I’m happy to report I’ve finished another draft of The Worth of Words. I’d like to take a quick moment to thank my Alpha Readers: Ben Duke, Grace, and Eduardo. Your feedback was invaluable, and I’m so glad you all liked this version. Your input made it possible to take this story one step closer to being what it needs to be.
I’m awestruck with WoW. It’s a thrill to see where I was and where I am now, and stories like this help me feel like I’m on a level I hadn’t previously reached in my time being published. When I get the story out, I hope you all feel the same way I do about it.
I’ll send WoW off to Sara for a developmental edit. In the meantime, I have two new submissions forThe Power of Words anthology to edit and make a decision on. I also have another draft of a previously signed author’s contribution. That’s how I hope most of February goes. I’d like to get the Beta Draft of Repressed done by the end of March. If I maintain this pace, I should be working on Betrayed (Oneiros Book Two) in June. I’ll step away for the anthology, but there won’t be that much more once I select the last few authors and start layout and design. If you’re still interested in contributing, please feel free to send a submission. I won’t close submissions until I’m ready to go into layout and design.
I just wanted you all to have a quick glimpse regarding where I’m at in this passionate pursuit of mine. I hope to have one of my usual book reviews up next week, but the timing worked out to put this update on Wednesday.
The most fun for me was talking to the other venders. It’s always fun meeting artists and venders, but this time was a particular pleasure. I ran into a few acquaintances, which is always nice because it allows me to catch up. I made some progress on Worth of Words.
Oh yeah, I sold some books! For those curious about the financial feasibility of conventions, well, I didn’t sell quite enough to earn back what I paid for the table (let alone what it cost to purchase the books). The thing is though, if I don’t do conventions, I don’t sell any books. The investment is on building familiarity, building my newsletter, and getting my work out there. Those are all things I accomplished. I still only have two physical books to work with and three titles available. Things will improve as I keep at it. Last year, I didn’t do that many events, and my sales reflected it. While I can’t point to many sales, what I can say is I’ve almost sold more books in two months this year than I did in all of last year (I’m only 20 sales away from that mark).
I say this because it’s important anyone getting their name out there understands it takes time. I’ve always advised that the more patient (and probably successful) author waits until he has three books before he publishes. It creates momentum and lets readers know you’re not going anywhere. None of the math made this any less fun or successful when considered with a longer, more strategic mindset.
I let that affect me far too much in my first year, so much so that I didn’t do many conventions in year two, and that made things even worse. I believe in this plan, and I have the regular sales to prove it. Doing conventions on a regular basis is the right way to go.
The other thing that matters are the reviews. The more books I sell, the more likely I am to see reviews. The reviews I’ve gotten are mostly positive. Of the 35 reviews I have on Amazon, only three of them (9 percent) are two stars or fewer. I’m not even sure I have any one-star reviews. Of the 41 reviews I have on Goodreads, only three of them (7 percent) are two star or fewer. Yes, there are some repeats, but there are also some originals, and I’m simply providing data to those thinking about publishing or becoming authors. What this means to me is that the people who read my books like my books. That encourages me to keep putting the books out there, and I hope it encourages you to do the same. No, I wouldn’t do it the way I did it if I could do it over. But I’m fixing that this year and next year (four titles in 2017 and at least three in 2018).
On the other side of this equation is how much fun these events are. Like I said, Farpoint was a blast just talking to people and getting to know the other venders, and you all saw how much fun I had at Animorecon. The rest will work out in time.
My next convention is Awesomecon, which I’ve been to every year since I’ve been published. I’m doing my “Self-Publishing for Unwary Authors” panel again (folks seem to really like that one). I may even get another. I see a lot of folks at that event, and I can’t wait to meet more.
I’ll keep updating it, but it’s important I make clear this post is more about perspective than it is about immediate gratification, which is true of being an author. I want any hopeful authors to be informed, and I the conventions, readers, and newsletter subscribers to know just how much they mean to me. I hope this accomplishes that goal.
As usual, I’m sharing what reviews I find for my books. However, this review is special to me. You see, Joshua Robertson is someone whom I respect a great deal. He’s a brilliant writer, a well-respected member of the community, and someone I consider a mentor. When I saw that he’d started reading Caught, I felt a degree of fear. I feel it when any of my author friends read my work, but I’ll admit that I was slightly more nervous than I had been. So when I saw his five-star review for the book, I had to let out the breath I’d been holding since it appeared on his “currently reading” tab.
Some of you might recognize the name. You should, I read and reviewed Anaerfellfairly recently. I can say first-hand that Mr. Robertson is a busy man, so even seeing him take the time to read my book was an honor. The fact that he liked it has me on cloud nine. I’d like to take this chance to thank him now. Thank you, Mr. Robertson.
I just wanted to share this very kind four-star review for An Unusual Occupation. I’m so happy I made each part available. It’s allowed people a chance to try Bob’s story, and so far, they’re enjoying it! This review was kind and constructive, and I’m so grateful. I hope the reviewer tries out the rest of Bob’s story, and maybe Caught. Regardless, I’m honored she tried my work at all, and thrilled she liked it. You can read the review here.
