The Bi-Weekly Report: Happy St. Patrick’s Day

You know, if you’re looking for one more way to celebrate, Axtara—the titular protagonist of Axtara – Banking and Finance—is green. You can read the first few chapters for free here, or pick up your own copy here! Or even just adorn your device background with her cheerful grin!

Since I’m on the topic of Axtara, she’s reached a grand total of 20 ratings and reviews now. All of them granting her Five Stars. There hasn’t been a disappointed reviewer yet! Or even one that’s just slightly impressed.

And that? It’s pretty pleasing. To paraphrase one review, ‘Axtara knocks it out of the park,’ and that brings me a lot of joy. Which is great, because so far Axtara seems to be bringing a lot of readers old and young a lot of joy as well, like I’d hoped it would. So it’s like one big circle of joy.

Best of all, I’ve been hearing from readers that have passed it on to their teenage girls that they absolutely love it. Success! Here’s to more reviews in the coming weeks, and thousands of new readers as those who fell in love with Axtara share their newfound find with others!

Since we’re on the topic of both reviews and green covers, Colony and its sequel Jungle got some more love this last weekend from reviews. Colony might be over four years old at this point, but it’s still garnering praise from readers of Sci-Fi and picking up new readers. Which is good, because Starforge is inching step by step towards completion and wrapping the whole thing up.

But yeah, if you’re not in the mood for green dragons for Saint Patrick’s Day, well, Jungle is also full of a lot of green. A lot of it. In a most threatening manner. You can check out a free preview here if Sci-Fi is your thing, but you’re still looking to stick to that St. Patrick’s Day tradition.

Speaking of Starforge, the current draft is now at 310,000 words. Continued progression, like clockwork, with each daily quota. It’s still somewhere near the 66-70% done marker, but with a book that has to tie up this much, that’s probably not a surprise to any of you. As to when, roughly, this draft will be finished? I’d rather not make predictions at the moment, but I do write 3000-4000 words a day for my daily quota, so rest assured there is progress.

Speaking of progress, to my utter shock I discovered it had been almost a year since I touched Stranded. Sure, it was a weekend fan project, but … Well, there was 2020. That was a thing. And Stranded appears to have been a casualty. But not a fatal one. I’ve been spending my Saturdays adding to it and getting it moving forward once more,

Of course, that isn’t my only Saturday project. Progress continues on getting the Shadow of an Empire paperback worked out. Granted, two Saturday projects (plus this being tax season) mean that it’s taking a little while, but with then there’s this next bit of news …

So one of the big questions that arose when the paperback for Axtara launched was “which would sell more?” After all, there’s a lot of debate and discussion between various authors about how their sales line up, and I was curious myself to see which edition sold better. After all, even I’ve received comments from people along the lines of “Well, I don’t do ebooks, and most people don’t, so real sales will be better for you.”

Well, now I have early data for that. The paperback for Axtara has been available for more than a month, the digital edition a few weeks longer. And how are the numbers shaking out?

Well, for a bit there they were neck and neck. But one, over the last few weeks, has begun to pull ahead. Readers, it would appear that at least for my sales, ebooks are still the final word.

Appear. I do not have some sales numbers. I know that paperback copies of Axtara can be ordered from a few European and South American bookstores, both of which claim to have copies on hand. Not sure when I’d see sales numbers for those, but I’m quite certain they’d be delayed, so again, appears. Right now, it looks like the ebook sales are stronger, though. Ebook copies of Axtara certainly sell with more regularity and numbers than the paperback.

There’s not really a takeaway from this, save that this is interesting to note. I am amused to observe that where most authors tend to be extremely one or the other (90% to 10% for ebook or paperback), so far things seem almost 50-50 with what I’ve offered. I’m not sure if that’ll level out one way or the other eventually, or if I’ve just got a wider range of readers or what, but it certainly is interesting to watch!

I suppose if there’s anything to wrap this up on, it’d be that Unusual Things actually does have a facebook presence! The Unusual Creations page gets links to all the site posts as they go up, and yes, this includes the weekly Being a Better Writer posts. Which means that they’re easier to share with people than ever if you’re inside the Facebook sphere. Like the page to get notifications of posts, and then you can easily hit “share” and send them to anyone else on Facebook who might be interested (like the Facebook writing groups and circles some of you hang out it).

It’s not much. All the links are external and will go back to this site, as the post shares on Facebook are just links to here. But it does make it easier for those of you who were looking to drop someone a link, so hopefully some of you find that new freedom useful!

Oh! One more bit of news here: Expect a new topic call for Being a Better Writer topics very soon. There’s only one item left on Topic List #16, and I’ve already started setting topics down on list #17, so the call will arrive either this week or next. Start thinking about what topics you would like to see Being a Better Writer discuss!

And with that, I’m going to get back to work on Starforge (and procrastinating my taxes). Have an excellent St. Patrick’s Day, readers!

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