sense of perfectionism allow me, which is why I also created a page for the book on my website (some parts of it I copied to this letter). You can use this page if you want to share my book with someone:
So, what's inside?
I've spent a lot of time streamlining the description, which perhaps is the most tedious part of it, because I'm objectively not good at it so I had to ask for help from my friends (and GPT-4). If you've been reading my stories over the past two years, you know what's inside the book already, but in case you joined recently, here's how I described what's inside on the back cover of the book:
Explore the weird and wonderful
This eclectic collection of short stories is brimming with engaging narratives spanning a variety of genres-from fantasy and science fiction to satire and absurdist humour. Imprinted with a unique voice that's both playful and poignant, each story transforms the everyday into the fantastical, wielding sharp wit and profound human insights.
At the heart of this anthology lies "The Debut Project", a riveting novella weaving together elements of fantasy, crime, and comedy, and accompanied by rich illustrations by Ilia Bagaev. Set in the mysterious City N, the story follows the intertwined lives of Felix and Kolya, their friend Nina, and their cat Moros.
Unwittingly running afoul of a local kingpin, their ordinary existence takes an extraordinary turn. As Felix and Kolya tackle their debut engineering project to clear their debts and Nina struggles to keep her business afloat, they encounter a series of surprising events that test their bravery and loyalty. With its intriguing characters and gripping plot, "The Debut Project" spins a tale of friendship, ambitions, and resilience in a fantasy city steeped in crime.
Here's the REAL table of contents:
Here are some interior pictures if you're still not convinced:
I must admit, on paper it looks completely different. No website design can do it justice, even my current theme. The font, margins, page numbers, all that turns it into something rather magical, and this magic is real, real and tangible. I just can't comprehend it still, I'll keep repeating that.
Now, how to get it in your hands:
Whether you want a colourful hardcover edition with beautiful illustration by my brother Ilia and white as milk paper or a black'n'white paperback (still with the same illustrations and good quality), please visit Amazon. The button below will take you to your local Amazon store if it's available.
If there’s no Amazon in your country, you can still order it from Amazon US or Amazon DE, or send me a message and we’ll try to sort it out.
If you want to buy a ebook directly from me, visit Gumroad using the button below. You can get a book in pdf and epub formats and send it to Kindle using Gumroad "Send to Kindle" button (here's how) after purchase.
If you for some reason want a signed copy, please write me to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll sort it out. The price for it will be the price of author copy (around $20) plus postage. I can post it to you faster and cheaper if you're in the UK. The US and other international postage will be expensive but I'm planning sending a bulk to the US in January so it's gonna be cheaper, if you're still interested.
At the end I want to say thanks to all of the people who helped and supported me on my journey to make my first book real. Let me just copy my acknowledgement section:
I'm grateful to my dear wife Katya for brightening my days, for cheering me up, and for most certainly making me a better person (and for enduring my 6 a.m. writing routine, of course).
I'm grateful to my brother Ilia Bagaev for starting The Debut Project, for helping me brainstorm it, for reading most of my stories, and for illustrating this book and making the cover. This book is yours as much as it is mine.
I'm grateful to David Torkington (The Metta Verse), who helped to shape and edit most of the stories here, including The Debut Project, and spent countless hours with me online discussing our stories.
I'm grateful to Thomas J Bevan for creating the Soaring Twenties Social Club, for endorsing my work from the beginning, for writing the introduction to my first book (this one, yes), and for being my de facto mentor throughout my writing journey. Thomas' club has become an environment wherein this book was chiselled and polished thanks to inspiration and support from its members, many of whom have also become my friends.
So, I would like to send huge beams of appreciation to…
Brady Putzke, for all those priceless discussions we had about writing craft, books, music, and life, and for writing another short blurb for this book;
Jeanne S, for support and feedback on most of my terrible early drafts, especially The Debut Project;
Craig Burgess, for helping me with ideas for the cover design and typography of this book;
Deepansh Khurana, Edward Rooster, Okeanos, and other beta readers of The Debut Project, for perusing the novella, and everyone else who read stories from this book before and after they were published;
and everyone in the club and at nova-nevedoma.com, for reading my work and encouraging me to keep writing.
I want to say thanks to all my family and friends. Without you, I wouldn't be me, and without who I am, this book wouldn't be what it is, and without this book being what it is, it wouldn't exist, and without this book existing... Well, I can't foresee the consequences, but this small world would suffer no small amount of unneeded entropy.
Ah—and thank you. Yes, you, whoever you are, holding this book right now. Perhaps you've spent time and money on it. I hope it was entertaining, or at least that it didn’t disappoint.
Onto the next one! I'm finishing the last story for my next collection. After that I'm going to start editing the Deleted Scenes collection and the assorted stories collection as two separate books to release them somewhen in 2024. I'll write an email outlining my plans for 2024 later this month.