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.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Four

Chapter One is now paid for, and Chapter Two will be posted Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

Six chapters are written.

It took longer than I expected to reach the target; I suppose the holiday weekend had something to do with that, but at one point I was sufficiently concerned that I started thinking about what I would do if it wasn’t even close.  I’d about resolved to refund the donations I’d received, and e-mail the donors the six existing chapters.

I’m glad it hasn’t come to that.

I also didn’t work on Chapter Seven, because it didn’t look as if I was going to need it, but I’ll get back to it soon now.  I do have other projects to work on — naturally, as soon as I posted Chapter One, I heard back from my editor with revision requests for A Young Man Without Magic.  I’ve been dealing with those.

Hope everyone (well, those of you in the U.S.) had a good Thanksgiving.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Three

And so it begins…

The first chapter of Realms of Light is now posted. An explanation of how the serial works is also up.

As always, this is first draft. If and when — emphasis on “if” — the novel is completed, it will be revised, edited, and eventually published in book form, by either FoxAcre Press or Misenchanted Press. Anyone in the U.S. who contributes $25 or more to the serial will get a copy of that book; for Canada it requires $30, and elsewhere the minimum is $35.

For every $300 I receive, I will post another chapter. Chapters will be posted at a minimum interval of one week.

I hope you’ll like it.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Two

Chapters written: Six out of an estimated twenty-five to thirty.

Chapters posted: None.

Anticipated start date: November 26th. If there are unforeseen problems, December 3rd.

Okay, I think I’m ready to start, even though I still haven’t heard back from my editor at Tor about A Young Man Without Magic. I can’t wait forever.

The Serial Universe website isn’t ready, but I don’t know whether I want to wait for that, either, and I’m hoping we can get it into shape quickly.

I’m afraid I’m going to be charging $300 per chapter this time, for several reasons — Carlisle Hsing is harder to write than Ethshar, for one, and to match what Steve Miller and Sharon Lee charge for their serials, for another. Not to mention that The Vondish Ambassador did significantly worse on post-serial money than The Spriggan Mirror did, forcing some reevaluation.

I realize this may prove fatal, though I hope it won’t.

If it slows publication down a bit, I won’t be terribly upset; a chapter a week can be a pretty challenging pace to maintain, especially around holidays or when traveling.

I’ll be putting up the “How This Works” page tonight, though the first chapter won’t be posted until next week.

Realms of Light: Progress Report One

Chapters written: Five out of an estimated twenty-five to thirty.

Chapters posted: None.

Anticipated start date: After Hallowe’en but before New Year’s.

I have things pretty much ready to start the serial of Realms of Light, but I’m holding off for a couple of reasons.

First and most importantly, I’m waiting to hear back from my editor at Tor regarding A Young Man Without Magic. If that needs revisions, those take priority; I don’t want to start the serial and then suddenly stop because I need to rewrite a chapter of A Young Man Without Magic.

Why does it get first priority? Because it pays a lot better than a serial.

Second, I’m hoping to coordinate this serial with some other authors, such as Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. We’re planning to establish a central site for online serials on this model at serialuniverse.com. I’d like to have that up and running when I launch.

Besides, I have a speaking engagement in Kansas next week, and there are other distractions I’d like to get out of the way before I start. I also wouldn’t mind having Chapter Six written, maybe even Seven, just to have a buffer.

Which brings me to another issue I want to discuss, just to keep everyone’s expectations realistic. Realms of Light is a science-fictional detective story. Both previous serials were Ethshar stories. I’ve had a lot more practice writing light fantasy of the Ethshar sort, and I think it’s generally easier to write straight through in the first place; I haven’t written anything about Carlisle Hsing and her world in close to twenty years. It’s entirely possible that despite my best efforts and a reasonably complete outline, Realms of Light will hit snags along the way that will necessitate backtracking, revising, and so on before I can continue.

If that happens, I may not be able to stick to a strictly weekly schedule, even if the money’s there. I may also need to delete, insert, or rearrange pieces.

Any such changes will be included free, and I’ll let you know they’ve been made — that is, if I decide Chapter Thirteen isn’t working and throw it out, the new Chapter Thirteen, when I get it written, is already paid for. If I decide, in the middle of writing Chapter Twenty-Three, that it won’t work unless I go back and change something in Chapter Eight, then I’ll make that change, and it won’t be counted as something that needs to be paid for. Revisions will be announced here, and marked — that is, the corrected Chapter Eight would be headed “Chapter Eight (Revised).”

I’m working up a page that will explain how everything works, same as I have before, and I may post that a couple of weeks before actually starting the story.

So — any questions?