The 2022 State of the Weech

The 2022 State of the Weech

Greetings all,

Welcome to year five of my eight-year commitment to go all in on becoming a successful author businessman. This is my fourth annual State of the Weech, where I talk about how the previous year went and talk about my plans for 2022.

The most important thing I did during 2021 was improve my marketing. I’ll talk about Hazel more in a moment, but without Hazel, I went from being pleasantly surprised I sold a book to regularly selling nine books a month. I’m convinced that this path is a good one. No, it’s not a fast track, but most good things aren’t “overnight” things. Steady effort in a solid direction usually yields good results, and I’m happy with what one year or so of effort has brought.

I released Betrayed. It didn’t have the response I was hoping for, but without being able to go to conventions, it’s hard to get word out. What I know is that anyone who’s said anything about it loved it, which is encouraging.

Then there’s Hazel. Now that was a success! Currently, Hazel sells about 38 copies a month. I expect that to calm a little. I tend to sell a lot of a book early, and then things die down. However, I’d be happy if Hazel continued to move at this pace. I know Collin and I appreciate every single one of you who’ve tried it.

I managed to finish the discovery draft of Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log, and I did a read-through of 1,200 in preparation for a draft I’ll do once I get Discovered to Alpha Readers.

So those are things I have done, but now I need to repeat something I mentioned recently.

I’m still writing as much as I can, but without conventions to bolster sales, money for editors and art is a serious concern. This means I’m going to make whatever progress I can, but I don’t have any real certainty on when things will come out because that just depends on how much I can save, how much I spend in marketing, and how many sales I get. So where the past years I had some pretty solid ideas on when I’d get products out to you, I don’t have that same ability this year.

But I am still working, so allow me to tell you about those projects.

Hopefully in 2023 (but don’t quote me on it): Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log. The discovery draft was OK, but it needs some work. I hope to finish the next draft in the next 100 days, which is when hopeful Alpha Readers can count on reading the early version. I do hope to get it out in 2023, but that depends on the things I mentioned above, as do the other projects.

The 1,200: I talked about this recently. I’m actually pretty proud of where that is now, but it does need some work. So each time I get a draft of Discovered done, this is the project I’ll skip to until Discovered is out. This will be the next release you can expect from me baring how long it takes to save up and what smaller projects I might get done.

Visits From A Man Named Nobody: This is my weekly Christian Science Fiction series. It’s larger than I thought (at least this draft). It’s growing in the writing, and I’m discovery writing it, which means it’ll have plenty of kinks to work out. I don’t honestly know when I’ll finish it, but once a draft is done, it’ll take its place in line for release. You can read it now if you want. I’ll do revisions and edits on it before its published through Amazon.

Perception of War: Images of Truth: I’m honestly frustrated I haven’t found a chance to finish the discovery draft. Other projects are more urgent, but as soon as Discovered and The 1,200 are out the door, this puppy is getting some work. This is a very ambitious project, but I can get the writing done, and I plan to. Again, this project is massive! So while I’m going to work very hard on it, it’s going to take time.

New Utopia: This is another older project that’s probably been sitting in a drawer for too long. It needs love, but the the next draft of this story (pitched as Mistborn meets Avatar), won’t be done until Discovered and The 1,200 are as far as I can get them and the Discovery Draft of Perception is done.

Mercer: Now this project could move in a lot of directions because it’s a series of shorter works. I call this Dresden meets Bones, and I love the premise and basic ideas. I haven’t really played with this much in a while, but that’s only because I owe fans of Oneiros a conclusion to their story. I’ll probably start chipping away at this once in between the above projects. So you might see Season One, Episode One before New Utopia.

Leah Saldawn and The Nick of Time: This probably the “older” project that’s farthest from being out. It’s a teen/young reader book that I think is cute, but it’ll have to wait behind those much larger projects.

I’m still working my way toward 60 sales a month. Because of Hazel, I have three averages: My total sales per month, Collin’s and my Hazel sales per month, and my non-Hazel sales per month. The goal for sales per month is still 60, and that’s always been an initial goal aimed at growing after I meet it. I lose less and less each year, and I’m hopeful I get to that first profitable year soon.

