Hi everyone! My first book, Storm Unbound, went live about a month ago. I think that is a good time to give an update.
As I was writing and editing this book, I had no idea how it would be received. Would people read it, or would it disappear into the void like so many other self-published books? My nerves on this front weren’t helped by my decision to go for a custom illustration from an established artist, a large upfront cost that I was hoping would be worth it in the long run. From hanging out in author’s groups, I was preparing myself for the likelihood of Storm Unbound not paying for it’s own cover and just hoping that it would be well received enough to continue the series and eventually break even. I never expected to cover the costs less than a month after release, especially since I put nothing into marketing the book on Amazon. The reception has been far better than expected.
Fallen Power 2 is coming. I started fleshing out the plot threads just days after Storm Unbound was published and am now deep into the first draft. I would have started this process earlier, but I was honestly paralyzed by the possibility of releasing a dud not worth continuing. Thankfully, within days of publication I knew Fallen Power would be viable as a series. Thank you everyone that left a rating or review on Amazon—that small gesture makes a tremendous impact on the visibility of books and those played no small part in helping Storm Unbound‘s visibility. If you haven’t already, please consider leaving even a short review or just a rating—it doesn’t take long and the impact is tremendous.
As of today, I believe I am about roughly halfway through the draft of Book 2 (name TBD). I say “roughly” because while I do make an outline, I use that as a framework. On the scale of panters vs plotters, I’m towards the side that needs freedom to let my characters develop naturally and react to the world around them. This does mean I have to do a fair amount of clean up in editing and occasionally have to go back and write myself out of a dead end. I already had to do this once in Fallen Power 2, but thankfully I knew something was wrong with the direction I had taken very soon after the critical mistake and I only lost a few days worth of writing.
My goal is to publish Fallen Power 2 before the end of 2020.
I believe that I am on track for this, but I do have a day job with a commitment that varies somewhat based on deadlines and project cycles. The last month has been killer with deadlines and projects ramping up, but I still managed to get a huge chunk of writing done and I expect a lull later in October. I will try to post periodic updates about my progress, but my focus right now is on writing and editing. If those are going well, the next update will be to announce the completion of the draft and reveal the cover and title!
Into the future
I know the ending of Fallen Power and have a rough framework of how the story will get there. The series will be either four or five books in length. This depends a bit on the reception of Books 2 and 3 (at minimum, need to break even—the reviews/ratings help here!), but mostly on the state of various plot threads at the end of Book 3—the more that are still open, the higher the chance of needing a fifth book to reach a satisfying conclusion.
I would also love to bring Fallen Power to audio format. This is a long term goal, and not one I plan to tackle right now. To get the best narrators, I need to pay upfront for the production cost. This would also take time away from my writing. For the foreseeable future, progressing the story and getting the books out is my primary goal. As I get better at managing the writing and publication process, I hope to tackle audio.
I have been overwhelmed with the reception of Storm Unbound and hope to carry this momentum to the rest of the series.