Realms of Light: Progress Report Eleven-A

Okay, I’m a bit more awake and less harried.

The belated Chapter Six has indeed been posted, almost a month late. My apologies. I managed to keep up through Christmas, but then things got really busy with family business, travel, and getting our house ready to go on the market.

We had six rooms repainted, four rooms and a hallway recarpeted, the cabinets refinished, and new countertops and light fixtures installed. That made it difficult to get much done here, especially when some items were delayed and we couldn’t cook for several days.

And then I had to sort through my comic book collection, more than 14,000 of the little devils, because we don’t want them here when prospective buyers tour the house, and we don’t plan to take most of them with us when we move. I thought I had six to eight thousand, so the sorting, cataloging, and packing was a much bigger job than I’d expected. It’s done now, though, so I can get back to writing, which is, after all, at least theoretically, what I do for a living.

Meanwhile, I still don’t actually have $1,500 in hand. I have $1,487. Which is close enough that I posted the new chapter anyway; I feared that if I waited any longer the whole project would be given up for dead.

It’s not dead. Not even pining for the fjords. It’s just running a little slow. And not bringing in the great waves of cash I’d like.

In view of that, and the state of the economy, and that my plans to coordinate this with other serials seem to have gone completely by the boards, I think it’s time to reconsider my pricing. I am hereby lowering the price from $300 per chapter to $250 per chapter — which means I’m $13 short of posting Chapter Seven, and if that $13 comes in, Chapter Seven will be posted on Wednesday, February 4th.

(I know Chapter Six was posted on a Friday. I don’t care. It should have been Wednesday. Maybe if I hadn’t been so busy with the comics…)

I am, by the way, still in the middle of writing Chapter Nine.

So there we are. My apologies for the delay, and I hope we can get back on track.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Nine

Well, here it is Wednesday, and I’ve only taken in $1,157 of the $1,200 needed for Chapter Five.

I might be a little more upset if it weren’t for the holidays; I’ve been too busy to give this project all that much thought today, and I suspect that’s true of several readers, as well. Kiri arrived Tuesday night and will only be here a few days, Julian’s here for about a three-week stay, and spending time with my kids seems more urgent right now than writing or posting.

Chapter Eight, by the way, is about 90% complete.

I suspect the lacking $43 will arrive soon enough, but for now — no chapter.

Long-term plans

I’ve been giving some thought to the longer term, and here’s what I’m hoping to do:

Complete Realms of Light in the spring of 2009.

Start The Final Calling in the summer of 2009. This is the Ethshar novel that finally wraps up the overall story of warlocks. I haven’t actually written any of it as yet, but I have a decent outline, and today I worked out the exact structure of the opening and how it’s going to work. I won’t start by posting Chapter One for this one, but by posting a short story called “The Warlock’s Refuge.” That story will also be a prologue to the novel, and a bridge connecting it to Night of Madness. The Final Calling will complete the warlock arc of the Ethshar series; all told it’ll be four novels and a short story: Night of Madness, “The Warlock’s Refuge,” The Unwilling Warlord, The Vondish Ambassador, and The Final Calling.

When that’s done — probably early in 2010 — I plan to serialize a science-fantasy novel called Vika’s Avenger. It’s already written; I wrote it on a whim, but ran into the fact that the current publishing market is in such bad shape that my agent doesn’t think I can get any more money for it from a real publisher than I would serializing it. This may change; if market conditions shift, it may yet wind up with a traditional publisher. If not, well — it’s twenty-eight chapters, so it’ll take six and a half months, assuming readers like it enough to keep the money coming in.

After that, late in 2010 I hope to start another Ethshar novel, either The Sorcerer’s Widow (which, despite the title, is about a pair of swindlers who may become recurring characters), or Azraya of Ethshar. I have an outline and half a chapter of The Sorcerer’s Widow, and a detailed outline of Azraya of Ethshar. Azraya has the interesting feature that several scenes in it have already been seen from different viewpoints in With A Single Spell and Taking Flight; I’m not sure whether that’ll make it easier or harder to write.

All schedules are approximate, since I don’t actually know how long three of these four novels will run, and there may be delays while I, you know, earn a living, or do other stuff. Also, any or all of these may be delayed — any time I don’t get enough money to post a chapter, that pushes everything back.

This is all subject to change, but it’s what I have in mind at the moment, and I thought some of you might be interested.

Next chapter at: $1,200
Current total: $1,135

Realms of Light: Progress Report Eight

Chapter Four has now been posted.

Seven chapters are written; I’m a couple of pages into Chapter Eight. The plot is developing in ways that weren’t in my original outline, but I think it’s all to the good. I’m estimating twenty-five chapters, but that’s really just an educated guess.

(I know some writers outline everything chapter by chapter, but I don’t work that way. Never have.)

I may have been a little too pessimistic about the slow start; things are looking up. A few people have been very generous indeed, which helps.

I tweaked the colors slightly; anyone still have a problem with them?

Next chapter at: $1,200.
Current total: $1,030.

The Vondish Ambassador: You Have Options

The Vondish Ambassador is now available in multiple forms.

There’s an e-book available from Fictionwise.

Wildside has now released two print-on-demand editions, a trade paperback and a hardcover.

I still have maybe a dozen copies left of the first edition, from Misenchanted Press. This was a trade paperback, limited to 400 copies.

The mass-market edition from Cosmos is not out yet, but it’s scheduled for June.

So there you go.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Six

Okay, here’s the deal: At $300 per chapter, Chapter Three shouldn’t have been posted.

At $250 per chapter, it made the cut. The take so far, for the first two chapters: $545.

I decided to go ahead and post it anyway. The increase to $300 was largely based on the theory that I’d be coordinating with other authors through Serial Universe, and that didn’t happen, so at least for the moment I’m going to cut readers some slack.

However, it’s clear that this serial is not thriving — I’m basing this on hit counts as well as receipts. I’ve identified some of the reasons for that — bad timing, not Ethshar, not enough people familiar with Nightside City, poor publicity work on my part, etc. I’m not sure what I can do about some of them, but timing I can tinker with, and publicity I can work on.

It doesn’t look as if I’ll be keeping a weekly schedule at $300 per chapter. I’m not really going to try. I’ll still post additional chapters when enough money’s come in, but that may mean “never,” and I’m not going to stress out about getting things up every Wednesday. I may drop the per-chapter price to $250 at some point; I haven’t decided for sure. It won’t go any lower than that, though.

I’ll be e-mailing donors with additional details, and I’ll post here with running totals sometimes.

This does not mean I won’t do more serials in the future, or at least attempt them — this one had special problems, being a sequel to an old book. I’m not in any hurry, though.

Next chapter at: $900.
Current total: $545.