It’s not just a brand-new month but also a brand-new year!
The first thing that I want to get out of the way is my lack of an update last month. I will go deeper into the reasoning behind it but not much, if any, progress was made. That changed and there are a few things I would like to talk about. Rather than break it down section by section, I’m just going to lay it all out under one header.
The Roadmap Hit a Roadblock
In my November 2022 update, I laid out a road map of what to expect from me going into the new year. I had every intention to hit those goals; however, something I didn’t foresee happened.
That something was on the artwork side of things. I do not want to go into details but my artist, Alex, is going through a bit of a tough time right now. He is taking extra time to make sure that his family comes first and I am 10,000% okay with that. It does not matter who I work with in any medium. Whether it is my artist, a co-worker at The Outerhaven, a member of my guild in World of Warcraft, etc. Family comes first. Period.
Because as such, Alex has been slower than usual. I had originally planned for all of the cover remakes to end in November but, instead, we are now in January and he just started work on Volume 6’s cover. This put me about two months (or more) behind schedule. I had originally planned for From Ashe Vol. 7’s release to be this month. I wanted to kick off the new year with a new release but that will no longer be the case. I do not know when Volume 7 will be out but I will tell you where I am with it.
Right now, the book is in the second draft stage. It needs another grammar pass to get it into the final draft stage which, honestly, won’t take me long. In fact, I plan on getting that done today while I have a nice three-day holiday weekend. After that, it needs one final readthrough. The other thing it needs is a bonus chapter. I still have plenty of ideas; however, I haven’t really nailed down which idea I want to go with. I SHOULD have had everything done by now but with Alex slowed down, I slowed down a bit as well.
I do have the scenes and characters picked out for commissions and I have already settled on the cover. I need to flesh out that sheet so I can give it to Alex once he’s done with Volume 6’s cover remake. With his change in speed, I decided to restructure my “roadmap.” Rather than put dates on it, I want to completely finish Volume 7 by next weekend which, if I take it one chapter at a time, it’ll be no problem at all. Then, while he’s working on Volume 7’s art, I will be going through and re-editing My Girlfriend Was Delivered by 2-Day Shipping to get that ready for publication.
Then, I will get the artwork to him for that, and that’s when I will redo Final Hope and get that into web novel format. When he’s done with MyGF’s artwork, I will have him do a cover for Final Hope. I will just need the background as I wish to use Zara’s artwork for the characters. There is something nostalgic about that artwork and I don’t want to replace it. I just need to come up with an idea for a bangin’ background. With it being one book now… I’m just going to need one cover.
After that, it will be a bit of a break for me and then I will begin work on From Ashe Volume 8. To be honest, Volume 8 may not happen until the 2023 holidays. It all depends on Alex and how fast he can get things going. I originally had it planned for April but I don’t want to push him and stress during a time when he needs to handle things at home.
However, getting From Ashe Volume 7 into the second draft stage wasn’t the only thing that I did.
If you recall, one of the projects I wanted to work on last year was creating an epub option for all of my eBooks.
Throughout the year, I tried several different options. I tried using Calibre to convert my Kindle files into epubs and while it did it, it completely destroyed the formatting. I then tried using Google Drive as it had an epub export feature; however, that also didn’t work as several pages went missing from each chapter.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do this easily which meant that I was going to have to sit down and hand-code 20+ books with HTML so I downloaded Sigil and was set to get to work. Then, Alex finished the cover for From Ashe Volume 5, and I went to update the ebook with the new artwork. When I went to export the file, my jaw hit the floor… Kindle Create now had the option to export to epub!
So, I decided to try it, and… it was a perfect 1:1 conversion! Nothing was missing, and all formatting was retained! So, I went through and created epubs for A.R. Dragonfly 1-12, A.R. Dragonfly Origins, and From Ashe 1-5. I will convert Volume 6 when Alex finishes the cover but thanks to Amazon no longer remaining Kindle exclusive, I now have a way to convert my ebooks!
I’m thinking about disabling auto updates just in case they change their minds, haha.
Now, there is only one tiny little problem… I’m Kindle exclusive.
Wait! Didn’t you have a few updates where you said you were going wide and you were waiting for your Kindle Unlimited contracts to expire? Didn’t you tell us all of your books were free!?
Yes, I did. But… the problem is that I still do not have an audience large enough to where it was a valid option. Plus, at the time, I was relying on PDFs and Google Play didn’t like them one bit. They converted all of my color art into black and white… and not just black and white but they looked like photo negatives. So, until I build an audience where going wide would make sense, I will offer epubs the same way that I offer autographed copies… through personal PayPal invoicing.
Just like the Kindle versions, epubs will be $4.99. I will simply invoice you the amount and once it is paid, I will send you the file via the email address you provide. Simple as that. I plan to roll that out soon and it should be available by the February progress update. I want to make sure Volume 6 is included before this service launches. Plus, this will allow me to run my own sales since I don’t have to go through a point-of-sale system.
I’ve been sitting here talking about the new covers throughout this update. If you follow me on social media, then you have already seen them; however, for those who do not, here are the new covers for volumes four and five!
And because it’s a new year, I’m going to show you a sneak peek at Volume 6’s new cover!
A little while back, I announced that I had set up a community Discord server. Also, if you have been paying attention, I have become less and less active on Twitter. With everything that is happening on that platform these days, I am beginning to shy away from it. There’s no telling what the future holds due to the recent events so that is why I have been interacting with others on Discord more and more.
So far, over 20 people have joined the server! They range from fellow OELN authors to some of my readers, a couple of V-Tubers, and some real-life friends. It’s a nice mixture and a small, quaint group of people who just like to talk and nerd out.
Of course, invitations are still open so if you’re interested in adding another server to your list, just click the button below!
Until Next Time
That’s going to do it for this month. I’m looking forward to wrapping up Volume 7 by next weekend and getting the work going on the rest of my projects! Once Volume 6’s new cover is up, I will make an announcement for epub offerings.
Take care, have a happy new year, and remember… always do everything I wouldn’t do!