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Category: Goals

The year of the audiobook

Posted in Audiobook, Goals, Production, and Publishing

I've made up my mind. This will be the year I publish audiobook editions of all my titles.

So far, only To Carry the Horn has an audiobook edition. (I've written about producing it here.) I did the narration myself, and I relied upon a local music studio to do the recording.

I'm pleased with the quality of the result, and the reviews are favorable. I've even had a few fans contact me looking for more — but I've balked at producing the rest of them because of the cost of the studio work.

Today, however, my friend Katie persuaded me otherwise.

Here's why…

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm planning on writing several entries in the new series, The Affinities of Magic, before publishing them at the beginning of 2018, one every month or two. I think that'll be an interesting experiment in building momentum, and I should be able to manage 4-6 entries before my publishing schedule catches up with my writing. Since it's a new series, I'm hoping my readers won't mind too much waiting a little bit to begin it, if I can saturate them with new entries from the start.

It also lets me experiment with pre-orders, and all the marketing related to that, since I'll have plenty of time to line those dates up.

The bad part of that, for me, is that it means I won't be publishing much except a few shorter works in 2017, and sales tend to drop when no new titles come out.

Katie suggested putting up the missing audiobook editions (as well as audiobooks for the new series ahead of time). That would give me new editions to publish and keep the momentum going for 2017. It's a great idea.

We kicked around the idea of getting local college or high school media interns to help out, but then I realized nothing was really keeping me from just doing the whole thing myself. Nothing that I couldn't solve if I tried.

What's been stopping me from setting up a home studio is that I'm living in a tiny 1812 log cabin, and there's no room that's out of reach of the hot air furnace, and only one where the television is inaudible.

I don't have a good place to set up as a studio, with sound insulation and all the rest — not without making everyone else tiptoe around to accommodate it. It's not like we have a spare closet.

Desktop microphone isolation stand

But, you know, technology marches on. The popularity of podcasting has created a demand for gear that can create a mini-environment for recording on a desktop. If all the noise that reaches the mike is controlled, maybe the entire room doesn't have to be deadened like a real studio.

I'm an audiophile as a consumer, but not as a producer. I can grope my way around an audio editor program like Goldwave because I'm also a fiddler and I needed a tool to clean up workshop recordings, but that's a far cry from being an audio engineer. On the other hand, this is spoken word, not multi-track music.

What's one more learning curve for an indie author and publisher, eh?

I'll have to wait until spring is far enough along that I can shut the furnace down for a couple of hours at a time, but by then I expect to have a portable home studio set up for less than the cost of engaging an audio professional to do the work for me for a single book.

And then I'll start cranking them out.

Writer by day, and narrator by night.

Taking stock of 2016

Posted in Goals

Still Life and Street, M.C. Escher, 1937It's time to look back on 2016 and take stock — what worked, what didn't, and where I spent my time.

Accomplishments

I almost tripled 2015's word count, though my total of 343,000 fell just short of my target of 365,000.

For the first time, I managed to publish four books in eleven months — an entire series (The Chained Adept: 2/2016 thru 1/2017). The whole thing was an experiment in writing as a “pantser” (by the seat of my pants), without an outline (other than the basic inflection points of the story). I liked the freedom of the process and will continue that way.

I also packaged up and released two book bundles for the Hounds of Annwn series and expanded my international distribution.

Read More Taking stock of 2016

Word Count 2016

Posted in Goals

table_abacus-gregor_reisch_margarita_philosophica_1508

Always good to know what the numbers say…

Words of fiction

2016 – 346,258
2015 – 119,603
2014 –   65,736
2013 – 210,470
2012 – 270,600

Total – 1,012,657

 

Goal for fiction for the new year

2017 – 365,000

Blog posts

2016 – 43,429
2015 – 30,619
2014 – 34,214
2013 – 28,714
2012 – 18,347

Total – 155,875

A milestone

Posted in Goals

1MillionI'm reluctant to even mention it, but I've just passed my first million-word milestone. Why am I reluctant?

When I was writing my first novel, four years ago, I had no idea what to expect of the writing life. I was immensely gratified with the production of a book I wanted to read, and my fans have been kind enough to agree, picking up the whole series over time, novels and shorter works.

At that time, a million words seemed an impossible distance away. More experienced authors muttered things like, “The first million words are just a start,” and I couldn't believe them. How could that be?

But they were right. I'm most of the way through my seventh novel, with two more planned for the year, and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what I need to learn to grow as a writer. I'm more humble now, but looking forward to the second million, and the third. This post is more of an homage to how I felt when I was getting started, than how I feel now.

BTW — How long does it take to write a million words of fiction? At my current rate of about 750 words/hour, that's more than 1300 hours, one word at a time. At 40 hours/week, that's only 33 weeks. Doesn't seem like that much, when you put it that way, does it?

Taking stock of 2015

Posted in Goals

Still Life and Street, M.C. Escher, 1937It's time to look back on 2015 and take stock — what worked, what didn't, and where I spent my time.

Accomplishments

I doubled 2014's word count (which isn't saying much), even though I spent 5 months working on something else. That put me on track for equaling my annual word count for 2012 and 2013, if I had written for the full year.

I wrote two more short stories for my eventual collection.

My first short story submission was accepted and released.

I wrote a fantasy novel which will be out early in 2016 — The Chained Adept, the first in a series.

I researched methods of working with the Constructed Language (CONLANG) community and formed a professional relationship with a conlanger. Here's how it's worked out.

Read More Taking stock of 2015

Word Count 2015

Posted in Goals

table_abacus-gregor_reisch_margarita_philosophica_1508

Always good to know what the numbers say…

Words of fiction

2015 – 119,603
2014 –    65,736
2013 – 210,470
2012 – 270,600

Total – 666,399

Goal for fiction for the new year

2016 – 365,000

Blog posts

2015 – 30,619
2014 – 34,214
2013 – 28,714
2012 – 18,347

Total – 111,894