If I’m being honest, I’m never going to stop writing. The eight-year goal has always been more about putting in hard-charging, never-back-down energy. It’s spending money on marketing and things like that. I’m hopeful that bears some fruit, but if all I do is write and publish stories I enjoy, that’s OK. I’ll work as hard as I can, and if after eight years, I’m not earning an income, well, I’ll slow down on the costs of publishing and focus more on the writing.

It’s hard to fathom that Bob Drifter came out almost seven years ago! Man it’s been fun!

If you’re interested in helping, the best way to do that is to purchase one of my books, read it, rate it, and review it. You can take it to the next level (if you like the book) by recommending it (or buying it) for a friend. In addition to God’s will, which I will always cheerfully submit to, this dream of mine isn’t possible without loyal readers.

I want to finish as I always do, by praising God, and thanking Him for all of you who read and enjoy my work. I’m blessed to have anyone enjoy my books, and a lot of you are just so wonderful to me with emails and help with reviewing drafts. Thank you.

God bless you all, and thank you for another year. I hope your hear has been amazing.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’ve Finished Reviewing 1,200; I’m 12% Through The 1st Draft of Discovered!

I’ve Finished  Reviewing 1,200; I’m 12% Through The 1st Draft of Discovered!

Geetings all,

Maybe if you haven’t tried it already, you can read Betrayed while you wait for me to get Discovered finished.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my progress on things so far, but that’s not because I haven’t been working.

I’d originally picked up 1,200 just to let my mind rest before I got moving on the first draft of Discovered, but then I just fell in love with 1,200. I was genuinely happy with how good I felt it was. I think there were some things that concerned me, but while reading it, I just really felt horrible for setting it in a drawer for this long. (This was either the third or fourth book I finished writing.)

It still does need a bit of work. I have to change the main character’s name, which is currently Steve, but with Oneiros having the success it’s having (relatively speaking), having two characters with that name would be troublesome. Then there are a few ideas I had that would flesh out a few details, but this book is great, and I’m excited to be putting this book out hopefully in 2022, more likely in 2023 (more on why below).

I started working on the official First Draft of Discovered maybe two weeks ago. I just finished Chapter 5. Given how many challenges we’ve had in the past few weeks, I feel like I’ll pick up speed on that, but it does need work, so please don’t be surprised if my Twitter account has big gaps. Those will be spots where I’m adding content (chapters or scenes) that I feel need to be added to help the flow of the story. It’s currently taking two sessions per chapter, and I usually get one session in a day.

Yeah, at 42 chapters, this means it’ll take at least 84 days to get this draft done, and that’s probably not enough time. I’m thinking 100 days is a safer estimate. Writing is obviously still a part of my life, but it falls way below God, my family, and the job that actually provides for my family. I do wish I had more writing time, but I promise I’m making the use of the time I do have.

Once I’ve finished that First Draft, those of you who want to be Alpha Readers can expect to see a post on this blog letting you know.

If you haven’t seen how it all starts, this is the book you want to read.

While Discovered is in Alpha Readers hands, I’ll get to work on the official First Draft of 1,200. In full honesty, I feel like I’ll want to get that draft done before I do the Alpha Draft of Discovered. Those of you looking forward to how this book ends deserve to understand why. First, I like to have projects rotating on a pretty regular basis, and I need to finish one draft of one book before I work on a new draft of the other. But even if I jumped on Discovered as soon as Alpha Readers got back to me, I’m not sure I will have saved up the money I need for the Developmental Draft. Discovered is already over 100,000 words, and that means getting edits done on that book will cost more than its predecessors. So rather than just sit and do nothing while I save up money for edits, I might as well get progress on other titles. This is the main reason why I’m going to finish another draft of 1,200 before I jump back to Discovered.

Saturday is the 1st, so I’ll do one of my annual State of the Weech posts, where I talk about current and future projects. But my hope is this post helps you sort of see the two major factors in how quickly I can release material (time and money). Even if I did find more time to write (which I would love), I don’t have many options on how to generate more money for edits and art (covers, chapter icons, and other things).

