Hello once again! It’s time for your monthly progress update on all things From Ashe!
I have some things to discuss at a bit of length so let’s just jump right in!
From Ashe Vol. 5
It has been since December 2020 since I had published a volume of From Ashe. Normally, people who know me, know that I had set out to publish a book every three months which equates to four books per year.
Here we are, five months into the new year, and nothing has come out. I’ve already detailed the financial situation numerous times so I don’t believe it is necessary to keep beating a dead horse but as I was thinking about things, I came to a realization.
I still had two pieces of artwork that Alex had previously done for me that I haven’t used in the series yet. With some of the events happening in Volume 5, it would be easy for me to edit in a couple of lines here or there so that I could make use of that artwork.
Most light novels have three or four scenes in them anyway so I wouldn’t be falling short of the mark if I limited it to two scenes. Plus, with the artwork not being seen by anyone yet, it would still, technically, be new and not a rehash.
Unfortunately, I would have to re-use an art piece for the cover so I went with Ashe in her red attire. I have always felt that this was Ashe’s best depiction in the style that I wanted to capture for this series. While I decided to use it in a scene before back in Volume 2, I felt that it could also pass as the cover for Volume 5.
I polled some friends as well as sent out the question on social media, debating on whether or not to go ahead and use my limited assets to push the book out and, not a single person told me to wait. They said that while it would be short on art content, the story is what mattered the most. With that, I made the decision to pull the trigger and I will be releasing Volume 5.
As for the release date, I don’t know when it will be yet but it will be soon. Since I was of the original mindset to keep writing, work on Volume 6 began after Volume 5’s first draft had been completed. This meant that the book hadn’t been edited; however, now that I’m going to be releasing it, editing on Volume 5 has begun.
As of the time of this writing, I have the first four chapters edited. I plan to finish the final three chapters by the end of this weekend. This will get the book into 2nd Draft. From there, it’s going to get put through the double grammar pass using Google Docs and Grammarly, and from there, a final careful readthrough.
Once that’s done, it’s off to InDesign for formatting, then off to Amazon for approval. This also means that pre-orders will go up for autographed copies (and yes, that means you can order Volumes 1-4 as well and I will have stacking discounts as I did before!).
So, keep an eye out! Volume 5 SHOULD be out by the middle of the month if nothing detours me but an exact date is something I can’t really give right now!
As the title says, here is the cover for From Ashe Vol. 5
Doing all of my own editing has its pros and cons. The pros are obvious… it’s free and I am in complete control. The cons are also obvious… I miss things and I’m not a professional editor so errors can and will occur.
Before I ran into my financial issues, I did find someone who is willing to edit my books for a very reasonable price. While I can’t really afford to do anything with Volume 5, I’m hoping that things will have cleared up by the time Volume 6 rolls around so I can start investing in my series like I used to. This means it’ll be the first volume that will be professionally edited!
I wanted to save this announcement for when a book had already undergone the editing process but I also wanted to let you guys know that even with me going “dark” on releases, I have been still working behind the scenes on this series to try and make it even better than I could by myself.
The Future of From Ashe
Okay… I admit. The title of this section depicts doom and gloom but worry not. It’s nothing like that.
When I set out on this new series, I said that I had 20 volumes worth of content planned. As I continue to write and create a direction for the story, some of my originally planned ideas don’t make much sense anymore. Sure, I could come up with new material to reach that 20 volume mark; however, I feel like I would be unnaturally extending the story just for the sake of hitting a number I had previously mentioned.
I did; however, say that as things went on, I could be adding or subtracting content.
I’m always trying to plan ahead and when it comes time for Volume 7 to roll around, one of the characters is getting a major story arc closed as we move onto the next phase in Ashe’s journey. In fact, some of that begins as early as Volumes 5 and 6 as it’s a bit of a transition into a brand-new arc.
While on my original timeline, these events are right on schedule but beyond that, it just doesn’t seem as interesting. Some of the major markers I have planned would work better sooner than later and I think that has a lot to do with the pacing I set for this series.
Each book has been a bit faster than originally planned. A lot of this stems from the feedback I received when writing A.R. Dragonfly. I know I had a lot of filler and fluff in there, I over-explained things, and created a lot of redundancy. I wanted to try and eliminate that here in From Ashe and one of the ways to do that was to hit big strides with the story in shorter periods of time. While I think that has worked from an entertainment standpoint, not drawing things out pushed some of that content forward a bit.
When that happens, you start to look at the direction of the story and you begin to question whether the planned content still fits. In some cases, it doesn’t. I could make it fit but it would also break the pacing I had set and get in the way of some of the established storylines from keeping that pacing and/or concluding. It would be rather strange for characters to disappear right when they need to be around just so other characters can come in and do something.
I’m already intertwining multiple storylines at this point so there is plenty to sink your teeth into or get immersed with so I think it’s the perfect time for me to re-evaluate things and see what will be best for the series going forward.
This is probably going to result in fewer overall volumes but I don’t mind. A story should be told for as long as it has to. If that means more or fewer volumes, then that’s what it’s going to be. The goal here is to tell a complete story and a trip to the hair salon where Ashe meets another girl who becomes a stalker may not make sense anymore. (I actually never planned that. I literally just came up with that example off the top of my head so don’t read into that as if that is part of the cut content!)
I don’t think I will announce a number for the number of volumes the series will have. When I get to a point where I know I’m going home with the story, I’ll put a number on it then. Until that time comes, just enjoy the ride.
Last month, I talked about Final Hope going completely free-to-read on Honeyfeed. So far, it’s going better than I had expected!
As of today (May 1), Final Hope’s page has been viewed 326 times and 102 people have jumped in and began checking out the story!
If you haven’t read Final Hope yet, head on over and check it out!
This is another big project that I need to tackle still. When I first began publishing, I went straight for Amazon and didn’t look back. I locked myself into Kindle Select and that meant that my ebooks were in the Kindle format.
Well, Amazon wants you to remain under the Kindle banner so their Kindle Create software will only export in Kindle format and not epub which is the most widely used ebook format.
Well, Google Docs can export as epub and I have been playing around with it a bit. I’m still trying to get the formatting right on From Ashe Vol. 1 (which I’m using as a test) but if I can get it to where I’m satisfied with it, I will begin to convert all of my books into this format so that I can continue to go wide with my series.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to get all of that work done but it’s on the to-do list. I just wanted to give people a heads up that it’s coming!
Until Next Time
This update ended up being a bit longer than I thought! I guess I actually had stuff to talk about this time around!
If you would like these updates in email format rather than here on my page, there’s a button on the home page where you can sign up for a newsletter. Once the contact list grows, I plan on offering special deals to newsletter subscribers only!
Although, don’t feel any pressure to sign-up just yet as the deals probably won’t come for a bit. It’s still something that I’m working out right now and how I want to handle them.
I’ll see you all in June when I hope to update you on the progress of Volume 6!
Until next time,