Happy New Year, Fugitives! Are you enjoying 2015 so far?
I know I am, even though my non-writing life has kept me very busy, distressed and distracted lately. I can’t get into specifics, but suffice it to say, I’ve been under a great deal of stress. Yet despite that—or perhaps, in some odd way, because of it—I’ve become a more focused writer than ever. The hope that my writing career will take off and free me from these miseries is the light in the dark that sustains me.
It’s a thin hope, to be sure—everywhere I look there are reports that the “Gold Rush” for indie book publishing has ended. In fact, the whole book industry is looking pretty squeezed and tapped out. The new subscription-based Kindle Unlimited program by Amazon has been a huge disruption in the indie publishing market, and the future is very uncertain.
I have certain advantages, though. For one, I need very little money to survive. For another, I’m stubborn as a mule, and dumb as one to boot. I also have a great deal of experience being miserable and laughing through the petty beatings of life. I don’t need a gold rush. I just need a chance. The thinnest hope is thick enough.
And there are reasons to be hopeful; signposts on the road to the Promised Land. I hit new records in January for both daily book sales and monthly sales totals. The number of reviews on my books—which is critically important for exposure and social cred—probably doubled this month, as did my Fiction Fugitive newsletter subscribers (and thank you so much to the readers who reviewed and/or subscribed; I love you guys!) And the month isn’t even over.
Most importantly, I finished the first draft of SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL: LOST SANCTUM a few days ago. It clocked in at about 320 manuscript pages and 95k words—almost 20% longer than book 2—yet I wrote it in half the time. The work’s not done, of course; there’s still revising and editing to be done ahead of the release date on Friday, February 13, 2015.
Editing will change those page counts, of course; I mention them merely for comparison, and to illustrate that I’m becoming palpably faster at this. More efficient.
A Goddamn writing machine.
I have reason to believe February will be even better than January. The SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL series will reach its epic conclusion in book 3, and I have several promotions lined up for the month. SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL: THE LONELY ONE (So Damn Beautiful, #1) will be on sale for $.99 for most of the month and will be featured in a variety of ad venues. I’ll also be running discounts on some of my short stories.
Early in February, I’ll be releasing the first chapter of SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL: LOST SANCTUM to my mailing list as a special, exclusive sneak peak. If you haven’t signed up yet, join my mailing list and make sure you enroll in the special bonus content so you don’t miss this preview. You get a free book for joining the list!
What’s next after LOST SANCTUM? I have at least five projects that are eagerly vying for the spot of next in line. I’m even considering starting a few different stories simultaneously, something I’ve never done before.
The very first thing I’m planning is a short story prequel to SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL, which will be immediately free for mailing list subscribers and eventually free worldwide, as a “hook” into the series. I plan to have this published around the end of February along with a box set/omnibus of the whole series. Unless readers disagree, I’ll consider that the end of SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL.
After that… well, maybe you guys have some preferences? Without giving too much away, here are the story ideas that I’m trying to pick from:
- Standalone psychological horror novel with drugs and vampires
- Sword and sorcery fantasy series with pirates on the high seas
- Epic grim-dark fantasy series with time travel and death gods
- Dystopian/post-apocalyptic sci-fi series with ghosts and cybernetic super soldiers
- Individual short stories and a collection ala Spoiled Lunch and Other Creepy Tales
- More SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL!? Moar!!
Got any opinions? Let me know in the comments below!
So, that’s about it. Onwards and upwards, ladies and gentlemen. Ain’t no stopping this train we’re on, now. We’ll talk again next month.