Right, writing (and some business) updates. I’ll try to be concise about things as I can.
Glad to say, I’m mostly human again. Had a rough 2 1/2 weeks (3?) of just constantly being sick. At one point, I was utterly exhausted, and was taking naps in the middle of the day. Weirdly enough, NOT Covid (only exhaustion and some shortness of breath as symptoms and multiple tests showed not Covid…) which is rather annoying actually. Not that I want it but it means I still have to worry about losing the one thing I love (ability to taste food… *sobs*).
Anyway, that meant there were days I did 0 writing and other days where I barely scraped a thousand words out. Overall, I managed barely to hit 61k words (compared to 72k in January).
We’ll have to see how this month goes, but with me feeling better, I’m hoping to do more words soon.
System Apocalypse Universe
So, a few things to talk about here. Obviously, System Finale released. However, we’ve got a bonus epilogue on the Patreon and newsletter exclusively. So… you know. Sign up for either. 😛
SA: Australia 3 is already 50k on first draft. SA: Relentless is at over 60k now. We’ll likely release both somewhere in the middle of this year, editors and covers and what not depending.
We’re also talking about getting a 2nd anthology up and running. We’ll be announcing that soon and get people to send in work. I’ll probably write a short for it too and get the Patrons to vote on who will feature in it.
Otherwise, I’m not writing anything else in SA for a bit, at least till I get caught up on my other projects and new schedule (see below).
A Thousand Li
I’ve mentioned this to patrons before, but I’m going to be working on A Thousand Li a lot over the next little bit. (More detail under scheduling and releases below). Right now, A Thousand Li 7 (The Third Kingdom) is at 84k words. I expect it to end around 95k words or so, maybe longer. Depends on how these other scenes do and the extent of the battle scene as well as the epilogue.
Release date for The Third Kingdom is around June 1 (again, see below for scheduling and releases for more details).
Unlike normal, I will be writing A Thousand Li 8 (Untitled as yet) right after The Third Kingdom. HOWEVER, I won’t be releasing it till December this year most likely except to patrons.
After ATL 8 is written, I’m going back to transitioning writing between projects like before. So for at least the first half of this year, we’re going to be doing ATL pretty consistently.
Again, see scheduling for reasons for delayed releases, etc.
Other Plot Bunnies
Alright, the patrons have gotten like… a couple of chapters for the first plot bunny. I’m actually working on like… 4 others right now, all of them LitRPG or LitRPG adjacent. I’ve been considering a couple of other ideas too…
Anyway, the Tower Serialisation series is one major plot bunny I’m willing to let people see. There are a few more that i want to do, but figuring out which is going to be a main series and how I’m fitting them all in (or if it’s a plot idea I haven’t started!) will wait until I get ATL 8 done.
Sorry, I know some of you might be waiting on the next big series; but I’m a little scatter brained.
Who knows, 2023 might be the year I just drop a half-dozen book 1’s and see what people do.
In the meantime, I finally finished another novellete for Eternal Night, which will be releasing in the next month. I’ve got ideas for more Power, Masks & Capes novelletes too, and I’d love to get one out before the end of the year. But those are both low priority.
Other Co-Author Works
Well, I have a few other co-authored works brewing. Most are works I’ll have a pretty hand in (some switching off chapters basically), but it’s almost always with other professional authors. Because of that, I’m waiting to get the works mostly done before I let you all know full details because these works might be 2-3 years out.
Hopefully not, but it might be.
Scheduling and Releases – Adjusting Timelines
Alright, let’s talk about scheduling and releases and mental / physical health.
So… I have a tendency to push myself to hit deadlines. I HATE missing them as an author because it means everyone else down the line (narrator, editor, proofer, etc.) have their own schedules messed with. I know it happens a lot, but it still makes me feel shitty.
Knowing that, I push myself to hit deadlines regularly. Last year, I figured the way to do that was give myself 3 months to write a book rather than the 2-2.5 months I did the year before.
That didn’t work and I still had some crunch months (sickness, travel, etc.).
Rather than put myself through that again, I decided that this year, I’m going to give myself a 6 month plus window.
To do that, I am going to write A Thousand Li twice in a row. Rather than slipping a palette cleanser / new series in between, I am just going to marshall through. It should be fine, but most importantly, it means that I will have book 8 finished around beginning July.
That gives me over 6 months to get editing, proofing, narration, etc sorted.
It also means that if I’m even a month late, I should still have a TON of time to get work done.
Basically, the December release date is tentative, so I can play around with just writing and hopefully not stress if I’m not writing my 2k a day everyday.
It also means I can do what I’ve been doing now and working on multiple projects, bouncing to whichever one works best and while only adding 1k a day to each project, get a ton more done (since it’s easier for me to hit over 2k with multiple projects than 1 project).
Anyway… that’s what is happening with writing scheduling.
Scheduling and Releases – Shifting to Direct Sales
Here’s the other major thing we’re going to be doing, which is shifting to a more direct sales and Kickstarter model. Specifically, for certain projects, we will either be selling direct much earlier on the Starlit Publishing website and/or doing a Kickstarter.
So, for example – we’re thinking of getting the Third Kingdom up on Starlit Publishing first BEFORE KU and Amazon by at least a month.
We’re looking at a Kickstarter for the audiobook of System Finale. And making sure it’s out to those backers at least a month (if not more) earlier than via ACX/Audible.
Keeping certain works exclusive to the site (some shorts in both ebook and audiobook format, maybe even some stories like the tower serial I’m working on now) as well as deals and signed copies, etc.
There’s lot of reasons for that, but basically; more money, less issues with Amazon and Audible. Like… we get so little of our audiobook money (25% or 40%) when it costs so much. So, if we can shift readers over and not lose out on quality, I’m going to do that.
Anyway, that’s the basic plans for now. Expect to see more of how this plays out soon.