Friday, February 15, 2013

KickStarter, Planning, and Confidence.

So my KickStarter was a roaring success! I'm immensely pleased with the results, and have been doing my very best to get rewards and bonuses out to backers immediately. Of course, I don't have final drafts just yet, but I should have those ready by the time the covers are done, at least. Hopefully it won't be too long before all of my stories are available!

In fact, I have a lot of stories in the works. I'm currently 151 pages into the first book of the sequel series that follows the Rewritten arc; at least two more books will follow it. In fact, I've split the sequel series into two series, so there may be three arcs altogether. I'm also aiming to write short stories mapping the lives of over seventy Qol characters from beginning to end, though these won't be available until after the novels are released to avoid spoilers. If people are interested, I would also like to write some of the novels from the perspectives of other characters to offer a different view of the events. Beyond these, I'm currently using a program called Aeon Timeline to organize all of the character stories; once all of the books are published, I'll make that file available for free.

So Qol is getting a lot of attention at the moment. Between six and ten more novels, seventy-some-odd character shorts, as many as six alternate perspective novels, and a timeline spanning over a hundred years are all in the works.

I've also been working on a series of novellas set in an alternate, steampunk version of the Meiji Restoration in Japan. Backers of my first KickStarter got to preview the first story of the set, but all subsequent stories will be fifteen chapters long--between 15,000 and 45,000 words (60 - 180 pages) total, depending on the story. I have them plotted out in detail, and I hope to have them written and edited by the end of the year. The working titles for these stories are: The Great Ships (short story), Hitsuzen, Sadame, Fox Train, The Squeeze, and Fall Together Like Clockwork. If these are successful, I may write even more of them--after all, I did over a thousand pages of research to get as accurate of information as possible for these!

I also have a collection of assorted short stories tentatively called Unmaking in the works. 90% of them have been written and edited as of right now; I plan to release them in bundles of three or four for $0.99 and then as a collection with all six or seven bundles (totalling about twenty stories) for $2.99. They're primarily retellings of old myths, fairy tales, and so forth, only placed in a range of settings from the creation of the universe to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. They should start coming out in the next several weeks, with any luck.

So, in summary, I have the following planned for release in 2013 and 2014:
  • 6 Qol novels
  • 70 Qol character short stories
  • 6 bundles of other short stories (~20 stories altogether)
  • 6 steampunk novellas
  • Total: currently estimating about 4000 book-sized pages. (May total anywhere from 2500 to 6000 pages, though, depending on numerous factors.)
Many of these are already written, and almost all of the others are planned in great detail, so I think that this may be doable. If I work as quickly as I did during November, I may have all of these written, edited, formatted, the and published with covers designed by yours truly by mid-2014 or sooner. Unless, of course, it turns out that a planned story is a total flop on the page--not all ideas pan out in the actual execution, after all.

The main setback that I've experienced thus far, though, is my own lack of confidence in myself. I struggle with marketing my stories, and I worry that people won't enjoy my books, even if I do. Though I understand that all authors encounter this particular predicament, I'm still figuring out how to overcome my nerves and actually hit the publish button. After all, a story is never really done. A point just comes when you're "editing sideways," as my friend, Hildred Billings, once put it. I may or may not be approaching that point on many of the stories in my queue.

But it's tough for me to identify that point with anything approaching confidence, as I want the books to be perfect. There's no such thing as perfection, of course, which lets me put off putting myself out there for indefinite amounts of time. I'm working on that right now, though--you'll all get to see when I hit that point, because I'll suddenly inundate all of you with several novels, short stories, and novellas all at once, most likely. Here's hoping that day will come soon!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me!

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