Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book 5 is done

So, I just finished the rewrite on book 5, and sent it off to my beta readers. It's 91K words long, which makes it half again as long as the previous books in the series. I'm honestly thinking of charging 4.99 instead of 3.99 for this one. If I do, I'll have it on sale at 3.99 for like the first ten days or so.
There's a lot that goes on in this book, I just hope I got it captured right.

Not sure on the pub date yet. I still need to send it to the editor.

I think I'm gonna play wolfenstein for the rest of the day.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

POI Book 5 almost done

So, I passed 80K words today, I think this one is going to come in at 90K, which means it's going to be almost a third longer than the longest one in this series so far. I've got about three more chapters to write, then the first draft is done. I think it will take about a week to edit, so I don't know if it will be out before the end of this month (sadly) but barring any incidents, it should be out in the first week of August, at the latest.

I hope you all like it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

No More Furry Fiction

(Note: This does not apply to my POI series, nor the other series I have in the works.)

Sorry to have to announce this, but the piracy of my anthro works has become so bad in the 'furry fandom' that it's destroyed my sales of those works, and now I'm losing money on them. So I won't be writing them anymore, unless paid up front.
I have bills to pay, I have to eat. So I'm only going to write those things I actually make money on. Sales of the Anthro stuff have never equaled my other stuff, because it is a SMALL market. But I enjoy writing that stuff, because it's where my roots as a writer are. So I was willing to deal with the smaller profit. But when I find my stuff being spread throughout the fandom and my sales of it crash the same week that the pirated files hit a fan site:

Well, I'm done.

I do not understand the reasoning of people who think that stealing the work of people who are producing the stuff they like will encourage them to make more. No, it encourages us to stop.

I apologize to all of you who like my work, and wanted to see more in the COS arc, and the COS universe. I'm sorry that there will not be a sequel to Interregnum, as a project it has been shelved.

Friday, July 17, 2015

On Ear Worms and other such things

This is the song stuck in my head this morning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0CYB5V9e64

Songs like this do have an effect on my writing at times, because they make you think. I actually happened to like several of the songs from this album. You can really hear the pain.

So, these are the things that run through your authors mind while writing.
Well at least this one maybe.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

On my Patreon account

I started this account about two months ago, to see if there would be much interest, and yes, to help pay the bills. While it has attracted several very nice people, I'm starting to think that the folks who buy my books either are not in the Patreon demographic, they don't know about it, or it's just not the sort of thing they want to engage in (which is fine, I have no problem with that).

So, I'm going to give it a few months longer, and see if it perhaps improves, but if it doesn't, I'll either scrap it completely, or just leave it as a place people can throw money at me if they want, but without any rewards. The reasons for doing this are simple, I'm making maybe $5 an hour for what I do there. While writing does pay less than minimum wage fairly often (take that burger flippers!), it does pay more than that. (I work 60+ hours a week, and I have to pay special extra taxes because I'm self employed - yes I love what I do, but the pay sucks).

I think I'll just add a paypal donate button to my sites, and see if that helps. And who knows? Maybe the people who pirate me (and love to tell me how much they're 'helping' me) will toss me a few bucks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Five, The Problem Child

Okay, no that's not the title, but I almost think it should be.

Book five in some ways has been very hard to write and full of troubles. Not just the book itself, mind you. But events and circumstances that have surrounded my writing it. And no, this is not a 'the book is going to be way late' posts, I actually passed 60K words last night. It's just that at this time, I have no idea right now how long it -will- be.

Let's back up a bit, just to put things in context. Book Four was really supposed to be Book Five, that is, some of the overarching story arcs (and there are a couple) were supposed to be 'progressed' in Book Four. But I had to alter a few things, and change a couple of things plot wise when I got to the finer details, and suddenly what was supposed to be a short segment had to become a much longer one and some things couldn't be addressed and hence they got pushed back to Book Five.

As some of you may remember, when Book Four was being wrapped up and prepared for final edit and review, my Father died unexpectedly. As I live on the far side of the country, AND I wasn't even home at the time, but was a twelve-hour drive from home, it had a huge effect on the schedule, as well as my life. If any of you have ever had to deal with an unexpected death in the family, you know that there are family issues, as well as legal issues, that continue for months afterwards. I've had to travel back east a second time since then to help deal with those issues, and all of that has Book Five about a month behind schedule. Which is why I'm now working twelve to fourteen hour days to try and get it to everyone when I said I would.

I'd also determined early on, that I wanted Book Five to be a bit longer, about twenty pages longer. In part because I want to keep my readers happy, and in part because there was a lot I wanted to put into this story, there was a lot of ground and plot points I want to cover.

So last night I'm sitting there, and I'm in the middle of a major act in the book, and I'm starting to estimate how many words will it take me to finish the act, figuring out what I need to cover and about how much space that will take. And then I start thinking about the next (and final) act in this installment. And I realized that I'm gonna go long. I'm not sure how long, I could easily go a lot longer than I really want to, hell I could go forty thousand more words long if I'm not careful!

So I started wondering if maybe I should make Book Five a two-part episode thing? But then, not only would that be messing with the initial concept and even the title of this book, but it means I'd have to immediately start on the next one, or the complaints about leaving everybody hanging could turn into people (figuratively) knocking on my door and yelling at me.

And none of us want that, right? Right?

