It’s been a while since I wrote one of these things, so I figured I’d do one now. Here we go. So first things first, I’m working on getting Jire beta-read in preparation for putting it up for sale on Amazon. If you haven’t checked that one out yet, it’s set in the same universe as The Default King but takes place much later in a different location. The connections will be made more clear in time, though there should be enough clues for someone who paid attention to Kaschar’s Quarter to figure out more of what’s going on. That being said, you don’t have to read any of my other stories to understand it. For now at least, this is the only appearance that those characters make and there aren’t any direct connections plot-wise between the two stories. What I do want, though, is for a hypothetical someone out there who may one day read everything I’ve written to be able to say “hey, I finally figured this thing out!” Basically, it’s just leaving a bunch of little easter eggs around for nobody in particular and hoping that I’m not the only one who ever finds them amusing.
The next thing on my mind is if I want to use my free cover art that I made for Jire or commission an original cover. Yeah yeah, self-published authors are pariahs and scumbags who use free stuff and expect to get paid for it, blah blah blah. And yes, I read this Chuck Wendig post too. I largely agree with him about the more grievous graphic design signs which the self-publishing domain is heir to, but I’m also trying to be money-conscious here. That doesn’t mean that I’m broke, but rather that I’m aware of the investment level I’d need to get commissioned art and what that then means I’ll need to recoup to call the investment successful. I also don’t think I’m going too wrong with using artwork I know to be 1.) good quality and 2.) free. Thanks, Getty!
That is my mock-up, soon to be the real thing unless I find a good deal on a portrait artist who can deliver something to my specifications and budget. I am admittedly picky with art and I blame AP European History.
Also, another reason that I’m balking at commissioning what will likely be a $100-200 e-book cover is that Jire won’t appear in print on its own. The plan for now is to wait until I have more shorter pieces in this same universe (many of which are planned) to bundle them together in a print edition for around $10. I see an awful lot of self-published authors charging in the $12-20 range for their printed books and given that the only time I’ll pay that much for a book is if it’s by James SA Corey and/or has lots of pretty pictures, I try to keep my prices down. That and I know my market share is not much larger than my mom’s book club and some other intrepid self-publishers I’ve encountered on the internet, so I’ve decided to keep my prices down. One fewer barrier to entry. The point is that I’m trying to stay realistic about my ability to earn back what I’d pay on cover art, knowing that if I commission ten separate pieces now, I’ll have to earn that much back plus whatever I’d spend for cover art on the anthology. That kind of math just doesn’t work in the favor of what’ll end up being a 13k-word novelette, unless of course it exceeds all my wildest expectations, sells a bajillion copies, and catapults me into a world of literary stardom. Sure, and the Cubs will win the World Series. Oh wait, they just did? Then… ummm the Diamondbacks will win the World Series. I’ll just cry myself to sleep in the meantime waiting for both, or I could keep working on other stuff instead.
The other stuff, of course, includes The Default King Book Two. It’s chugging along but don’t count on a release this year. My target is next April, though this depends on how hard grad school wants to hit me over the next two semesters. Other things on my plate at the moment include a sci-fi story that’ll pretty much be adventures in body horror, another one about a space Mormon, and finishing The Ryosh within something even vaguely resembling a reasonable time frame.
I try to keep myself busy.