A brand-new month is here which means that it is time to check in on what I have been doing over the past month!
While, I don’t have much to report, what I do have is something rather significant and exciting!
In my last progress update, I made the announcement that I had tested positive for COVID-19. I was at the tail-end of recovery and now, I can firmly say, that I am 100% recovered and doing very well! COVID-19 was the biggest reason for the lack of progress as it coincided with a break that I was taking. I had planned to take some time off, which I did, but then COVID extended that break. So, I ended up taking most of the month of September off but it had gotten to a point where I said ‘enough is enough’.
I’m healthy now, I’m fired up, and I’m ready to get back to work and that is what I did!
A.R. Dragonfly Origins
One of the things that motivates me is setting a goal and sticking to it… but it has to be a goal where I feel pressure. I can’t just say ‘oh, I’ll watch X amount of episodes of anime today’ because I feel no pressure in that. I know that those episodes will always be there and if something comes up or I simply just don’t feel like watching it, I can just pass on it with little to no consequence. That all changes when I need to review those anime for The Outerhaven which is what ended up happening to me this season. I ended up binge-watching the shows I needed to review and I got it done because I felt the pressure to do so.
I had already set the goal to publish both volumes of A.R. Dragonfly Origins at the same time in January. My mindset when taking my break was that ‘I have five months to write two books and, if I push myself, I can write a book in a week. I’m good to relax.’
That was said back in July. It’s now October and 2021 is getting closer by the second. So, I put my nose to the grindstone and started writing again.
While I haven’t finished the chapter as of this writing, I did get through about 3/4 of Chapter 5. I’m not worried about making it perfect right now. I know there is a LOT I want to change (i.e. emphasize more, write better dialogue, give more meaningful reasons as to why things are happening) but I figured that I will do that in the editing pass. There’s no need to obsess over it on the first draft which was a lesson I learned when writing Final Hope. It took me FOREVER to get off the first chapter because I was trying to perfect the first draft without realizing it could be done during the editing process. As it stands, the first five chapters paint the general picture but some of the things that happen seem like they’re happening just for the sake of happening. Those will be fixed so that Amber’s story can be crafted in a meaningful way that helps you understand why she is the way she is in the main series.
My lofty goal is to finish the first draft of Origins: Episode Amber this weekend which means, I have 2.25 chapters left to write, which isn’t too bad. I then have a goal to write and complete Kaito’s volume this month as well. That is where I am at with Origins.
Now, as for From Ashe… I made a statement on Twitter that I want to start writing the first volume in November for NaNoWriMo. That is still the goal. What I couldn’t fit into 280 characters was that I also want to outline volumes 2-4 by the end of November. Just to get the ideas and the flow of the series in gear. Then, I can spend December, January, and February writing those books out.
I don’t want to make any promises but I do have a loose timeframe of February/March for the release of From Ashe Vol. 1. Things can change but that is what I am aiming for.
There will be some things that are going to change with From Ashe that I do want to make you all aware of.
The first is autographed copies.
I have lost a bit of money doing autographed copies for friends and family and, unfortunately, it eats too much of my savings to continue to do that. That is why with From Ashe, there will be autographed copies but they MUST be pre-ordered and paid for before I order them from Amazon.
Amazon typically takes 2-3 weeks to ship the books to me so that is why I am doing pre-orders… so there is no expected product the moment you place your order. I will start taking pre-orders a week before the order date. Once the week ends and I place the order, I will give you Amazon’s estimated delivery date for the books. I will inform those who ordered when they should arrive and when they will ship out from me, including giving you a tracking number so you can follow the progress.
The next thing that will be changing is the price of the books.
Starting with From Ashe, the price will be $12.99 on Amazon for the paperback. It will still remain at $4.99 for the eBook version. The reason for the price change is that after Vol. 5 of A.R. Dragonfly where people wanted more content, the cost of printing and shipping increased. That also meant keeping the price tag at $9.99 resulted in very little profit from each sale. Bigger books simply cost more and that also translates to autographed copies as well.
With shipping prices through USPS ranging from $7.50 — $10.00, plus with it costing about $4.50 per book to print, plus Amazon’s shipping cost to me, $20 is also providing very little return. I do plan on From Ashe’s volumes to be in the 250-300 page range (maybe more, depending on content), so in order to make it to where I can afford to continue providing autographed copies, I will be bumping the price to those to $25.
If my scribbles aren’t worth that much to you, you can always grab it for $12.99 off Amazon.. and with free shipping if you have Prime. I didn’t want to do this with A.R. Dragonfly because the first four books were already set at $9.99 and I didn’t want to interrupt that familiarity. I felt it was best to change things with a new series.