That’s where I continue to ask for your support. Please don’t misunderstand. Those of you who follow this blog are always so amazing. We’re a small clan, but I’m just humbled by how loyal and kind you all are. Hazel is definitely doing her part, but I only earn a percent of a percent of her royalties. I honestly am only just about to get the first royalties from that release here in a few days.

The best way to help me is to help my sales, which means telling your friends about my work, convincing them to try it, and posting reviews and ratings on all the bookish places. I’m in a place now where if I’m going to do anything for the business of writing, the writing needs to pay for it. We budget a bit each month for this dream, but at this point the marketing is still costing more than the books are earning. We’re moving in the right direction, but we still have a ways to go.

All this means I have to be patient. I wanted to be releasing four books a year, and now I’m in a place where it might take two more years before I get any new titles out. That really hurts, but in this world, the art matters, not the pace at which it’s released. I hope you’ll be patient with me as well.

I hope to have this draft done by mid April, when I hope Alpha Readers will be ready and willing to see that early draft. I’d love to try and get it to you sooner and get Discovered to Sara’s hands even sooner, but that would require things that I don’t have direct control over.

As always, thank you all for your wonderful support, and thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Betrayed

A 5-Star Review for Betrayed

Greetings all,

This review comes at a great time because it’s been a rough few weeks here in the Weech household. We’re battling an illness, so we’re glad to have some content to present you that’s low maintenance.

That said, a nice five-star review really helps keep the motivation up. So we’d like to share this review with you all.

As always, if you’ve read some of my work, we’d be grateful if you’d take a second to offer a rating and review. I’m actually pretty close to 100 ratings on Goodreads, and I’m excited for that milestone.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A New 5-Star Review for Caught

A New 5-Star Review for Caught

Greetings all,

It’s been a while since I’ve had a review, but man, I love it when I get one, especially when it’s good. That means I get to share this five-star review for Caught from Cowan on Audible.


What a read!

Ho-ly Cow! What a great book to read. Intense with great twists. A wonderful and original take on the genre. Highly recommend!


It’s great because it’s five stars, and even though it’s short, it’s super kind.

If you’ve read any of my work, please consider leaving a rating and review on Amazon, Goodreads, Audible, or all three. They really do mean the world to me.

As always, I appreciate you all for supporting my silly dream. I’ll keep writing, and I will always thank you for reading.

Matt

Vacation Week One

Vacation Week One

Greetings from San Diego!

It’s been an amazing week so far. It’s been a while since I shared some fun and happy personal life stuff on the blog, and given that I’m really not in the mood to think too much as I type this, I figured we’d just talk a bit about how things are going.

As for writing, I was pretty sure (and correct) that I wouldn’t get much writing done this week. We had a ton of activities planned and so much going on. I didn’t want to try and shoe horn in a lot of writing stuff. The discovery draft of Discovered is indeed about six chapters from being done (though that’s a lot of words given all the stuff that the outline demands). I don’t think I’ll get super writing time in, but I do expect to get my usual thousand words in from here on out.

This week I visited my brother and sister and their two wonderful daughters. We went to the Midway Museum, Belmont Park, and the San Diego Zoo. We also got the rent a pool for an afternoon. Honestly, every second of it was awesome. I got some quality time with my brother and sister (they’re married you see). It had been some years since I saw either of my nieces, and I’m so glad we started at this end of the line of families.

This sort of became the activities portion of the vacation. It’s not that we don’t have a few plans at the other locations we plan to visit, it’s just most of the rest of the trip is reserved for relaxation and time with families. But while we were in San Diego with a pair of activity-driven women (my wife and sister), we tried to do everything San Diego offers, and I sort of think we did.

After I get a few hours of sleep, it’s all about the drive to my old stomping grounds.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the Week 4 2021 May Book Cover of the Month! Vote for Your Favorite!

Announcing the Week 4 2021 May Book Cover of the Month! Vote for Your Favorite!

