First edit is almost done. I must say I am much more encouraged than I was before I read through it the first time. It was difficult to write and I'd figured it'd be a massive mess, on a level with what This Found Thing was when I started on it. But there's a lot in the material that I didn't notice when I was drafting it, and it shouldn't take me that long to get it battered into shape.
So. Tentative release date is Feb 15th. This will push back any March releases to the 15th or (depending on how much work it is) April. Given that the March release would be TFT's sequel, and the Gray Prince stories aren't as popular as either Exiles or Starbleached, I'll probably drop the Gray Prince release entirely and just go with getting the third installment of Starbleached battered into shape.
In other news...I have an endgame plan for Exiles, as it leads into a novel trilogy I've already written. The other day I sat down and planned out the releases it would take to get things into place for the trilogy. It is looking like:
-Gray Fox + 3 more 30K word stories.
-3-4 50-80K word releases, two of which would be Exiles, two of which would be tangentally related but not Exiles stories.
My brain has gone "OH FUCK" and "Well, we might as well start now."
Starbleached is still mixed up in this, so, for those of you who are book readers as well as blog readers, I have a question. The Dragon novel is still in the wings as well, and that will come out (depending on how my sales numbers stack up between now and April) either in July or (more likely) in December. So I have a question.
Would you guys like the Dragon story to be released all in one go, as a real live novel, or to be broken up as a serial novel? A serial novel would give me time to get Exiles's ducks into a row, and keep Starbleached going at the same time. I think.
Another big change I'm making: From here on out neither Exiles nor Starbleached are going to be Kindle freebies. The first installments of each series are dirt cheap, the sequels aren't going to be too much better. The only one I will continue to keep exclusive to Amazon (and thus infrequently free) will be Gray Prince.
This scares me. The free periods are the best way I've found to get new readers, and it's going to require some serious work on my part to keep from falling flat on my face. Sales this month have been great, but (as far as I know) It's mostly because I put Starbleached up as a freebie the day after Planet Bob came out. People who've been long, LONG term blog readers know I am hard on myself when it comes to my writing abilities. I don't have a lot of confidence. I guess what I'm saying is...I'm trusting you guys. And if you want to support me...it's not required, believe me folks. I like you guys no matter what you do...but if you want to, God knows I'm going to need it.
The future is looking weird. Not good, not bad, kind of everything all at once. I have sold a grand total of 142 books in six months. This isn't amazing, but it isn't a total failure. Most self-published authors only sell 150 copies of their books. We're going to see what happens. I bet I can beat that.