The One With A Big Announcement

I have been a bad, bad author. I let life kick the inspiration out of me like a roid rage mule, but I’m back, and have been for a while. Sadly writing is like archery. You fire, but it takes a bit for the missile to land. In that vein, I have three big announcements.

The first is I completed a novel! Well, I did not do it alone. Thanks to the inspiration and drive of my good friend Tracy R. Chowdhury, we completed the first novel in a trilogy: Elvish Jewel. It is a romantic adventure novel set in a brand new fantasy world.

It is about a war torn elvish nation being raided for natural resources by the vicious armies of the Iron Coast. A powerful Evish Warmage, Vivien Valdera finds herself defended by and in turn defending a indomidable barbarian she names The Wolf. They begin a troubled path toward love and understanding where her secrets are almost as shocking as his. But together they might just save the kingdom, and may discover the love that has eluded them both for a century.Available on Amazon. Ebook coming soon.

 

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Those of you who have been following REALLY close attention have noticed  I Know Not (The Legends of Fox Crow 1) hasgotten a new cover (new editing pass) and a new publisher! Also available on amazon, with ebook coming soon!

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And while I am extremely excited about both of these events, I am astounded to say that The Opus Discordia (The Legends of Fox Crow 2) is done, finished, finito, passed and published, available on amazon! I know a lot of people have been waiting for many years for this, and I hope it is a dark delight to everyone.  Ebook, coming soon!

Music sooths the savage breast…

What do they know?

I was reborn in a castle of corpses, and I knew nothing. I survived the assassins, the mercenaries, and all the nasty little tricks they could throw at me. Now, I have to move on.

Noria is a whole kingdom looking to kill me, so I have to flee to the Principalities of Hammarfall.

I have sacks of gold, a magic sword, and all the skills a lifetime as an assassin. I should be able to carve out a little niche of heaven and live happy and fat until my old age, right?

Right?

Except Hammarfall is in turmoil, the God of Murder still has not forgiven me for leaving his service, and there are ravens everywhere I look. And that music. I can’t get that music out of my head… But one thing hasn’t changed.

I am going to survive.

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But while I am excited

 

 

 

 

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The one where I do the blog equivalent of a drive by

Must do this fast, because things are happening fast, and I have to be off again before… well before.

You see, today my publisher got his email from Amazon and it recommended I Know Not. That is, needless to say, advertising you cannot buy. As of this moment Here are the rankings:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596 Paid in Kindle Store

#17 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Magic & Wizards
#32 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Epic
#45 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic

I’ve crested 1,000 copies, and sales are going strong. That being said, people are sifting through and buying copies of other books I have released. That is BIG. Now my only problem is… well… I don’t have enough books out. So I finished the shorts I had committed to, and have started on my next novel. I’ve given myself 60 days to get 120K words. Yep, kinda short time frame, but I have to build a base and I have to do it fast. If these people buy the book and like it, they will need to have more before they forget who I am. I want to write for a living. That means lots and lots of writing. I must produce.

And that seems what they will carve on my tombstone.

It helps, though, because I keep getting a little notes from people. They see my tweets, my FB updates, and they say: I write more because of your updates.

And for those of you that think this is a small thing, I just have to say that it is not. The hardest thing for a writer to do is actually sit down and write. Seems odd, but it is so personal, so exposing, so intimate a thing, putting your thoughts and beliefs on paper – no matter how veiled – has given birth to a whole set of jokes about avoiding doing what you love most that only writers understand.

But I can’t give into that. I have to keep running, and as always, accelerating.

the one in which I make an announcement

No, I am not pregnant, in fact I have lost 10 pounds. But that isn’t the announcement. Just nipping a few things in the bud.

There are professional moments, of which, I am especially proud. When I was published. When I was accepted into anthologies with much more experienced, and in some cases Hugo Award nominated and winning authors. When my daughters read my story told from the perspective of a teenage girl and didn’t cry foul at any of her thoughts or feelings. When I told a story that was hard for me to write, hard for people to read, and yet they read, and finished it because it was so GOOD they hungered for the last period. Here I am. Another milestone. The power of it has me shaking.

