This is now the fourth year of my eight-year commitment to go all in on becoming a successful author businessman. My annual State of the Weech is just one way I use to track that, and it’s also how I let everyone know what I’m up to.
For a number of reasons, 2020 was a big setback for me as an author. With COVID, all the conventions I intended to participate in were cancelled. This meant the money I would earn there wouldn’t come. I was only able to release one title, my Christian memoir about my mothers death titled Testimony: A Trial of Faith. I genuinely thought I’d release Betrayed last year, but there was a huge gap because I had to simply save up money to pay for editing. I will have to continue to do that (more on that below).
While 2020 was hard on conventions and making progress on additional drafts, it did allow me to get a bit more writing done (if only a bit). I’m positive Betrayed will be out this year. I’m hopeful it will be out in the next three months, but that’s not a guarantee.
With all that said, here are my plans for what I hope is a rebound in 2021.
May 1 (or sooner): Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log. I’m almost done with the Beta Draft (as in only a few chapters away). From there I send it out to Sara for the proofreading. I’m also going to send this draft to willing Advanced Readers in exchange for an honest review. I’m pretty optimistic about this goal. I have to save up the money for edits, and I have to save up the money for the cover, but I think May is feasible.
These are sure things in 2021. I am about halfway through the discover draft of Discovered: Book Three of the Oneiros Log, and that will be my main project when Betrayed is published.
A quick update on projects I mentioned last year:
Sonnets for my Savior: I completed it, but I doubt it will be more than a series of blog posts. I’m not a poet by trade, and getting feedback has proven difficult. I was happy to have the idea and see it through, but that’s about where it ends.
Musings on Christianity: I also finished this blog series, but again getting participation proved more difficult than I’d imagined. I was happy to study my faith and research questions in a scriptural way, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable releasing this as it’s little more than my personal pondering.
So those projects are probably being left where they are.
Now for projects I am planning to work on in the near future:
Discovered: Book Three of the Oneiros Log. As I said above, am I’m about halfway through the discovery draft. I’d be over the moon if I got this book out in late 2021, but that’s super ambitious at this point. It is my next primary project when Discovered goes to print.
The 1,200: As I said last year, I’m meaning to get to this project. It needs some rework, especially considering current events in real life. But I still think it’s a good story. So I’ll make those edits and I’ll get it out there as soon as I finish Oneiros.
Visits From A Man Named Nobody: This is Christian Science Fiction. I’m posting segments each Sunday as part of my Testimony series. Since this is fiction, I will be publishing this when it’s finished. I’d expect this will be released sometime next year.
New Utopia: This story (pitched as Mistborn meets Avatar), needs revisions and edits, and I’ll jump on them as time permits. This will not be published before 1,200.
Mercer: This is a series I intend to write. I’ve come to realize I’m actually happier working on a large product and a small project at the same time. It gets more titles out and makes me feel more productive. Mercer is going to be a bunch of small novellas written like episodes of a TV show (I call Mercer Dresden Files meets Bones). I will start working on this on the “sooner” side of things, and it may come out before 1,200 (though I don’t think so).
Perception of War: Images of Truth: I did get a few thousand words added to this very large discovery draft, and I will finish the discovery draft of this before I do any revisions to 1,200. I really love this series as a whole (Sojourn in Captivity is basically a prologue novella to the series). I hate starting new books before I finish a draft of one I’ve been working on, so I will get Betrayed to print, finish Discovered (so those who love the series can see how it ends) and then get straight to work on this. 1,200 will probably come out first but this will become the main priority when Oneiros is done.
Leah Saldawn and The Nick of Time: The discovery draft is done. I’ll probably get this out one day, but it’s a very low priority for a few reasons. First: it’s targeted to a 12-15 year old audience, which is way outside my current marketing group. Next, I have so many other projects I’m looking forward to, so this one just isn’t that high on the priority list. It’ll get out there someday, but I wouldn’t anticipate it coming out anytime soon (as in the next three years).
My publishing goals: Discovered (guarantee 2021 release), Betrayed, 1,200/Mercer, Mercer/Images of Truth, Mercer/New Utopia. You see Mercer there a lot because it’s indented to be a constant series with me. I’ll release Volumes in smaller chucks (paperback) and Seasons in larger Omnibuses (box sets). The idea for Mercer is 12 novellas (episodes) / three volumes per season. The goal is to release a bigger project and then a Mercer episode in a sort of pattern. I’m not sure how it will actually play out, but it is the goal.
As for my eight-year goal? Well, I’m actually selling more digital copies than ever before, and that’s encouraging. Hopefully, I’m still losing less money each year. Again, after eight years, if I’m not making a profit or breaking even, I probably need to rethink some things. With COVID, 2020 became far more about marketing, and I’ve seen some positive results. I’m still working toward the dream of making this a full time gig for me. At the halfway point, it’s a little discouraging to see how far I still have to go, but it doesn’t change my drive.
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.
That brings me to those of you who are loyal readers. I thank God for all of you. It’s great getting emails from some of you and seeing your reviews. It’s wonderful to know there are a few of you out there supporting me, and I truly hope your ranks grow.
I’m still grateful to God for what he’s done in my life. I have a wonderful wife and three great sons. I’m in good health. I have an amazing day job. In short, I’m truly blessed. I pray God blesses you all, and I hope you’ll continue this journey with me.
Thanks for reading,