Monday, August 12, 2013

Creeping Sales

I check my sales numbers for Kindle and Smashwords kind of regularly. I know I probably shouldn't. It can be kind of depressing to look at (I have 1 sale on SW, from about a year and a half ago). But, after I got over my last bout of "Fuck it, I quit!", I started looking at things differently.

I have relegated the short stories I've self-published to being practice. They are there for others to enjoy, and really, that's it. They are good ways of measuring my skill as a storyteller, and if I just look at them in that light, I'm ok. Right now, I make about 1-5 sales a month. The Orc stories seem to be the most popular, with Pekra and The Orc Way being at the top (though I think Blackskull's Captive is my best work). I also sell one or two copies of Entertaining the Masses each month. So, it's all good. Interestingly, my collection With a Silken Fist has yet to sell a single copy.

Going forward, I am going to focus more on developing longer works. And in between those, I'll work on shorts here and there. I will probably continue to self-publish the Gortek and Pekra stories on Amazon. But the other shorts will be submitted to pro markets.

My current long-form work is one that I blogged about a long while back. It's a sort of sequel to L. Sprague DeCamp's Conan of the Isles. As a Robert E. Howard fan, I know that I am expected to revile DeCamp and all that he touched. But, aside from his personal traits that I find deplorable (like his treatment of Howard's personal life and character), I enjoyed his pastiches, for the most part. I also liked how he filled in gaps in Howard's Conan narrative to create a single epic storyline (don't get me wrong, the Howard originals are still much better).

Conan of the Isles sees Conan abdicating the throne to his son, Conan II, or Conn, and going off on one last voyage of adventure. The story I have in mind answers the question of "What happened in Aquilonia when Conan disappeared?" For copyright reasons I am changing the names of characters, places, etc. But at its core, my story is still pastiche. I have outlined the first part of the book, and am working through chapter two right now. When it's all said and done, it'll probably weigh in somewhere between 50-60k words in length.

What am I going to do with it then? Submit it to publishers, probably. Maybe see if I can get an agent to work with me. Or, failing all of that, I might self-pub it, but that would be a last resort. At this point, I just want to focus on getting it done. I'll worry about how to publish it when I have a finished product to present.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I think it's best to try for publishers first. At least some of your output going that way could be beneficial