I hate summer. I have always hated summer. The heat is too much for me and I break into hives in the sun.
Summer in 2020, This Year of Our Collective Demise, especially is unpleasant, even with the shades down and a/c on. I’ve had two back-to-back veterinary emergencies (three, technically, although the third was an injury that has not yet called for a vet). I slept a combined ten hours last week as Shawn required eye drops every 2-3 hours round the clock–which is a lot like hand-raising him was, except without the constant terror he was about to die. Still, it meant I was useless for work, losing a week just as I was getting caught up.
At least I didn’t fracture any more bones?
I’m not as in as bad shape as I was a few months ago, but it’s still a lot of added pressure. But regardless, I’m taking a couple of weeks off next month–actual planned time off, instead of enforced by illness or injury–with no expectations on myself except to get some house cleaning/purging done. I would love to get some writing done–and prior to the last couple of weeks I was super productive as well–but at this point any kind of plan for anything sends me into a panic attack.
Speaking of, I hope to have some news about projects in the fall. I have three zero drafts in progress, and one of them is a standalone–I keep wondering if somehow I can shift my brain to something like that over series.
My brain is not wired for standalone–even if only one book comes out, like Soulless, there are still more in my head–but it might be the best way to continue. I constantly feel like I’m disappointing people when I have series in progress but long periods of time between releases, which makes it even harder to write. Add onto that the piracy and, well…
Yeah, the piracy. So I talked about Dawning and the one person who preordered who then uploaded the file the day of release. That book has been illegally downloaded more than three times the number that has been bought.
Then last week Blood Ties went up. Blood Ties, btw, has been out for two and a half months, and I’ve made less than two hundred dollars* on it.
I was actually pleased with that because it’s a new series and something I wrote for fun, so I wasn’t anticipating anyone buying it…but it’s hard to be pleased with it when it goes weeks without selling and then is being pirated. I spent a year on that book, between multiple drafts and editors, bought boutique stock for it, and…yeah.
Witch Hunt is coming because it’s already started and I already paid for the stock, but at this point I’m only planning to have it serialize on Patreon and then come out publicly in paperback for die-hard fans. If there’s an ebook release, it’ll be far down the road–like a year after initial release. I am truly sorry for that, but it’s the only way I can work on the sequel–I have to close the door to it ever being stolen, otherwise it’ll never get written.
So for all intents and purposes, that series (projected 4-6 books) is dead in the water.
I’m really disappointed. I didn’t get to finish the Demons of Oblivion series for the same reason, so Witch Hunt was going to have some flashbacks with Elis’s mother and you would’ve found out how she died. There was so much I wanted to do there, and I’ll still try to do it as a Patreon serial, but I’m heartbroken.
Which is why I’m back to wondering how I can possibly write standalones. If it didn’t take so goddamn long, I’d write two to three in a series first before publishing them, but taking the time to do that while paying the bills gets…challenging.
Anyway, who knows if we’re going to survive the rest of the year, so it might all be a moot point!
I hope the summer has been kinder to you than it has to me, but then again there’s a global pandemic and many of you are in the US so…gonna guess probably not.
We’re not all in the same boat, but we’re in the same storm, and I hope you’re weathering it.
* I hate even bringing up such a number, but that’s the reality of a new book in a new series–readers rarely carry from series to series–as well as the reality of independent publishing when you have no resources to advertise. I did the math on the Livi series recently: Solomon’s Seal has been out for four years and it has sold the best of all the books…and in that time I have made enough to cover six weeks of living expenses.
I spent four years on that book.
If you stumble across this page looking for pirated copies of any of these books, please understand that this is the reality of my income as a writer. I live below the poverty level and I suffer financially to publish these books–that is why I cancel series when you steal them.