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December 2016 Update

Quickie note here about December releases. Due to holiday vacation times at the various retailers, Dungeon Crawl will not be up on Barnes & Noble, Apple/iTunes, or Kobo until early January. I believe I can get it live on Amazon before Christmas, though with the holidays I can’t promise that. So far Amazon hasn’t said upload times will be affected or that they’ll close processing new titles around the holidays, so fingers crossed.

So… book is coming this month, just maybe not to every retailer this month, sorry.

New Series Plus Extra!

veilknigths_webbanner_v1

First… I can finally reveal the new secret project I’ve been working on!  A brand new shared world and collaborative Urban Fantasy series taking Arthurian legends and bringing them into the modern world.  Twelve New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors – including Lilith Saintcrow, CJ Lyons, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, and me!! are all working together to bring you peeps a new series under the name Rowan Casey. We’ll have a new book in the series every month (two this month!) so there’s no waiting on my slow ass to get you books for this one, hehe.

The first book is available for only $0.99 for the first week, so get it quick HERE. Book 2 comes out in less than a week!

20ss-4-huntingseasonaudio-thumb

Also, Hunting Season (20sided book 4) is now out in audio! Go to Audible to get it HERE.

In 20sided news, book 8 is in progress and should be done and out in December as promised. Thank you all for your patience and enjoy the Veil Knights while you are waiting.

Also, if you need *even* more reading material… The Barrows is included in a Storybundle this month: Go HERE for that.

Other awesome books in the bundle are displayed in this cool cover compilation, so check it out!

storybundle

 

November 2016 Update

fantasy-box-set

First… some good news! New box set featuring my dark fairytale novel A Heart in Sun and Shadow plus nine other fantasy novels cover multiple sub-genres from epic to urban fantasy.  It’s $0.99 for a limited time and also available in Kindle Unlimited to borrow. Get it here.

Other news… next week I’ll be announcing a new Urban Fantasy project I’m super excited about.  Just one more week of secrecy and I can finally talk about it, yay!

The recent election here in the USA has some potential real-world impacts on my life that I won’t go into, but I bring it up because one of the immediate ones is that I won’t be releasing Harper’s novel this year for personal reasons. It’s a side novel and doesn’t effect the main plot of The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, so it won’t delay book 8.  Harper’s book is just too close to some things in my life right now and I don’t feel like I can finish it properly at this time. Thank you for understanding. I’ll still have Dungeon Crawl out in December.  I think we could all use some Jade kicking ass right now.

That’s the news for November. Thank you!

October 2016 Update

Quick update.

Harper’s book is taking longer than I expected. The themes in this book are very close to home for me and I want to make sure I do it justice. I’m almost done, but considering time for external editing and formatting etc, it’ll be another couple weeks until release, sorry.

Book 8 is in progress also (yay juggling multiple deadlines) though I’ve set it aside for the moment to give Harper full attention at the end here. But I don’t foresee missing any deadlines on book 8, so still aiming for that to release before end of 2016.

Also have a secret project I’m involved in that I think ya’ll will love and that should be revealed soon, too!

In even better news, just approved the audio for book 4 of 20sided, so Hunting Season should be up on Audible within the next two weeks (depends on how long it takes them on their end to get it live). It sounds awesome. 🙂

Also… I’ll be doing a signing with a bunch of other awesome science fiction and fantasy authors at Powell’s on November 20th. For details click this sentence. So if you want signed books or just want to nerd out with me, come hang!

And that is October’s update.

September Update

Finishing up Harper’s book, Tribes, this week. Which means given time needed for edits and formatting etc, odds are it might not come out exactly in September, sorry. Might be the first or second week of October. The print volumes for the first 4 Twenty-Sided Sorceress books are  out first week of October, so it’ll be like double bonus?  Shiny hardcover 20sided. I am going to hoard ALL the copies.