There is an interesting psychological thingie (and that is the technical term) I like to call: The Million Dollar effect. Look at someone and ask: What happens if you get 1 Million dollars?

Most of them no longer want to work, or go on vacations, or buy houses, yachts, planes, and so on. Well, then they start looking at a million dollars. Though it is more money than many of us will make in a year – a decade – lifetime even – once you have a million dollars, even theoretical ones, you realize there is little you can do with it. Yes you can live in the same apartment you live in now, eat the same stuff as now, and drive the same cars, plans very quickly eat up the excess cash. That doesn’t even touch charitable giving, funds for later generations, and so on. It turns out one million is just another number.

So, a few months ago my publisher and I were walking down the halls at a convention. He asked:

“So, Dan, what are your goals?”

I curled my fingers into a shaking rock, “Rule the known universe with an iron fist!”

He sighed, “In publishing.”

The reply was instant, “New York Times Bestseller.”

He nodded, “Agreed, good, but more… short term.”

I actually had to think about it. I mean, I’m the kind of guy that sees the top of the mountain and that’s my goal. To this day I don’t know if he was worried about me burning out, feeling that I needed encouragement, or if he’s precognicient, or just a sneaky bastard (you’ll see). So I said: “I would like to sell 1,000 copies of one of my novels in a single year.”

This may seem small, but I did not speak blindly. Can’t remember where I saw it, but googling this phrase gets three billion hits:

                Of 1.2 million books published in 2004, only 10 sold more than a million copies; fewer than 500 sold more than 100,000, and only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies, and the remaining 950,000 sold fewer than 99 copies.

Now, this is lifetime sales, but after the first year things slow down a lot. I had sold dozens, then hundreds of my titles in a year, but I had never broken 1,000. It was the next step to go from one out of a million authors, to one out of thousands. I was satisfied with this. Well, I think he knew something I did not. I am pretty sure of it in fact. See, he gets reports from places and sees how fast/slow something is moving, and can predict trends and see where the ball is going to bounce. As an author I get a check once every six months and a report, but it’s all six months late and full of hindsight.

So the publisher calls me a few weeks ago and says: “I Know Not is outselling your other books.”

After a Tex Avery style reaction involving soda in my sinuses and on my laptop screen, I asked, “Which one?”

“All of them.”

And then, and then I did not ask the question that is obvious now. I got my royalty check and did a dance, expecting even greater things next time around. What I did not ask, however, was: All the books EACH or ALL TOGETHER. That question was answered in an email two weeks later:

                Dan,

Get out the celebratory drinks and prepare a new goal. I Know Not is set to sell the 1,000th Kindle copy on Wednesday, September 21st

–Your Publisher (and don’t call me a sneaky bastard, you jerk! My wife reads your blog!)

Which now that I read that again, maybe lends credence to the precognicient thing.

In any case, I danced around again, then I realized that things were even better: these are only Kindle sales. Print sales have not been figured in, and while most scifi/fantasy titles are heavily weighted toward kindle/ebook formats, it means that I am already there, already past there with more to come. I’ve gotten to the next base camp. And I’m sticking with the mountain climbing thing because I feel like I need oxygen tanks. I’ve done it. Again. And while it is a trifling thing to sell 1,000 copies for many of my friends, it is new to me. Then I remember the book has only been out for 13 weeks, the busy season has yet to happen and… uh… I need to sit down for a minute!

I am one step closer to being able to do this for a living. I am a little bit nearer to my real goal.

Next is 5,000. Two novels published in a single year. I would also like (God, are you listening?) to have some geek icon seen reading my work.

And I want to thank all the authors, editors, and publishers, that have gotten me this far. And thank you to my wife who refuses to be surprised at my success, because she believes in me so thoroughly.

Because reaching a goal is no reason to stop. It is a reason to run faster.