Attention readers! It’s time for news, and I’ve got a doozy of a post for you in that regard.
So those of you that are long-time followers of the site may recall that back before I injured my knee, at least once a year I would head up to Alaska to work on a fishing boat and make some cash. Then I injured my knee, the injury was permanent, and that pretty much put and end to that.
Well, last week I got a call. A deckhand had quit short notice, and my old employer wanted to know if I wanted to try the job again. After some back and forth and agreement that we’ll have to play a lot of the job by ear due to my knee, but also that it’ll be a bit more relaxed than the “Witness me!” levels of commercial fishing’s usual dedication.
So I agreed to it. So near the end of next week, I’ll leave for Alaska on what will probably be close to three weeks of work. Though there is some variance with that. Two weeks is just the average, but there’s also the work getting the boat ready to go, getting the gear on it, etc.
Hopefully, I make it through without doing any extra damage to my knee, and come back with enough money to live at least the next few months without fear of immediate eviction (do not ask what my bank account looks like at the moment, just don’t).
Now, what does this mean for the site? Well … very little actually. I can schedule posts on Unusual Things, so there won’t be much change here outside of me being unable to approve comments from posters that look a lot like spam. But I’ll be writing next Monday’s Being a Better Writer post today, and then a bunch of them (along with other posts) next week before I leave, so posts here will still go up.
However, other sites that get excerpts of those posts? They don’t have scheduling. So before I leave each will get a notification post, and then person that follows the site through those locations will simply have to exercise their own efforts to come to the main site and see what the content is each week. Sorry, folks. There’s only so much I can do.
Anyway, there will be content while I’m gone (and if things stretch on really long, I’ll try to make some posts from my phone). When I get back, I’ll hit each of the places that don’t have scheduled updates or feeds with a nice summary post.
This does have other effects, of course. Remember Shadow of an Empire’s paperback copy? Well, I’m unlikely to get the proof before I leave (and even if I did, it’d be stuck with me in Alaska where it couldn’t do much good and I couldn’t do much work on it). Which means … release of the paperback will be delayed a bit.
Sorry guys. This was just unexpected. So … September then. Basically, as soon as I get back, I can get the proof ordered, and then once any errors there are cleared up, the book can go live.
Now, onto other news!
So today will likely see another short story Pre-Alpha up on Patreon for Patreon Supporters. This is another goofy one from my list of ideas that I started working on yesterday. It took some different directions from what I expected, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it. If you’re a Patreon Supporter, check this evening to see if its up!
Speaking of smaller writing projects like this, I sat down Wednesday and plotted out a new Jacob Rocke novel! That’s right, I went all the way back. It’s been several years since the last Jacob Rocke adventure, and over eight years since he last got an adventure of his own.
Where’s he headed this time? What’s he up against? Sorry, that’d be spoiling. It probably won’t be a long novel. But it will be more than a novella. There’s still some fleshing out to do, as the framework has bones but it needs more … body … to it, but at long last, it’s finally happening. I’ve only been saying I’d get to it for how many years?
Axtara lovers know that this means another Axtara book is on its way as well, and yes, that’s the other book I plan to start plotting in earnest next week and while I’m out on this fishing trip. Book two of Axtara, tentatively titled Magic and Mayhem is the other project I want to tackle getting the plot and setup ready for. So we’re getting closer to another Axtara adventure!
However, neither book will start the drafting process until Starforge is in editing. Sorry folks, but Starforge still does need to get out and into the hands of the public. When I come back from this trip, I’ll do the plotting and the planning, write a few more stories for More Unusual Events … and then it’ll be time to start the Pre-Alpha for Starforge. The draft is done, but the project is far from finished!
Actually, let me talk about More Unusual Events for a moment, since I’ve barely mentioned it before. Honestly, it’s pretty self-explanatory: It’s another short story collection. Despite Unusual Events complete lack of success financially (it only just recently finally paid for its cover production costs, taking five years to do so and to date still the least popular and successful of my books, the simple truth is that sometimes I want to work on shorter stuff, and little ideas tend to pile up from time to time. I don’t know when it’ll come out, because I’m quite literally just pumping these shorts out to decompress mentally, but yes, at some point there will be enough of them that I’ll put out another short story collection.
Speaking of books that have made their costs back, the other day I took a look at my lifetime sales and earnings, and you know what I discovered? Colony accounts for about half of my lifetime author earnings. Jungle a quarter. Yeah, and most of that is in the last two years. The first two books of the UNSEC Trilogy account for about 75% of all the money I’ve made writing.
Now, I think Shadow of an Empire will start adding a bit more once I drop the paperback, and Axtara clearly is too new to have made a massive impact—though she’s certainly putting on a strong show to start—but I was impressed both to see how much I’d made off my writing in the last two years (compared to all the years before) and how much of it was because of Colony and Jungle.
Also, when we factor in that Jungle has been out for only half the time Colony has, it means that the two really are selling almost one-to-one, something I’d noticed in the day to day sales over the last year or two. Basically if you buy Colony, there’s a very high chance you’ll buy Jungle in the coming weeks. That’s impressive follow-through.
Oh, but while we’re talking about Colony, do you know what other impressive milestone it has passed by? Well, I just took the time to look it over. On KDP, Colony has seen more than half a million pages read. 576,000 pages worth of Colony have been read by readers in its lifetime. That’s over 100,000 pages read per year.
Better yet, when I break that down by the page count size for the book, and then add that to the straight sales, the resultant number is … drumroll please …
1096. That’s right! Colony has broken 1000 copies sold! And it’s still selling!
Okay, I feel I need to add some clarification here. The average book that is indie sells about 250 copies lifetime. The average trad pub book? 3000. Total. As in, ever.
Colony breaking 1000 in five years? That’s strong. It’s not “Call my agent, we have The Martian-level breakout.” But it’s also not “This is just another book.”
Colony selling over 1000 in five years is awesome. Jungle is trailing behind it, but given the near 1-to-1 sales ratio it’s kept up, I imagine it won’t take it too much longer.
And then Starforge is coming …
Well I feel good now. So I’m going to end this news post on one last detail. I’ve had several people ask me lately about when Colony will be a movie or a TV show someplace like Netflix or Amazon. The thing is … I don’t determine that.
You do. And that’s what I’ve been telling people. I don’t make that call. The only call I make is to a lawyer when someplace like Netflix or Amazon comes to me looking to purchase rights. And they only do that because people like you let them know that you want to see Colony made into a show or a series.
Believe me, I’d love to see Colony on a streaming service, live action or even animated. It’d be cool. But I don’t have any power over that past granting permission.
You people that are asking me … you’re asking the wrong person. I’m glad you want to see a show, but telling me about it is basically a dead end outside of stoking my ego. Bug the services. Bug Amazon, or Netflix, and ask them when you’ll be able to see Colony on their service. They’re the ones making those decisions. Not me.
All right, I need to finish this story and get to work on Being a Better Writer posts for the next few weeks. Out!