Long-overdue update here, mostly regarding Game Over, the book to which Uncharted Territory is the sequel.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve added a number of character profiles to my blog: Dylan, Cora, Grishnag, Nishara, Syala, and Ayastal. I also put up an introduction and a snippet of a scene in a post titled, "Finding the Silver Lining," which shows Dylan’s sometimes peculiar way of looking at things.
The thing is ... none of it is working. Two months in, with only 30 days remaining till the deadline, Game Over is still sitting at zero preorders. Which isn’t the first time something like this has happened. If I remember correctly, Project Revenant reached its deadline with maybe two or three preorders. Before trying Inkshares, I put both books on Kindle Scout, and when it was over, both of them finished with exactly zero votes.
One of the issues I’ve had all along was my inability to advertise effectively due to having no money to spare for buying ads or traveling all over the country to promote my books. My income is barely enough to scrape by every month, so I have to make do with whatever I can get for free. Twitter and Facebook help draw attention to my work, but apparently not enough to compel new readers to sign up and preorder. I’ve spent entire days searching for places to promote the book without having to pay a fee, and half of them no longer exist by the time I find them. The rest only accept links to books already published on Amazon and other sites, aside from the occasional page that accepts other works, but so far none of them have responded to my queries.
The other issue is the job and other everyday-life stuff getting in the way. I envy writers who make a living with their writing or at least are able to keep a regular writing schedule. I’d be able to keep at it more regularly if I could ditch the job, but I can’t do that and keep a roof over my head. So it’s time I stop kidding myself. I’m not giving up just yet. I’ve put too many years into this -- 27, give or take, so far -- to admit defeat. I just need to acknowledge when something isn’t working and move on to something else. Maybe I’ll submit Game Over to a huge publisher and get lucky, or maybe I’ll find another approach that actually works. I haven’t exhausted all the possibilities yet.
I looked through the FAQ and didn’t find an option to end the campaign early, so I’ll just wait it out and take the book down after the deadline. I’ll keep Uncharted Territory up for the time being, and post the revised chapters and continue working on it until it’s finished, so the readers who have enjoyed the work in progress can see the rest of the story. After that ... well, it depends on what happens with Game Over.
For anyone who wants to keep updated on the book’s status and my other projects, I’ll pop in a link to my blog, which has links in a sidebar to all of my writing projects.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who followed me and my books here. It’s very much appreciated, and I can’t help feeling like I’ve let everyone down. But it was a fun and interesting experiment while it lasted. It was definitely worth a shot. As Jack Burton once said, "Hey, ya never know till you try."
First off, apologies for taking so long between updates. I’ve been focusing most of my effort recently on Game Over because Uncharted Territory is its sequel. I figured I should polish the book, add a few more chapters, and start taking pre-orders. Before that, I had a long string of everyday-life stuff keeping me pretty thoroughly derailed, but that’s a whole other rant.
As part of the campaign, I’ve been posting a series of character profiles on my blog. Since these characters appear in both Game Over and Uncharted Territory, I thought it might be of interest to those who are following UT. So far I’ve posted profiles of Dylan Engstrom, Cora, and Grishnag, and the next one I’m planning is for Nishara.
Once I start making some progress on that, I’m hoping to get back to Uncharted Territory, give it a light polish, and then actually finish it and start its pre-order campaign. And after that, the plan is to start working on the sequel to Project Revenant.
So if you’ve been enjoying Uncharted Territory, please check out Game Over and consider pre-ordering a copy. :D
Finally, some news. It’s about time, huh?
I’ve just started taking pre-orders for Game Over. As mentioned if a previous update, I decided to post that book here and finish polishing it, then kick off the pre-order campaign because it’s set chronologically before Uncharted Territory and introduces many of the characters in it. I’d started posting UT here first because I had Game Over published through Vook, which later became Pronoun, and not too long ago Pronoun closed down. So I thought it made sense to put the book here so those familiar with the characters in Uncharted Territory can see where it all started.
As an introduction to Game Over, I’ll be writing up a series of blog posts giving an overview of the book, character profiles, and other bits of business. I posted the first earlier this evening.
Please check out Game Over and, if you like it, follow and pre-order and let’s see if we can get this baby published. :D
So ... it’s way past time for an update, and this has to start with an apology for being inactive here for so long. It was due to a variety of factors, including job schedule, a string of unfortunate circumstances (including a number of computer problems, the most recent of which was a Windows Update gone so completely awry that the only option I had was to reset my computer, which wiped all my programs and reinstalled Windows), repeated bouts of writer’s block, and some rather hefty depression issues which I still haven’t beaten. Aside from keeping up with a couple of fanfiction pieces, however sporadically, as far as writing is concerned I very nearly just ... gave up.
I won’t go into much detail so I don’t look like I’m whining. I’ll just say that my one success at getting published hasn’t been selling and due to some issues with the publisher I’ve decided to wait for the contract to expire and see if I can find another home for the book. None of my indie works were selling, so I took them all down and have been thinking over a few ideas on other ways to publish them. I’ve been considering trying a few things with them on my Patreon page, but haven’t settled on anything concrete yet.
The only thing my officially-published novel led to, a short story in a sci-fi/paranormal romance anthology that I’ve probably mentioned before, was a small success in that I liked the story and characters enough to expand it into a full novel, Uncharted Territory. But the anthology sold so poorly that the publisher took it down from Amazon. But at least I’m getting a full novel out of it, which I didn’t even have a story for until I was invited to submit one for the anthology, so hooray for that. If nothing goes horribly wrong, this will turn into a whole series of books.
So here’s where I start trying to be positive. After Uncharted Territory was derailed for so long, I decided to give it a rewrite and start posting the updated chapters here, partly to refresh my memory of where the story was going. Then I started thinking about the previous short novel, Game Over, which introduced the crew of the ship UT’s Kolya Mason joins. That shorter work is essentially the first book in the series, so I decided to give it another polish and add a bit of new content and post it here to see if it gains any traction. I’ve gone through the first five chapters, so far, and will start posting them shortly. Once the full book is up here, I’ll get back to work on Uncharted Territory.
As I mentioned above, I’m still not out of the woods as far as the depression problem goes, but I realized that if I don’t just dive back in and get back to work on these books, they’ll never get finished. I’ll do my best not to drop off the radar again, and to (as the late, great Monty Oum liked to say) keep moving forward.