So yeah, I wanted to have the first draft done in two more days, and I'm starting to think that it's probably going to be more like a week, and I'll be spending another weekend working. I won't know just how long it will be, or will take, until I'm about halfway through the next act. But I should know by Friday.

So, all in all, this book in the series has been a problem child, with much conspiring against it. I will be incredibly happy when it's finally finished, edited, and published.

-John

Monday, July 13, 2015

Been editing all weekend

And this song has been stuck in my mind:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbpS2LfoTKU

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lots of long hours this week

So book five continues to progress, and I'm feeling pretty confident about having the first draft complete by next Friday, the 17th. The only thing I'm not sure about is the size, I know what I want to it be, but right now I'm just not sure if I can cover all the parts of the story I want to in that size. So I guess it's possible the story might run a bit longer than first planned. I guess I will just have to see.

This week has been pretty productive however, and I've been working fairly long hours. As in to 11pm almost every night this week. There have been a lot of 12+ hour days this week, and a couple of 14 hour ones. But a lot has been written, over twenty thousand words, I'd have to look at my writing journal for an exact count. I have come up with what I'd like the cover to look like, so I'll be contacting Dane, my cover artist and setting up that work tomorrow. By this time next week, I'll probably have the cover done. I'd love to be able to release on the 25th, but until I get the first draft done, I'm a bit hesitant on committing.

I bought two sets of glass for wearing while writing, started trying them out today, when you're spending 12 hours a day staring at a monitor, it does lead to eyestrain. Once I get this and my next book out (Lost Souls - it's a YA novel) I'm definitely taking a week off to recuperate before starting on the next novel.

I don't know how much I've mentioned about Lost Souls here, and as it's 2am (can't sleep) I don't feel like going back and looking. But basically it's one of a couple of books I wrote a while ago, primarily for my own enjoyment. They're high fantasy, set it a world reminiscent of JRR Tolkien. I shared them with a few folks a couple of months ago (I did a re-write on Lost Souls over the winter while I was doing that contract up in Oregon), and the response I got was rather surprising. So, I need to make a few minor changes to Lost Souls, commission a cover, and then I'll be able to publish that as well. I'll probably work on it while Book Five of POI (Demigods and Deities) is being proofread by my editor and beta readers.

I do need to try and get myself back on a better schedule though, writing until ten or eleven every night is probably not a good habit, and I do need to get out more. But sometimes I do get caught up in it, and I know everyone wants to see the next book, so I've been pressing on ahead. I'm even going to be working on it this weekend as well, (normally I avoid working on the weekends) because with all of the family issues this year I'm about a month behind schedule, and I really do need to get caught back up. There's so much to do, and some days it feels like there is hardly enough time to do it.

But honestly, you all make it so worthwhile. I love my job.
-John

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A Little Venting

So, some of you may have heard (though most of you probably not) that Amazon changed the payout method for the authors of books in the Kindle Unlimited program. The reason for this change was that a very large number of authors were gaming or scamming the system.

Eh, gaming is too kind, they were scamming it and they knew it.

See, in the old system, you got paid when your book was borrowed and someone read 10%. Everyone got the same amount, no matter how big, or how small. So needless to say the scammers took advantage of this, which not only drove the share from $2.40 down to $1.35, but it forced Amazon to pour tens of millions of dollars into the program to keep the people who were actually WRITING BOOKS from leaving (that would be people like me, BTW).

Now the scammers came in two flavors. The worse were the people who would put out a ten or so page book, with one or two pages of original content, and then the rest was all just shit cut and pasted off of the internet. Those people, as a whole, raked in millions, and as fast as Amazon could find them, they left and created a new account.

The other flavor were people who just wrote short stories, lots and lots of short stories, usually serials and series. They'd take what would have been, say a 200 page book, and would turn it into twenty 10 page books, so suddenly they're getting $20 instead of $1.35 like everyone else. Those people scammed Amazon out of TENS of MILLIONS of dollars.

'But Wait' you say, 'How was that a scam? They were selling real stories!'
Well no, they weren't. You see, if they were selling real stories, then people would have been buying their stories on Amazon, in regular sales. But they weren't, their actual sales were probably less than 1% of their borrows. They'd make between 3K and 10K a month (some way more than that) from their borrows, and maybe $10 a month from their actual sales. They'd go on and on about how great they were, but as long as someone read the first page or two, and then moved on to the next one, they made bank. Because the people borrowing the books are getting them for free, so they don't care, and they're not going to complain.

These people are now crying and screaming the loudest. They ripped off Amazon by taking advantage of the system, and now that Amazon got tired of losing about a hundred million dollars and went to a system that is a lot more fair, they're all upset that they can't continue to publish shit and rake in money hand over fist.

I like to point at them and laugh. A lot. Because they got what they deserved, it's just too bad it didn't happen a lot sooner.

For me, this may very well mean that my Novels will start getting more money, instead of less, because there aren't all these scamphlet writers diluting the pot. Also this has encouraged me, and a lot of other writers, to put our longer and more expensive works in the program. Which is what Amazon wants. They don't want a sea of short stories written by scammers trying to rip off the system, they want decent novels and longer books. And with this system, that only pays on pages actually read, if you fill up 90%  of your book with crap, or if you can't write all that well to keep people reading, you won't get money you haven't earned.

Despite what you may be hearing, this isn't a loss for authors, but a win. It's a loss for people who were ripping off the system. Those who can actually write will adjust accordingly and move on. Those that can't, well I really don't care what happens to them.