Tribes has been scary and awesome to write. It’s longer than any 20sided book so far (you peeps asked for longer books, I’m doing my best to deliver while still keeping up action and fast pace that I love so much, hehe), and maybe the nerdiest thing I’ve written, which you know is saying a lot.  I’ve only done a little cosplay, so I had to do tons of research for various characters in this. I did almost lose part of a finger (3 stitches!) to making a bunny fur bikini once, but I’m not great at sewing or crafts unless you count painting D&D minis (and I’m only decent-ish at that). Anyway, enough rambling about a book you can’t read for at least 2 more weeks, sorry!

Brood Mother, the last Gryphonpike Chronicles novella (there will be 4 novels, it isn’t the end of GPC just end of novella length GPC) is basically done but again needs edits etc and I set it aside to work on Tribes.

Dungeon Crawl, Book 8 of 20sided, will be out by Christmas/Holidays. I’m not going to give a harder deadline than that until it is done, for obvious reasons.

Also have a couple other crazy projects in the works that I’ll be excited to announce. Tease? Why yes.

So that’s the September update.

The Little Extras in Life

(If you haven’t read books 6 and 7 of The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, this post contains a giant spoiler. You were warned!)

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Peeps!!!! The awesome artist Rob Carlos (http://www.colorsmith.com/) drew/painted his interpretation of Jade’s dragon (taking only from description in the text plus his imagination of course).

It’s finally done. I get the painted version hanging in my office. Ya’ll get the digital of it here. If enough people want, I’ll see if Rob can offer prints of it etc as well.  Please respect the copyright of the artist. 🙂

So here’s one interpretation of Jade in her dragon form. Enjoy! I am know I am (seriously I can’t describe how awesome this looks in canvas IRL. It’s gorgeous.)

jades-dragon

Quick Update for August

Upcoming titles 2016 banner

Working on Harper’s book still. Hoping to have that out in September, so look for it then. Also finishing up the fifth Gryphonpike Chronicles novella, which will be the last novella-length work in that series. After that I’m planning on a novel (working title: Into the North, pub date mid 2017) to bridge Gryphonpike Chronicles over to the trilogy Gryphonpike Legends which will come in 2018 and likely wrap up Killer’s story.

So… the good news is, more books coming soon! And they’ll be longer!

Bad news is not sure I’ll be ready with anything in August. So hopefully two releases (the last GPC novella- Brood Mother, and Tribes: Harper’s Tale) in September. Then book 8 of 20Sided Sorceress should follow in November. Plus the re-release of the awesome hardcover omnibus edition in October.

Lots of good stuff coming, thanks for your patience! Meanwhile, book 2 in The Twenty-Sided Sorceress is on sale at .99 and book 1 is still free, so if you aren’t catching up yet on the series, what you waiting for?

Big Announcement!

I’ve sold the print rights to The Twenty-Sided Sorceress to Saga Press! They will be putting out two collected editions, one with the first four books, one with the books five through seven.

Sorceress comps for realsies

What does that mean for the books? It means you can get them in hardcover or trade paper! It also means that very shortly, the paperback versions of the individual books will disappear. The ebooks are still up and for sale of course and nothing will change there.

For details, see the reveal post on the Barnes&Noble Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog!

To pre-order the first volume (books 1-4 in Level Grind):

Click here for Amazon

Click here for Powell’s

Click here for B&N

 

To pre-order the second volume (books 5-7 in Boss Fight):

Click here for Amazon

Click here for B&N

Musings on Income

(Author note: if you are waiting on book 7 and couldn’t care less about nitty-gritty of the dark inner workings of being a pro writer, skip this post.  For you peeps- book 7 is over half done and still on track for release in next couple months. I apparently might have pneumonia, but I’ve wrestled that beastie and won before, so I hope it won’t slow me down too much.  Happy New Year, eh?! But no fear, Boss Fight: Samir (ie Magic to the Bone) is on its way).

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For everyone else… have some random thoughts and some numbers:

Income, especially in American culture I guess, is a touchy thing. Among writers and other creatives, I think it can be even touchier. This business is so uneven and so subjective once you hit a basic threshold of quality. Which is why I always choose to define “good book” as “book multiple people want to read enough to pay money for” and leave it there, because every other measure runs into problems of taste and opinion.

