The end of the year should be a time of quiet reflection. The weather here around Jordanville encourages this with its cold, quiet, and dim golden light. The days are short, and the night beckons with an insistence that is maddening, especially when you have toddlers who are immune to night. But it’s rarely a calm time for me. It’s more like, “Let’s get it all done quickly before the year ends!!!”
But I’ve decided to embrace a new way of working. It’s still in the developmental phase, you understand, but I have hopes that slowly I’m getting there. This is the theme for 2018: incremental progress.
With that in mind, I’d like to share some thoughts about the past year and some plans for the coming year.
Year One of Independent Publishing
About a year ago, I made the decision to stop seeking traditional publication. There are plenty of reasons, and I’ve written about them before, if you’re interested. I don’t regret my decision one bit. Here are some of the highlights:
- I started an independent publishing house (Waystone Press), and two authors have begun collaborating with me. One of these will have his first novel published next week.
- I published two books, and the reviews have been almost universally positive.
- Sales have been steady, if a bit underwhelming. I’m learning through experience that it’s difficult to get traction if you have less than a full series under your belt.
- I was chosen from a pool of over 70 writers to join nine others in a pilot crowdfunding course for authors, about which I’ll tell you more down below.
I would have liked to have published book 3 by the end of the year, but that didn’t happen, and perhaps it’s for the best. If I had, I think it may have been rushed and not as well-developed as it should be. But with my editor’s help, I have some very exciting ideas for books 4 and 5 of the series.
On the bright side, I finally have a workspace after basically living in cafes and libraries for the past three years. Here’s a peak at it:
Plans for 2018
Right now, I’m in the middle of a mad dash to try to finish my first ever crowdfunding campaign. Here’s the story behind it. I’ve found out through experience that the business model of independent publishing is very heavy on the need for advance capital. In that sense, it’s the exact opposite of traditional publishing, where you don’t need to put any advance money into your books, but you probably won’t ever see royalties.
It was a bit of a problem, actually. Since the conventional wisdom is that you won’t really see a profit from self-publishing until book 4 or 5, that means:
- either you have a lot of money saved up for this
- or you save it up as you go, delaying publication as needed
- or you just max out your credit card (just kidding)
So when I was chosen to do a pilot crowdfunding course to prepare me to build a crowdfunding campaign for my books, I was thrilled. If I could get the money needed for publication in advance, it would really free me up to write more. Plus, it would provide some financial stability for the coming year. Effectively, if I have a successful campaign, then this will happen in 2018:
- The Heart of the World (book 3) will be published in mid-February
- Book 4 (a novella) will be published in mid-September
- Book 5 (the final volume of the Raven Son series) will be published in mid-December
If you’re interested in contributing or finding out more, I encourage you to sign up for my Readers’ Group, because I’m about to announce some very special gifts for people who support my Kickstarter. Just sign up below
Plans for my blog
I’ve loved to see the increased engagement and interest in my blog posts. This past year, I joined the Ancient Faith blogging platform as The Storyteller. More and more people have become interested in the blog side of my writing, so I have some ideas for the coming year that I’d like to try out, including branching out into slightly longer-form writing and possibly doing article series that could later be downloaded as an ebook.
Other plans and projects for 2018
I seem to have more and more interesting projects cropping up, often without my searching. Now I have to remember to embrace the theme for 2018: incremental progress!
- I’m writing a libretto for an opera based on the life of St. Moses the Black (a fascinating saint, very relevant for our times).
- I’m going to be collaborating on a graphic novel (details forthcoming)
- I’m in the middle of writing a pilot for a TV series based on the life of the Grand Princess Olga of Kiev.
All in all, an interesting year is about to end, but an even more interesting year is about to start! Thank you all for your continued support and interest in my work!