Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Second Library Event Infinitely More Successful

Good times at the McCall Public Library over the weekend. Met two writers at the free training event from the local writing scene. This is an infinite percentage of improvement over the zero attendees at the last McCall event. One had several books ready for production/conversion, and the other had a particular skill set, gained over a lifetime, that he was weaving into an alternate history in lieu of writing an ill-advised autobiography. Both expressed appreciation for the donated time and resource material, and I look forward to having more to bring to the table the next time I'm in town.

I'm getting a little antsy about the audiobook. How long does it take an envelope to get to Connecticut from Idaho? The only thing holding Apprentice Swordceror: The Audiobook back from the virtual shelves is my producer's receipt and acknowledgement of final payment. The check was only mailed Friday afternoon, so perhaps it's me just being impatient. Eager to see how well this gamble moving into the realm of audio pays off.

Found out this weekend that the children like stand-up-paddleboards and Skidoos. Hoping the audio pays off big.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Filling Up

Last section of audio proofing sent back to my producer. Thinking about music and/or sound effects for before and after. Partying with relatives tonight, and local authors tomorrow. Using audio proofing notes to finalize edits for eBook and print on Apprentice. Working up curriculum based on my Self-Publishing Handbook to teach a class on it next Saturday at the McCall Public Library. Pushing along on book 3.
Schedules are falling into place and filling up more quickly than is sometimes convenient. It's still a heck of a ride, one I'm thankful to be on.
Stay tuned, more to come.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Lengthy Discussion

The publishing industry is shifting once again, much in part to my mega-conglomerate benefactor, Amazon. With the advent of Kindle Unlimited, a more library/Netflix for books type model of reading subscription membership, some authors are poised to see huge gains in readership and revenue, while others stand to lose out. Just where each of us stand remains to be seen.

After poring over the forums to see just how people predict what the consequences of this new delivery model might be, I've come across some interesting theories. Many seem to think that shorter titles will see the greatest benefit in the new system. One such theorist seemed to think that there might be a sweet spot of around forty thousand words that would move to the forefront of profitability. Price and length will begin to have less bearing on profit than presence and engagement. A $.99 book on 35% royalty borrowed under the Unlimited plan would get the same fee as a $9.99 one on the 70% plan. Since payment hinges on a percentage read, (approximately 10% of the work), a 40k word count novella would pay out on a borrow much sooner than a 100k word novel. At the same price.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing this series for Amazon. They just happen to still be my exclusive distribution channel. Things change, they could change again just as quickly in the opposite direction. I would, in no way, make a production decision based just on a possibly temporary shift in the way the marketplace works.

However. I'm sitting just under 50k words on book 3. Some authors can churn out that kind of volume in a month. Not I. I'm still not at a stopping point, rather swinging into a new batch of characters, potential allies, and revelations of fresh betrayal. It's feeling like the book could reach its natural end around the 60-65k mark, instead of the 90k target I had arbitrarily imposed.

Would that be a bad thing? A sooner delivery on the third installment. A lower beginning price point. The flexibility to let the story take its course as it will, without needing to pad the word count.

Of course, if that's where the characters take the story, it's where they take it. I'd be a fool to try and stop them, as they've gotten us all this far. Some of my favorite books growing up were the fairly short Lloyd Alexanders, loved them.

Would it be a huge mistake? Would any of you be upset at a shorter book, if it happened that way? I mean, if Sverre decides to go berserk because he finishes the book in an afternoon, I don't think the TSA is going to be a lot of help at that point. That's not what I want, not at all.

Let me know what you're thinking. Use all caps if you need to. I can take it.

Thanks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

True... That?

Have you ever wondered about the truth? I mean, seriously? Beyond the scope of asking what the definition of 'is' is?
Truth is generally not my stock in trade, as I get to fabricate reality in The Blademage Saga. However, lately I've been forced to think about it quite a bit more than usual.
My part-time consulting gig has been picking up, and I've been working with the overly-talented James Eicher, a previously published author, on his upcoming eBook, Ecology of Truth.
Lacking the multiple degrees Mr. Eicher possesses, and just a bit intimidated at his vocabulary (that almost never happens), I have come to appreciate the complexity and wit in the subject matter whilst formatting it for its August Kindle release. After the first formatting run-through, I mentioned to James that the depth of the material reminded me both of Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth, and Gary Zukav's The Dancing Wu Li Masters. This seemed to please him.
Anyway, he's a great guy, and a former Micron alum like myself. Instead of leaking Fantasy like my brain does, James has arranged thoughts on Ecology, Ontology, Epistemology, and a few more -ologies in a concise, deep, but lighthearted romp through religion, politics, and ultimately, the truth.
I'll be adding James and his book to the 'Friends of The Blademage Saga' section soon, and hope to have him relaunch my semi-regular interview feature sometime later this month or early next month.