Colony Update! + News

60,000 words.

That’s how little I have left to edit on  this Alpha pass of Colony. 60,000 words. Considering the story itself is 333,000 words, that’s not much. A day or two worth of work, no more. Then I’ve got to run through and make some noted changes to air pressure in a few marked chapters, and then …

Then I move to Beta. Which means those of you that are former Beta Readers can expect to see a message from me soon, while those of you who aren’t may see a post looking for additional beta readers up here on the site, looking for those I know are good for it.

The point to all of this is, however, that Colony is getting close to being ready for release. Sometime in the next week or two I’ll probably start work on the cover, and once I’m officially in Beta I’ve got to figure out some other things to. Such as “Do I split this titan of a story into two ‘parts’ so that readers can buy a cheaper chunk rather than the whole thing at once and then sell a ‘combo’ book that’s both alongside it? Or do I just sell the book?”

I’m still up in the air on that decision. This is what I get for writing 1300 page books. Most other authors don’t have to deal with this kind of decision. They write 150-200 page little things with short little stories and then just toss them at the market for anywhere to $2.99 to $5.99. Meanwhile here I am writing 1300-page epics and asking “Now how in the blazes do I price this?”

At the moment, the ‘solution’ I’m debating on is as follows. Colony itself will probably be $9.99. Or $7.99. But somewhere around there (it’s a 1300 page book, what did you expect?). If I do go ahead with the “split” plan, I’d cut the book in two right at the end of Part 2 (there are 4 parts to the story) and have “Book 1” and “Book 2” Sell each of those for anywhere from $5.99 to $4.99 (after all, that’s still a 650+ page book when cut in half). That way, a reader can either grab the whole thing for $2 less, or pick up one of the smaller portions if they’re not sure about the whole thing.

It’s kind of a weird “solution,” though not exactly unheard of. Other book series have done similar things, as have other mediums, so it’s not exactly the worst idea. At the same time, I’m not sure exactly how much payoff would actually be gained from it. The world of ebook publishing is still a tumultuous place full of a lot of uncertainty and fickle consumers, so selling two “parts” of Colony alongside the complete edition could just end up backfiring or ensuring that one of the two methods of buying it never sells.

I don’t know. This is why I’m going back and forth on this one. If you have any thoughts on the matter, comment below as at this point I can still be swayed one way or another.

However, one thing I will not do, in fact refuse to do is go the scam route and chop the book up into ten or twelve sub-100 page “books,” the first of which is free while each “book” after that is part of a steadily increasing price hike. I don’t see this one as much anymore, but that’s mostly because I avoid areas of the internet where authors advertise this scam. And yes, I’ll still call it a scam, as it’s a way of sucking readers in with “the first bit is free,” but by the time all is said and done, readers end up paying $10-20 for a couple-hundred page book.

Is it a way to make a large sum of money off of a small book? Sure. Is it fair to the reader? No, it’s totally not. It’s abusing human psychology and marketing, and personally I find it a cheat. Colony will not be going that route. No, it’s either a complete release, or a complete release with the two parts as an option for those who don’t want to risk buying the whole thing at once.

Anyway, regardless of all these decisions, Colony is still aiming for an OCTOBER release date. There’s nothing official yet, but as October looms closer and closer, expect to see something specific pop up.

Now, on to other news …

Shadow of an Empire
First bit of other news? Shadow of an Empire‘s Alpha 1 has already begun, but in limited, test numbers. However, as soon as Colony goes into Beta 1, Shadow of an Empire will go into fully-fledged Alpha 1 mode, heading for Alpha 2. That way I’m not juggling two Alphas at the same time, but I can still have work on both stories moving forward. I’d like for Shadow of an Empire to be a December release—think around Christmas—so I’m working on getting that ramped up. Thankfully, at 225,000 words (or somewhere between 700 and 900 pages), Shadow is a bit shorter than Colony, so it should be a bit easier to edit. So far the majority of the fixes I’ve gotten have been concerning small details about the names and uses of horse tack, which is a pretty good sign all things considered (also, horse-fans are universally acknowledged as the most irate if you get something wrong, so it’s a good thing I’m getting feedback from that group).

All right, one more thing to mention, for a specific group of readers:

If you’re not interested in my fanfiction endeavors, you can stop reading the post here. This is for my fanfic fans, and nothing more past this point will have anything that doesn’t interest them.

Right, so fanfiction news, guys. Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve said anything or done anything on that front. As you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty busy. Unusual EventsShadow of an EmpireColony … etc. But lately I’ve had two ideas itching in the back of my mind, and they won’t go away, so …

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First the big news: Hunter/Hunted. Right now, here’s the plan moving forward: Once Shadow of an Empire is out, I’m going to start writing the sequel to ColonyJungle. Once that is done, I’m going to start on the third Dusk Guard book, Hunter/Hunted. Yes. At long last.

But … that does mean sometime like summer or late spring of 2017. So in the meantime, starting tomorrow, I’ve got two smaller stories planned that I’m going to start writing out. One is shorter, a standalone, and (unusually enough for me) definitely not meant to be taken seriously. I’m not going to spoil anything, as that will ruin the fun, but it’s going to be short, sweet, and utterly ridiculous. Once you see the title, you’ll know why. It’s a kooky idea I had after I … well, that’d be a spoiler, but as easy as it will be to write, I’m going to go ahead and start working on it.

But after I finish that, I’m going to start work on another small side-story, this one a sequel to one I’ve already written. And again, that’s all I’ll say on that. That one clue. Work will obviously be slow, because I’m only going to be doing this on Saturdays (unless it really consumes me) and I won’t post anything until the story is done (which means Alpha and Beta reads there, too), but it should be a lot of fun to write and read.

Anyway, now I need to get to work. That’s all for this update!

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