Some writers do share their income. Many choose not to. I think both are making the decision that they are comfortable with, however, I super appreciate those who share. For the same reason I watch certain books and how they do with readers, I also watch various author careers. It’s all data that I might be able to apply to my own career, to my own books, to help me better deliver great books that people want to read and to find the best avenues to get those books into reader’s hands.

I’ve noticed though that there’s an odd gap in the numbers being shared, and chatting with a few others I am not the only one who has noticed. Authors starting out, both trad and indie, seem to share more often than long-time authors. Same with authors (long in the biz or not) who are making less than six figures. Then the gap appears as you see some authors who make very high six or into seven figures sharing. Where are the betweens? I know they exist in the professional fiction writing world, because I know quite a few of them personally. But they don’t share.

Many, I assume, don’t share because they aren’t comfortable talking numbers outside private groups. After all, in the end it is nobody’s business but the tax people and yourself what you make, and that’s cool. Many of us are raised to never discuss money, though from dealing with various unfair work situations and seeing relationships dissolve over financial disputes, not discussing money can sometimes be a poor choice. But when you work for yourself? It’s a decision you have to make for yourself.

I imagine others don’t because six figure income is this funny limbo place. You are making money, good money, but you aren’t making enough to feel untouchable (especially not when the tax bills come due, weeee). Publishing is a very volatile field. You can sell thousands of copies of one book, release the next, and watch the pennies trickle in. One change at a vendor or a mix-up in a computer system somewhere, and you can lose tens of thousands in the blink of an eye. There’s no “made it” or coasting available at almost any level of publishing that I can see until you hit the upper echelons where you have more money than JK Rowling (okay, probably nobody has more than she does in publishing, but you get my point).

This is stuff I’ve been thinking about as I read blog posts by awesome people like Jim C Hines and Kameron Hurley. Posts such as theirs, posts by others like JA Konrath, Amanda Hocking, and John Scalzi, and surveys like the one Tobias Buckell did back in 2005 helped me figure out what paths to take, what careers to look at, how to navigate things and what expectations to have. I’m a firm believer in more information is more better.

For that reason, I used to share numbers. I still do pretty openly at conventions and if people ask. But when I thought about writing a post after reading Jim Hines’ summation of his year, I balked. Why? Because this year was super successful for me and I fall into that limbo place now. I worried that writing this post would cause backlash, people saying “oh she doesn’t deserve that” or “she’s just bragging” or “her books aren’t that good” or “she’s just an outlier” or whatever else people say when green-eyed monsters come to live in their brains. Professional envy is a real danger in creative endeavors, I’ve witnessed it first hand multiple times and almost fell prey to it myself once in a general way (I quit writing short fiction for a while because I felt like I’d never compare to people who seemed to work less hard than I did, but thankfully I got the fuck over that hang-up).

But you know what? Data is data. I might be in the fragile limbo where income could be zero next year (if I don’t stop getting sick, that might be my reality, sigh), but I’m going to share numbers. These are a combination of a ton of work/study finally paying off and the support of the best readers anyone could ask for, with a dollop of luck thrown in (like the whole e-book revolution happening while I’m still alive to enjoy it, for example).

Titles published in 2015: 2 (plus one three book omnibus of previously published work)
Paid Titles total under this name: 17
Free titles: 7 (one of which was paid for half of 2015 at .99)
Short stories sold to anthologies in 2015: 4

Books sold in 2015 (including audio and print): 106,661 (approximate)
Income earned from ebooks/audio/print: $257,293
Income from multi-author bundles/Misc: $4,048
Income from anthology sales/royalties: $1,690
Total earnings 2015 (paid in 2015): $263,031

Want to see what a totally uneven career looks like? I quit my job in 2009 to start pursuing being a writer full time. I made one short story sale for a flash fiction piece that year, earning 18 dollars.  2010 income is a short story sale and the tiny beginnings of my foray into ebooks. Baby steps while I learned how to write (I wrote and submitted 39 short stories in 2010 alone, plus a novel).

