Reinventing the Author (a housekeeping update)
Hey, guess what?
That's right, I've finished a book and it's going to be released soon! It's called Poster Child and it will be the fourth in the Maxima City Talent Series. This is pretty huge in and of itself, so I'll soon do a dedicated post with the cover, blurb, and hopefully a pre-order link, but this post is going to be a little bit more about my broader writing career. Specifically, what's going on now that I'm sort of almost out of retirement.
Well, first things first, I want to note that I don't expect to match the publishing pace I had between 2014 and 2018. While I have a nice backlog of ideas I'm working on, there are several factors that will slow me down including, but not limited to the fact that I now work full time, my brain is aging, and Star Trek just keeps on putting out new shows. But I do have ideas. I'm planning to start with a couple of short stories I've had on the back burner for a long time.
Which brings me to my next bit of housekeeping news. I'm planning to pull my shortest short story. SELIA's Promise was published in July of 2017. Since then, it has been purchased 12 times, downloaded for free 425 times, and has 349 page reads (which comes out to 7 full story reads through Kindle Unlimited). It was also the first of my published works to sink to the 3 million mark in rank. Needless to say, for a book that's been around almost 5 years, these are pretty poor stats.
And yes, I'll admit, that is part of the reason I'm pulling it. A big part. But the other part is the fact that while it's a neat little Twilight Zone-esque homage, it is, in fact, a particularly short short story at just under 6000 words. I can absolutely see why someone would not want to pay a full buck for that. Going forward, anything less than 15000 words will not be published as a stand alone work. In fact, one I've written a few more short stories, I'll likely bundle SELIA's Promise into a collection and publish that.
But I'm not going to quietly remove the file and pretend it never existed. I'm going out with a bang. Beginning tomorrow, March 17th 2022, for 5 days, SELIA's Promise will be free to anyone who would like to grab it before it disappears.
As for my other short short, All the Nothing We've Done, well, I was kind of planning to do the same thing. While not quite as unpopular, it's still a rather short (less than 10k words) story, however one rather minor, yet not minor to me, thing is keeping me from taking this one down. As of right now, it is the only work of mine that has a review in France. You see, if I unpublish, I lose that review and even though I still assert that authors (and service providers of all sort) are too hung up on reviews, seeing them come in from around the world makes me happy. So for now, All the Nothing We've Done is spared.
As for the rest of my books, well, some of them are getting on in years. This November, The Eyes of The Sun will be turning 10, which is a pretty big deal, but it's also a reminder that some readers might find it a bit outdated and I myself might look back at certain words or sentiments with a newfound awareness. How I plan to navigate this is still being decided, but I will definitely be trying to breathe a little new life into some of my more recent series, especially those that might have more stories to tell.
And in doing that I'll have another decision to make. Do I want to once again try to publish wide? Back in 2019, I decided to expand beyond Amazon, only to find that there really wasn't too much of a market without doing a bit of promoting. Since I wasn't active, I decided to bring everything back under the KDP heading in hopes of simplifying my taxes and maybe catching up with the Kindle Unlimited income I was not getting while my books were widely available.
Unfortunately, in returning, it seems not only are there less Unlimited readers these days, but apparently there are enough people trying to game the system that when I did see a meager uptick in page reads, I would not long after receive a letter from Amazon claiming they were invalid, meaning I wouldn't get royalties for them. While I understand that people trying to game the system is terrible, what I took away from this is that because someone else was misbehaving, Amazon, a company that makes billions every time I exhale, refused to pay me a whopping five bucks that I had no way of knowing I hadn't legitimately made. So you can see why I may not feel as loyal as I did 10 years ago.
So for now, that's it. I'm once again officially an author, if not a paid one at the moment, and I can't wait to introduce everyone to my latest Maxima City villains in the near future.