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Sojourn. I felt you all deserved an update. Sojourn was a project I jumped on when the other members of Slush Brain thought it’d be a great idea to work on an anthology together.
The truth is, it was a good idea. They’re all amazing authors, but that’s part of the problem. They’re busy indie authors with projects and deadlines all their own. While all of us love each other and still love the idea of putting something together when the stars align, it just isn’t happening anytime soon.
So what do I do with a novella I’ve already gotten ready to go? Easy, I release it on my own. That’s right, Sojourn in Despair is scheduled for release this November. I’m still incredibly proud of that story, and I hope you all come to love it as much as I do. I have huge plans for Elele and a few other members of that cast.
If you click any of the above links, you’ll be able to find more information, but let me give those who’re just hearing about this some information.
One of the larger sagas I have rooting around in my skull is a series called Perception of War. The series revolves around the crew of the Shepherd, a forward operating warship and the only ship conducting operations in the Var’lechen system. Each book will star a member of the crew. I was halfway through the first book in the series when the idea came about to work on a novella. Well, the first book in the series is huge, like several hundred thousand words. But while drafting that beast, I fell in love with another character, Elele. She’ll also have a book of her own in the saga, but this idea gave me a chance to set the scene for her in the saga. She’s not remotely who she’ll become, and there’s a reward in that for me.
This is sort of a prologue unique to that character. It’ll lead her from her confrontation with the god of her alien species all the way to the moment we see her in the first book, Images of Truth. Of the three great (as in large) sagas I have planned, Perception of War is the biggest. There is a timeline (or the outline of a timeline), but it’s my intent to visit this universe whenever the mood strikes. I’ll be sure to get the larger story done, so readers know how this galactic war begins, develops, and ends. However, All of these races, characters, locations and history is something I plan to explore whenever the mood strikes.
The story is already done. The cover is under development. I’m going to look into a map relevant to the journey happening in the book, but that’s only an idea at the moment. I’ll release the other parts of Bob first, but Sojourn will be out in the world by the end of 2018.
Again, I love this saga and this character in particular. I’m so excited to bring this story to you, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.
As I type this, I officially have 504 followers! I’m simply thrilled each day someone decides to click on my website and decide to keep up to date on my posts! As is common whenever I hit a milestone, I’d like to take a bit of time to give back to those who followed me by spreading word about their blog, so I’d like to talk about my five most recent followers.
MovieBabble: I’ve only just discovered this blog since it started following me. Looking at the main page, I’m just startled at how much content they pack into this page. It’s essentially a film review site. I’m honestly excited to check out some of the reviews. I’m always interested in what people think about what’s out there.
Ris Reads: Marisa is a young woman who provides reviews. Anyone who talks about books is super in my opinion. She’s new to the review world, but she has good taste in books judging by her last few reviews.
Luna Lestrange Reads: I spend about 10 minutes a day looking for book reviewers. Luna prefers Young Adult (I have a book I’d like you to beta read if that’s your genre, Luna) stories. Her last few reviews highlight her interest in that area. She’s my newest follower, and I’ve only seen on of her reviews, but she’s brief and conversational, which I appreciate in a reviewer.
Stories to live by: Courtney is another reviewer. What drew me to her was her openness about content. In her latest review, the book she read made light of religion, she said. She wasn’t positive or negative about it, just informative. That way readers who might not appreciate it, don’t buy the book, and those who like that sort of thing know it’s their kind of story. I appreciate that sort of information.
Nifflerreads: This is a reviewer who read 36 books in January alone. That’s about one more book than I read last year. So anyone that prolific get’s my attention. It means viewers can count on more consistent reviews.
I’m happy to announce that after only one day of availability, An Unusual Occupation already has a five-star review! You can check out that verified-purchase review here. I’m so flattered by this review. I love Bob as a character, so any time a reader connects with him, I’m so pleased. I want to thank the reviewer for not just buying my book, but liking it and telling people about it!
I can’t stress this enough! This is not a sequel! I’ve had some people tell me Bob is a bit intimidating to read. The entire story (all three parts) is 133,000 words. Since the story was already in three neat segments, I thought releasing this story by each individual part gave readers a chance to try the story without the commitment of a larger book.
This part is special to me. The first part is basically the original short story I wrote almost twelve years ago. It inspired a fancy idea, which then inspired the complete story.
Occupation is currently 99 cents. It’ll remain that price for two weeks, when it will go up to it’s normal $2.99. My plan is to release part two in May and part three in August. I have some more exciting news for later on in that year, but I’m still working out some logistics.
I had to get this released now because I’m just about to start the Alpha Draft of Worth of Words. Things seem to be getting more and more busy in a good way, and I’ll keep you up to date. If you haven’t tried out Bob’s story, I hope you’ll give this segment, 47,000 words, a try. If you’ve read Bob, and you enjoyed it, please consider gifting or recommending this to readers you know. (Also, it’s always a great help when you post a review on Amazon or Goodreads.)