To preface this post, I’m exhausted. Bone-weary exhausted. I’m in the final stages of preparing Old Secrets for release. Whiskers on Kittens is done, and I’m waiting for editorial notes on it, but I think I still have a chunk of work to do on it. (It will release on on Dec 19 as planned.)
But, as there are questions, confusion, etc, I’m going to clean the air on some things.
First of all, I am a human, I write books for a living, and I C-A-N-N-O-T write series books back to back. I simply cannot. I can, for example, wing an Agents of the Royal States and a Royal States book side by side, but only because the tone and content are significantly different enough to manage. (The character cast also tends to be different despite there being overlap.)
Second of all, I am not a machine, nor do I use AI to assist me in writing my books. That means someone (me) is sitting here writing books most days of the week.
Books take TIME to write. They take roughly 300 hours to write.
If I am only working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that is 160 hours a month (roughly), so it takes two months to write a book.
People (yes, among you) expect me to write faster, better, and release more frequently.
Sorry, but the answer is no. I will write precisely as fast as it takes me to finish books. I will also be picking books on a variety of metrics, which include the following:
1: Will the book make money?
I am not a huge corporation. I’m a one person shop, and I have to pay my staff and myself for writing the books. The money matters. I can only afford to do 1 or 2 books (at MOST) of series that aren’t paying the bills. The money makers pay the bills on those extra series.
So when I put a series like the Vigilante Magical Librarians on hold, it is because I cannot afford to write / publish that series as a money maker. It doesn’t make me money. It LOSES me money. That means I can ONLY write those books when the money allows.
No, I will not be doing a kickstarter for these books. (I will not be beholden to the almighty dollar for every second of my time, which is what would happen if I went that route.) No, I will not do any form of crowdfunding for it. No, I will not be doing anything with my Patreon for that series (or others that lose me money vs make me money.)
I will finish them on a schedule that does not break my bank.
Full stop. This is not up for negotiation. Yes, this is rude, but it’s just not up for discussion. Self-care is important, and sometimes, self-care is establishing a boundary and not allowing others to argue about it.
2: Have I been turned sour on the series because of reader behavior?
This stops the creative process dead in its tracks. Every action has consequences. Patreon is the only reason the Royal States series is continuing at any speed. I am not working on new projects in it (I have two going on, and once those are done, I will reevaluate once I have had a chance to cool off over the situation.) And yes, every now and then, someone comes up with a snide comment about an accent they don’t approve of.
Just wait until they hear Appalachian from an upcoming book. Spoiler alert: TV pronunciation is wrong for how the word is actually pronounced, especially from those who have lived in or near the region. Don’t ask me what my current go-to reply for this will be. It’s a bit rude.
3: Do I have time between the planned releases?
Until July 2024 rolls around and A Light in the Dark is released, the answer is no. And even then, I will be taking a year to just write books, sending the completed projects to my editor to be worked on but I will not be publishing hardly anything just to step back and do what I love, which is writing.
Once I have finished drafting, polishing, and preparing everything, you will be notified of what the publication schedule will be.
It will be a mix of passion projects, finishing series, etc. But all of them will fall under the “passion” project. I’ve been saving money for the past few months so I can pay the base book expenses while I write. The reality is? I need the space and time to not worry about publication. Publishing is the hardest and most stressful part of this business, and I need time away from it.
If you want to get a fix of books in the year where I only release one or two things, then I recommend you join my Patreon, as the cindercorns and spicy ponies will be receiving their read alongs as normal, and they will be reading them during the year I’m taking off just hammering away at books.
Once the year is up, we’ll see how the cards fall, how many books I managed to write, and so on. (Because, let’s face it, when I am able to just focus on writing books, I write better and faster; I can cut out 50+ hours from a book’s process just from skipping the anxiety of dealing with publication.)
It’s that stressful.
Writing is hard.
Publishing makes it harder.
And yes, when people get on their high horses about how they feel authors should work… readers make it even harder. I appreciate the hell out of my readers, but sometimes… y’all need to check yourselves at the door.
All I owe you is my best effort on every book I publish and release.
All you owe me is the amount of money I request for selling the book.
Everything else is extra.
I’m doing my best, and sometimes, that best involves establishing boundaries so I can keep trying to do my best.
I don’t like leaving series unfinished, period. Stop assuming that just because I have to wait for money to work out means that I’m quitting a series. (Although, let’s face it… every time someone pitches a fit about a series not having a book done because money is a real thing… I push that series off even longer. So, patience. You’ll get your series finished eventually. But money is a real thing *I* have to spend, and I promise you, it costs me a great deal more than the $6.99 you pay to write the book.)
Spoiler alert: my absolute lowest cost to produce a book, solely in ebook format, is $4,200. And that is the price where everyone OTHER than me gets paid for the book.
The money makers have to a: pay the rent, pay the bills, pay its own production fees, and pay me BEFORE it can pay the base costs for the books that lose me money.
I have very few money makers, but I keep writing the other series anyway… because I want to.
Be kind to your authors. None of us are okay out here at this point. And please… stop acting like you’re entitled to me spending $4,200 just to appease you because you want a series prioritized over something else.
It’s a bad look.
And no, I am not asking you to go buy books or send money or do anything like that. I’m just telling you what the reality of the finances are. Earning enough money to finish series is a me problem and not a you problem. It’s only a you problem if you lack patience.