Sadly, I am also ceasing free copies for friends and family all together. This was a very hard decision for me to make as I want people to read and enjoy my stories but, at the same time, I need to stop bleeding money and ending up in the negative with every release. The reality is that when I pay $900 a month for student loans on top of all my other bills, every spare dollar means a lot. I was losing all of that spare money and then some by not charging for copies of A.R. I can’t continue to do that. I have debts to pay down and, sometimes, that requires tough decisions… decisions that make you uncomfortable and ones you don’t want to make but have to.
The only thing I can ask for is you to understand.
If someone wants to throw $50,000 at me without wanting anything back so I can pay off my student loans, then guess what? Free copies for everyone, I won’t care at all at that point. But, unless that happens (in which the chances are less than zero), this is unfortunate route I have to take. I know this is something I talked about before in a previous update but now that I settled on the final numbers, I wanted to revisit this.
A Second New Series
I made some references to this on Twitter but I want to make it official. I am going to be starting a second new light novel series in addition to From Ashe! This one… is going to be quite different because this one is not coming to paperback or Amazon.
Remember when I said I had multiple projects that I was working on that I wasn’t ready to announce yet? Well, this was one of them.
I am branching out into the world of Web Novel Publishing. Essentially, there are websites out there like SribbleHub, HoneyFeed, RoyalRoad, etc. that publishes light novels on the web where anyone can come and read them for free. Usually, the chapters are micro-sized (anywhere between 1,000-1,500 words) and are posted weekly. The best part is, you can advertise your website and/or other series on there so the more people that read your stories, the more chances you have of getting them interested in your other works.
That’s the plan… to create an interesting story that people will like and, hopefully, it will interest them in checking out Final Hope, A.R. Dragonfly, Origins, and From Ashe. I guess you could call it marketing but I call it another way for me to help get my name out there so I’m going to give it a try.
Since the chapters are so small (I can write 1,000 words in 15 minutes or less), it’s not going to interrupt the progress of Origins or From Ashe.
So, with that being said… what is the next series? It must be slice of life since that’s the kind of writer I am, right?
I’m writing an isekai.
Yes… you read that right… an isekai!
It’s called Reincarnated as a Wolf Girl Assassin and it’s about a furry otaku boy named Kino who dies and gets reincarnated in a world that mixes older-style modernist aspects with a bit of mystery and magic. The only problem is, Kino is reincarnated in the body of a wolf girl named Fenris who, apparently, had also died. Now, his memories are intertwined with hers! He/she is discovered by another wolf girl named Haru who informs her that she is an assassin on a mission! And so begins Kino/Fenris’ journey into this new life.
The first six micro chapters are written; however, they won’t be published yet. I want a pretty good stockpile of them so that I can maintain a long release schedule.
Also, I have compiled those chapters into one, long chapter for another reason…
My First True Writing Contest
I have entered a writing contest in which monetary prizes are involved! For the sake of fairness and not giving myself an edge, I will refrain from stating what the prize money amounts are and where/who the contest is with. I don’t want people arbitrarily lifting my name above others… if I were to win, I want it to be fair.
The contest submission deadline is November 1 and while the chapter has been submitted, it’ll be a bit before we know the results. I may not even know the results by the time the next progress update comes around but I will be sure to do a separate update to let you all know how I did.
I also see this as a testing ground for Reincarnated as a Wolf Girl Assassin to gauge interest in it. If it performs well in the contest, then I know that I may be able to do well with web publishing.
Another YouTube Review
Big shoutout to L.C. Gatsu who took the time to read and review A.R. Dragonfly Vol. 1! He did a YouTube video review for the book which you can check out below:
A.R. Dragonfly Coming to Bookshelves!
This last bit of news is really exciting! I was contacted by my sister Nickie who owns her own comic book store up in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her and her husband were interested in stocking my A.R. Dragonfly book series in their store!
They ordered 3 of each volume and they should be arriving mid-to late October! This will mark the first time A.R. Dragonfly could potentially be sold in an actual brick and mortar retail store!
This came out of the blue and surprised me (in a good way). I can’t thank Nickie enough for wanting to put my books in her store! It truly means the world to me and I feel so humbled!
If you’re reading this and live in that area, stop by Zombie Hideout later this month and check out the series for yourself!
Until Next Time
That’s going to do it for this month’s progress update! Next month should have some significant progress for Origins to be included in it! Stay tuned for that!
There are still a couple of other projects I am working on! Hopefully, one of them will be ready to announce next month, too!