Readers! I have grand news! I am back from the north!
That’s right, I have returned from my expedition to the north! And well … let’s just say I think it was a good thing I queued up so many posts in advance, because wouldn’t you know it, things went wrong.
Nothing major. At least, not for this post. I arrived, we got geared up, everything was ready to go … but when the time came for the ship to depart … The depth reader wasn’t working.
This is, for a boat, a pretty vital piece of machinery. Especially when it not only tells you how far away the bottom is, but what kind of bottom it is (something critical for the type of fishing we were about to do). The machine, twenty-plus years old, had finally croaked. It was far beyond support from the original manufacturer, who had already been folded into another company, so that avenue was out of the question. And because these units aren’t exactly modular … Well … we were out of luck.
The result? Money had to be dropped on a new depth reader. Entirely. Which was not cheap, and in an added bit of “of course the universe works like that” took some time to arrive. Combine that with some other stuff, and bingo boom, I’ve been up there for two weeks and we still haven’t made it out on the water.
Once we did, things went largely according to plan. But these delays meant that yes, once again the trip took longer than was initially quoted at me. Hence, my preparation in adding several extra weeks of posts to the original estimate.
Point being, I’m back and I’m glad I prepped in advance? So … what now?
Well, with all of May pretty much a write off (I made my goal a much more realistic quarter of my normal goal and due to the extended trip couldn’t even make that), moving into June there’s one big project on my mind: Starforge.
As of right now, the goal with Starforge is still to work for a November release. Alpha 1 has shown some really rough spots and dissatisfaction with a few elements, so the next few weeks for me are going to be focused on pulling together things and making changes and fixes to try and ready the draft up for Alpha 2.
And this will need Alpha 2 readers. All hands on deck for this one, because there’s a large number of fixes in the wings, but also because I will need feedback on those fixes and what’s already there. So expect to hear more about Starforge in the coming weeks, because my immediate aim—well, once I stop feeling so sore and battered; fishing work really takes it out of you—is to hit Starforge and hit it hard.
Of course, this isn’t all I need to do, but I don’t want to make a first page titan, so for the rest of the upcoming summer, hit that jump.
In addition to Starforge, I will be reposting social media links for the posts that dropped over the course of my trip away, timing those for days when the site normally doesn’t see a lot of activity. There were regular readers during my weeks in Alaska, and the site actually did pretty well, but there were a few dips from sources that normally access the site via other channels that couldn’t be automated with their referral links.
So yes, there will be some reposting and linking in the weeks to come to catch folks from other sites up on what they missed. Starting with this week’s post on taking ordinary elements and making them engaging with an audience.
Yes, I linked it there.
In addition, there are still new Being a Better Writer posts coming each Monday, and we’ve got some fun topics headed your way. As always, Being a Better Writer will keep delivering! Thank you, by the way, to those of you that support BaBW through Patreon to help keep it ad-free and open to all!
So what else is there to talk about? Well, I did do some writing brainstorming during my trip. Figuring stuff out for various future books and writing projects. Starforge is the big one right now, but there will be more books coming after that, and a few more details and concepts have now been worked out or at least added to the pile. Currently the plan is to work on a new Jacob Rocke story next, followed by an Axtara sequel, and somewhere in there as well start polishing on another Unusual Events short story collection, since I’ve got a pile of short stories now that need an outlet. Yeah, I know Unusual Events is by far my worst seller, but some people still picked it up, and it’s not like leaving all these shorts sitting on my drive is doing anyone any good.
Writing past that? Well I’ve got ideas and concepts for that too, but I want to keep that loose and flexible, then set it in stone as the dates draw closer. That said, neither a new Jacob Rocke book or a new Axtara title should take more than a few months to write, as neither is a juggernaut like Starforge. So next year should see the reveal of a number of new books, as well as at least one of them getting a release. Maybe two!
Now, with all this, there is something serious I need to bring up. Well, a few serious things. Basically, I’m looking at doing some price restructuring. Of both my books and Patreon.
Patreon has basically needed it for a while now, as the old goals no longer represent what’s going on over here on the site. Meanwhile, the prices of books, as with everything else lately due to inflation, have gone up up up, something I noticed when I was buying books for my trip. Even in the price category I aimed my own works at, I’ve noticed that my own works are now a bit cheaper than everyone else. Their prices have climbed and mine haven’t.
How much? Well remember this post on the prices of books and asking whether or not books were more expensive than they were in the 90s? Well, if I punch in the prices I worked out then, inflation and whatnot has jumped enough in the few years since that post that the $4.99 book now no longer works out to $8.64, but $9.73.
So yes, it’s time to update the prices of my books. This quite literally means that without me adjusting the price of a single book in the last few years, the price has dropped by about 12%. Which means it is time to adjust everything.
Don’t worry, this isn’t happening yet. I’m not just going to drop this on everyone. And the tail discounts will continue to exist. What will happen is that there will be a big, heavily publicized post letting everyone know what the price adjustments are going to be, explaining why, and setting a date for the new prices to take effect by (though given how the store operates, it may take up to 72 hours after that for the update to happen).
Point being, everyone will know, and you’ll have a chance to see the old price and grab what you want at that price before the shift takes place. Once the new price is in place, it should keep for … well, I’ve not updated my pricing since I started publishing almost ten years ago. So it’s been a pretty good run considering all the inflation we’ve seen. The new prices will be aimed at keeping things consistent with what the price would be once adjusted for inflation.
Note that paperback pricing, at this time, has no planned changes. Both the paperback releases are recent enough that they’re still holding fairly steady with what they should be, and so they’re up to date. It’s stuff like the ebook releases that have been out for a while that need an update.
So, that’s a bit on what’s coming and what to look forward to. Quite naturally there will be Being a Better Writer content each Monday, additional posts on a variety of things during the coming weeks, and basically business as usual as we head into summer.
So gear up folks, and get ready to read. Unusual Things is back and rolling!
I’ll see you folks in a few.