Greetings all,

We’re coming up on our second moth of the 2021 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year, and that means I need your help to name one! So, let’s start by naming the winner for the fourth week of May.

The Week 4 2021 May Book Cover of the Week is…

Facing Off by Tanya Ross really is all about nostalgia for me, and that’s enough. I love the ’80s feel to this cover, and apparently a few other people did, too. That means Facing Off joins A Hag Rises from the Abyss by Douglas Lumsden, The Sunfire King by Sylvia Mercedes and Betrayed by, well, me! I’d apprecaite it if you took a moment to vote for your favorite (especially if it’s mine). You can vote for the 2021 May Book Cover of the Month right here.

But that’s not all! The 2021 June Book Cover of the Month contest is already off and running. You can vote for your favorite Week 1 2021 June Book Cover of the Month right here!

I’d be grateful if you would be so kind as to watch my channel, where I talk about all seven of the covers and why I think they were so cool.

Remember to vote for your favorite through the links I provided above! You guys can choose who wins the title and then support your favorite in the yearly competition (obviously next year)! I hope you’ll participate.

Thanks for reading and watching,

Matt

Betrayed Is Now Available In Paperback!

Betrayed Is Now Available In Paperback!

Greetings all,

A short but sweet post today! I’m proud to say that Betrayed is now available in paperback!

If you are wondering about the audio version, I honestly have to save up a lot of money for it. You see, I want to be able to pay the narrators up front. I hope to bring both Shawn Compton and Jennifer Wooster back. That depends on a whole lot, but the money is the first part. To help, I’d sure appreciate it if you headed over to Amazon and bought Betrayed or any (or all) of my titles. If you’ve done that, maybe recommend it to your friends?

I still have a goal to sell 189 copies. Why? Well, if I sell that many, I hit #1 in my category. I have more than 1,000 followers here, so that means I only need about 20% of you (less than that actually) to help a friendly neighborhood self-published author out. Would you be so kind?

I’m already hard at work and more than 71% through the discovery draft of Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log. So far, I’m very pleased with how it’s coming out. I’m sure there are a few rough patches because of how often I had to stop to get Betrayed out, but that won’t be an issue now that I’m not freaking out over having readers wait years for a book. I’ll always be grateful to you all for your patience.

Thank you all for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Repressed!

A 5-Star Review for Repressed!

Greetings all,

This review has actually been waiting a bit, but with all the news I’ve had lately, it just took this long to post it.

Did I mention that Betrayed is finally out!? I’d be grateful if you gave it a try.

Anyway, I’m happy to share this five-star review that was posted on both Goodreads and Audible.

As always, I humbly request that you leave a rating and review on any of the books of mine that you’ve read. It really does mean a lot to me.

In other news, my 2021 April Book Cover of the Month poll is still up. If you like books, click on over and support your favorite.

As always, I’m so honored that anyone chooses to take time to read something that I’ve written.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Betrayed is out!

Betrayed is out!

Greetings all,

I’m so happy to report that Betrayed is live! You can head over here and pickup the ebook for $3.99. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so thankful for your patience.

The print book isn’t far behind. It’s way easier for me to get an ebook out than a print version, but I’ll work on that over the next few days. I’ll have to format it. Then I’ll need to have a proof sent to make sure it looks good. Once that’s done, the print version will be out.

For now though, I hope you’ll consider giving Betrayed a chance. If you liked Caught, I honestly think you’ll love Betrayed!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Now Presenting the Cover to Betrayed!

Now Presenting the Cover to Betrayed!

Greetings all,

Last weekend I presented this cover on my YouTube channel. You can check out how that went by watching below.

However, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to show off this cover here on my blog. So before I get too far into the details, let’s just have a look.

Once again I just want to make sure I thank Carlos Villas for all of his hard work. I think the cover is beautiful! I’m still planning on a May 1 release date. I’m proofreading as quickly as I can, but I desperately want to make this book as polished as I can, so June 1 is a possibility, but I guarantee June 1 is the latest this book will be out.

I hope you all like the cover!

Thanks for reading,

Matt