The Friday News and Such

Hey there everyone! It’s time for a news post, keeping you all up to date on what’s going on and all. But this week we’re going to start off with an odder bit of news that’s less to do with writing and more just to do with the personal goal of me getting healthier.

Back in the end of June I picked up a Fitbit. I did this with the goal of measuring my workouts and tuning them to be more effective. To that end, I will say I was shocked with some of the results. Some of the routes I was following that I assumed would have been decent workouts were, in fact, not that great, and some of the routes that “common sense” would have said weren’t that great were actually my best in terms of caloric burn and cardio.

The power of a little data, right?

Anyway, there was a little bump in the middle where I got sick and lost a week of workouts while eating … not so great food … but the result is that currently I am, since June, down about thirteen pounds, and still heading further down.

Now that’s nice to have lost, isn’t it. It’s not a shock diet, or a carb fast, or anything like that. It’s just having metrics and a willingness. Well, and the bike. The holiday pounds are on their way out!

I know it’s not super impactful when it comes to the site, unless that lost weight will somehow help me write faster (I doubt it, personally), but it is something that I’m very happy to be able to see progression on, day after day.

With that said, I’ve got more news for people, and more tangential to the focus of the site, so hit that jump!

All right, so we’ll start with the big news that most of you want to hear, I think. How’s Starforge coming along?

Very well, I shall reply. The Beta is underway, and I’ve been uploading chapters like mad as I get them finished. See, I do my own Beta editing before passing it off to the Beta Readers, and so right now I’m uploading chapter after chapter as I read through them (in another font, even), line by line looking for errors. And that’s after I do a gigantic search of the entire story with the “Find” tool, looking for some of the most common errors that I both make and the tool is able to find.

I have good news on that front. I was quite amazed at how clean this draft was. I have a “catalog,” we shall say, of common typos I tend to make in my works. Double-spaces are frequent but also easily cleaned. Accidentally hitting periods and commas at the same time, or putting a space between the end of a sentence and a its period? Also distressingly common. And by common I mean that across the entire Beta draft for Colony there were something like a few dozen I had to go fix of just one of these.

But Starforge? A book that I remind you is almost twice the size of Colony? Three of the period spaces. Only one comma-period slip.

The rest of my “most common typo” list befell the same fate, and by the end of several repeated checks, I felt pretty darn good about things. Starforge may be an absolute titan of a project, but seeing the numbers on how many of my common errors I committed being so low despite its size was proof to me that even now, almost ten years later, I’m still improving.

As if to echo that, this draft is, so far, quite clean. It’s telling that the most common error I’m fixing is standardizing whether or not a few words are proper nouns—and therefore capitalized—or not. A quick query to see if my thoughts were lining up with others did lead me to this fun little post on the topic as well, and a subsequent discussion concerning the topic on Discord led to a quite fun demonstration of the conundrum in which I wrote out a sentence and then capitalized it in three different ways, all of which were both correct and incorrect depending on the context of the speaker, which the reader may not have, or more likely wouldn’t understand …

Yeah, that might end up a Being a Better Writer post in the coming weeks, because it was fun and it’s a topic I’ve not seen addressed, save that singular post I linked above, despite being very important to the editing of ones Fantasy or Sci-Fi manuscript.

But yes, Starforge is shaping up quite nicely, and with the Beta out in the world, I foresee things moving very quickly into the Copy-Edit, at which point … I throw up pre-orders.

That’s right. We’re that close. It’s almost here at last! If anything is going to give my sales the boost to hit that 10,000 total sales number before February, well, I feel like Starforge is going to be it.

Now, enough about Starforge, and let’s turn our attention to a different genre and cast: Axtara! I don’t have much news here, though yes I 100% acknowledge that a lot of you want a new Axtara book very badly and I don’t blame you, but it’s been a much longer wait for those wondering how the UNSEC trilogy would wrap up after getting Colony almost six years ago.

But that doesn’t mean Axtara is forgotten. Or ignored. In fact, just the other day it picked up a glowing review from a reader in France of all places! In fact, she’s almost at 50 reviews! Axtara is still spreading her wings and flying all over, and believe me, I am excited to get back to writing about this setting. In a way I did, as some of you may recall the very rough draft I pumped out a few weeks ago about a fisherman and a mermaid that’s set in the same world (also, it’s a world that I to my own annoyance haven’t named). Add that to the short about Axtara’s brother, and the soon to come sequel to Axtara itself, and there’s about to be a lot of content on the way.

Now, there’s one last thing I want to talk about with today’s news post: The upcoming price increase.

I spoke about this before a few months ago, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, but with the rising inflation over the last few years, a number of my books (which were already quite cheap) have moved to being far too cheap (something multiple people have complained about to my face after purchasing them, in fact, so … yay?).

Basically, with the rapid inflation of the last few years, the prices I worked out all those years ago for The Price We Pay have rapidly fallen from ‘cheap’ to ‘insanely cheap.’ And I’ve not updated my pricing since I first published One Drink, almost ten years ago.

Which is why with the launch of Starforge, I’ll be repricing each title in my library and bringing them more in line with the modern, updated price.

I’m not trying to gouge anyone here. I’ll still be using inflation adjustment calculators and the like to make sure my prices are aimed at the “supermarket mass print paperback” territory. And I won’t be eliminating the tale; older books will still keep their price roughly half that of the newest title.

But prices will be going up around Starforge‘s release. If that bothers you, well, you still have at least two months between now and then to pick up everything at the current price. But over the last year I’ve seen higher sales leading to what works out to be less money/buying power than the years before, all due to the older, lower prices and recent inflation.

I will note that this is currently only planned for the digital versions. As the paperback versions of my books are more recent, so their prices are not currently planned to change since they reflect a more modern price point. Though, now that I think about it, Axtara‘s paperback pulled down less than a penny in royalties from some bookstore markets at launch, so I may need to check that inflation hasn’t made them decide to stop carrying it (as the increased inflation might have put the royalty at a “you owe us money for selling you book” point, which would just balance out to “don’t stock that”). So, no plans to increase the paperback prices, but bookstores might think otherwise. I’ll have to look at that this weekend.

Anyway, that’s it for the news. Starforge work going well, book prices planning on going up with the launch of Starforge, and Axtara continues to dazzle and delight audiences around the world.

Now, back to the Beta!

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