Here’s the graph of my career so far:

chart of earnings by year
And here’s a pie chart of how my earnings for the year divide out between indie, trad, and multi-author stuff, because who doesn’t like pie?

2015 earnings by type
So… to sum up, I had a fantastic 2015 income-wise. Health-wise and stress-wise, it was awful and I’m ringing in 2016 with another bout of pneumonia, so who knows what my writing schedule will be like but I ain’t gonna quit. I will keep on writing, and working to make every book something I am proud of and that people want to read for as long as I’m alive to do so. That’s pretty much all any career writer can ask for, I think. Maybe I’ll have crazy numbers to post again this time next year, or maybe I won’t, but if I can get more good/healthy days and more books written than in 2015, I’ll consider 2016 a win.

And as anyone I’ve ever gamed with can tell you, I’m all about winning 😉

Orycon Schedule & Book Signing

Okay. Now that book six it out, I can blog about something else. Yay! 🙂

Just a quick note about book 7: it will be out hopefully by end of March, 2016. I’m already working on it and barring more health issues (which at the moment I seem to have a handle on), it will NOT take as long as book six. Thank you all again for your patience!

Other news!

I’m signing books at Powell’s Books Cedar Hills location in Beaverton, OR at 4pm (until about 5:30-6pm) on November 22nd!  I have ten shiny copies of Thicker Than Blood that will be for sale that day. So if you want it, or want the full signed set… show up on time! Or just come say hi, or just come to Powell’s because that bookstore is amazing.  I’ll be giving out free dice!

I’ll also be doing panels at Orycon, the Oregon Science Fiction convention in Portland, OR this coming weekend, Nov. 20th-22nd.

Here is my panel schedule:

Fri Nov 20 3:00:pm
Fri Nov 20 4:00:pm

I Quit My Job to Be a Writer! WHAT HAVE I DONE?

What the full-time writing life is like, how to stay focused when you’re all by yourself, the realities of making a living via the written word, and techniques for forcing yourself to get dressed and leave the house.
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Fri Nov 20 4:00:pm
Fri Nov 20 5:00:pm

I’ll Be Watching You…

From vampire assassins to wizard private eyes to undead thugs, crime has been mixing it up with fantasy for years. What is it about crime, noir, and the paranormal that’s so appealing? Also – what are some really good titles?
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Fri Nov 20 5:00:pm
Fri Nov 20 6:00:pm

How to Jumpstart Your Novel’s Sales

Your self-published book’s sales have plunged. How can you revive them? Will a new cover make a difference? What about targeted advertising? Publishing tie-in short fiction? Appearing in multi-author bundle? Or should you learn to stop worrying and get writing the next book in the series, or even start a new series?
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Sat Nov 21 12:00:pm
Sat Nov 21 1:00:pm

Revision: Path to Better Writing or Way to Never Finish?

Endless revisions can kill good writing, but everyone says polish your work. Besides, the first draft is usually bad, right? How to navigate through the apparent contradictions without going crazy.
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Sat Nov 21 3:00:pm
Sat Nov 21 4:00:pm

Hybrid Vigor: Choosing Both Traditional and Self-Publishing

Don’t believe the True Believers on both sides of this non-existent divide: you can be both a traditional AND a self-published writer. Learn how to let the project choose the path.
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Sat Nov 21 4:00:pm
Sat Nov 21 5:00:pm

How to Write a Series

Where to start, and how long of a series you can (or should?) write. How to make it interesting, different, and hopefully successful, and stay in love with it.
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Sat Nov 21 5:00:pm
Sat Nov 21 6:00:pm

The Magic Goes to Eleven

Defining Magical Systems. Magic is not to be trifled with as far as a reader’s concerned. Discuss how to give your characters powers–but not too much power–and how to keep internal consistency.

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Hope to see some people there!