My perspective on my writing career received some reframing this year. All the changes in the industry made me pause and mull a number of things over. Meeting Lindsay Buroker was another shove in reframing my ideas about becoming a published author: I could do what I love and what I wanted to do. I could do it now. Thank you, Lindsay. If I can follow in her footsteps of success, I'd be thrilled. In one year she's sold over 10,000 ebooks. Woot, Lindsay!
The growth of the ebook industry, some positive rejection I'd been receiving from some of the big science fiction rags [SFWA worthy], and the uncertainty of the traditional publishing model led me toward taking my career into my own hands.
It began with releasing Plantgirl, Small Graces and Translations in late June. Free reads I initially released on Smashwords. They're now also up on Scribd and Feedbook. The point of releasing free reads is to get the work into as many hands as possible. I recently discovered reads can be uploaded to Goodreads, too. So, I'll get that together in the next couple weeks and get them there, too.
Putting out the Free Reads was a very positive and rewarding experience. I received a lot of feedback, and after adding the newsletter signup to the end of my stories, I've gotten people I don't know who want to be kept in the loop as to my future releases.
Downloads stagnated for a bit. I had never really liked the cover for Translations, but it was the best I could do at the time. I kept playing around with Paint.net though and began formulating a better idea. Then I stumbled across the perfect piece of art for it and it all came together beautifully. Everything else got repackaged after that so they didn't look like cheap cousins beside Translations.
I liked the original Semper cover a lot, but in thumbnail [which is what most people see] it just looked like a brown square. My skills at Paint.net were improving, so I tried something new. It turned out beautifully. Yea.
Repackaging can work to improve downloads and sales. Although, I'm no bestseller yet, I've made inroads into a start. I think sometimes my problem is I'm not as confident after a release as I need to be, and probably should be. I think, 'Oh, it's just a short story.' If I short change it, well, I have to quit doing that. I love Semper Audacia. It's a good story. It deserves a better attitude from me than it's gotten. I'll do better. Perhaps a topic I'll address in more depth for IWSG in January.
I'm not stopping. The polished draft for Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge should be done by the end of the year. Then it goes through a second coat of polish. Refining, adding some new detail, and making a few changes per my local crit group. I redid its cover, too. Mostly because I noticed video gal and I had a typo in the title -- which I didn't notice for several months. The apostrophe goes after the s in Backworlds, not before. But now I think I might release Stopover in paperback, too, which means redoing the cover again. That's OK. I'll manage.
The Backworlds is a prequel, which I intend to release before Stopover as another Free Read. It will come in somewhere between 20-30,000 words. Thanks to my crit partners Misha Gericke and Tony Benson here in bloggyland for their feedback.
The Backworlds Series will be a space opera series set on planets in our galaxy. My premise is that humans on Earth 'improved' ourselves to be able to live on a variety of worlds. Then humans decided they didn't like what they had created and try to take it back. This resulted in a war. The series begins during a truce between the Foreworlds and the Backworlds. Thank you to the Husband Unit for the last bits of inspiration both of these stories needed.
Also coming in 2012: The Augmentation of Hetty Locklear. Redid her cover, too. She's still in 1st draft stage. This will also be a series. A mix of contemporary sci-fi and urban fantasy. It will eventually morph into sci-fi. Right now it's envisioned as a trilogy. Folks' love for Plantgirl was its inspiration.
Wandering Weeds Anthology should be coming out this year, too, in which is my novelette, The Tumbas. I wrote it so long ago now, I'm not sure what I think about that.
Anyway, all of you are the ribbons on my year. Thank you for the inspiration, the support, the encouragement, the new directions and the success I've found. It's not measured in dollar signs at this point, but in winning over some grains of sand to my beach. Thank you for joining me on this adventure. I can't wait to see what 2012 brings for all of you. There's an amazing amount of talent out there and I'm fortunate to rub elbows with a lot of that great talent.
Happy Holidays and a Joyous 2012. You're all my stars. [This is my last post for the year -- there will be a holiday themed post going up on Thursday -- regular posting will resume January 2 -- Will be talking about Super 8 on the website tomorrow, then it goes on hiatus until January, too].