October 1st – Progress Update

Welcome once again to the development blog. This update I’ll be covering recent progress and milestones since the Sept. 14th post as well as an outline for the coming months leading into the New Year.

New Business

I can’t mention anything until I mention my first sale as a published author. That’s right— since the last update, I have published The Krill and made it available through retail. And not only that, a day later someone bought a copy!

In addition to publication, I also uploaded The Krill to Wattpad, which is a community writing collaboration where authors can post finished works or works in progress to share and receive feedback. My Wattpad author page can be found by following this link.

Moving to market is one of the most complicated, multifaceted, trying puzzles I’ve ever tried to sort out by myself. I know I mentioned it in earlier updates, but the plan is/was to release the five short stories in serial for free on the Shades of Samsara site, and then move them to the shop. With the decision to post to Wattpad, I’ve diverged from that original plan slightly as I now have the first short story available for free as well as simultaneously available for purchase.

As a consumer, this would only bother me, if I had already paid for something that I then found out I could have gotten for free. But as an author, I see it as, I’m creating content that you can enjoy, regardless, but if you like and enjoy it, my recommended donation is the MSRP of the e-book from a retailer. That makes sense right? In case you’re interested, but weren’t aware, there is an option to openly donate on the shop page over at Shades of Samsara.

I feel like I constantly have my hands out. It’s not a great feeling, but neither is worrying about bills and debts, rent and food for the table. That’s the bottom line. As much as I hate the way being a salesmen makes me feel, I’ve got to start turning some profit. To date, I’m netting about $2/month from advertisement and sales. Factor in the webhosting fees and that’s a larger, negative number, very quickly.

The Series

Moving into October is sort of surreal. A year ago I was getting married. A friend of mine was still alive and attending that wedding. Now, this October feels a bit more Charyoutree than years past. I’m looking forward to November, and what that means as far as NANOWRIMO. But for now, I have to focus on the more immediate timeline, and that has me finishing the next short story’s first draft, which I’ve begun pacing out.

I think I’ve settled on titling the book brattea ratio. Notice it’s not capitalized, and that’s significant to retain the intended latin. brattea ratio translates to “foil system”. I played around quite a bit with synonymous terms of foil, but brattea means almost a “gilded” sort of foil. Brattea, in my opinion, best represents the idea of a thin veneer which is the type of ‘foil’ I wanted to reference. The foil system is the primary focus of the third short story that takes place circa 1930-1940.

Sometimes it does feel like all I’ve been doing lately is working on short stories, promotion and marketing and web development. One has to wonder, what has happened to the namesake of this domain and this development blog.

What about Titan 3030?

To tell the truth, I wish I had more progress to speak of than I do. It was really discouraging to have every alpha reader fail to complete the read or fill out the exit survey. I’m sort of in a position where I have so much work that I can do and focus on, outside of the novel, that it just doesn’t make sense for me to push forward until I get the feedback I had planned on having before my next round of revisions.

Even writing that feels like I’m trying copout or convince myself that I shouldn’t even be working on it, but that’s not really the case. I think in the next couple weeks as I finish brattea ratio and continue serializing Roswell That Ends Poorly, I’m going to weave in listening sessions on the current draft of Titan 3030 and take notes for terminology and material to flesh out wiki articles more.

This timeline I put myself on, to publish Titan 3030 by March 3rd, 2017 is maybe one of the most challenging things I’ve ever set out to accomplish. I have to admit to a secret desire to desperately wanting to be done with all of this. After March 3rd, I will have the freedom to pursue any direction in my life as I wait to find out whether or not the world likes my writing. But—I have to make it to that date. I owe myself that much. I owe myself a proper finish to the largest project I’ve ever created and undertaken in my life.

Everything Else

And that, really, is the bottom line. I have a few active employment leads developing at the moment and that gives me a bit of hope. I keep having this urge to return to academics, an urge to sharpen my blade I feel has become dulled over time. If one of these employment opportunities in particular is successful it comes with an education credit that will be a leap forward to acquiring my MFA in writing. I’ve been looking at the Stone-coast writer’s program through USM. I would have loved to do master studies at the College of the Atlantic but I just don’t see it as a feasible option.

Marketing and promoting is my least favorite thing to do. The twitter following is up to 350+, I mean, to me, that’s like how many friends I had on Facebook before I decided I only wanted to use Facebook for friends. I see robotic accounts with 20k, 40k followers, and it makes me have to wonder, why? So much of the internet apps and tools and sites out there now don’t make sense to me.

I guess I just don’t understand the need for so many niche social media platforms. It just blows my mind society is headed in such a face-in-screen-even-when-away-from-the-computer mentality. I’ve spent a large slice of my life in front of a screen, but not while I was outside. Not owning a cellphone for 6 years now has given me some perspective on the cultural shift. It makes me feel really old.

I’ll end on that high note. By mid-month update, I really hope to have some Titan 3030 specific news, regardless of what it is. A lot of my thinking is going to marketing and ideas for merchandise. It doesn’t feel very imaginative or creative or fulfilling, but it is absolutely necessary.

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