It's that time again–time to give a you a detailed description of everything I plan to do in the new year which will turn out to be completely inaccurate by February.
Let's be honest, that's what I usually do, right?
Well, one of my New Year's Suggestions to myself is to not do that anymore. I've downgraded from “Resolutions” to “Goals” all the way to “Suggestions.” Next year it will probably be “Subtle Hints.” That's because Life is Life, and Things Happen, and Plans Change, and I'm slowly learning not to get Stressed about any of that.
I'm also learning that I don't have to use the strategy of announcing a project long before it's ready in order to force myself to get it finished. That has served me well in the past, but it's not necessary anymore. I've learned how to finish stuff. So I'm keeping my cards closer to my chest these days.
As such, I'm going to keep this post as succinct as possible, saving some details and announcements for later, when I'm closer to having them finished. For now, I want to give you a broad overview of what I have in mind for 2019, and alert you to some changes in my plans and strategies since last year.
This is just a small item I want to get out of the way. I haven't made any big announcements about this, but I'm sure many of you have noticed that I'm experimenting with different cover designs for my books. So far, I believe the new covers I've adopted for the ebooks have helped to make them more competitive and to boost my sales numbers, while not compromising the artistic vision I have for the Afterverse stories. However, I know that many long-time fans prefer the “classic” designs. As such, the paperback editions of the books still have the original covers. I don't plan on changing that unless there is sufficient demand for paperback editions of the new versions, and even then, I would still try to make the classic editions available alongside them. At this point, I also intend to continue creating classic-style covers for paperback editions of future books. If you really want physical copies of the new editions, let me know. As I said, I still won't be discontinuing the original versions if I release those; I might just shift them to Barnes and Noble Press or some other outlet.
I've chosen to streamline some of my plans for future Afterverse books, emphasizing my three “flagship” series–Beaumont & Beasley, Crockett & Crane, and Blackfire–rather than new spinoffs. This does not mean that the two previously announced spinoffs Netherfield and Tarzan & Mowgli will not happen. I still intend to write those, but they may be released in the form of future Beaumont & Beasley and/or Blackfire books instead of series in their own right, at least in the beginning. I don't want to spread my efforts too thin and sideline my established, successful series in the process.
As far as the existing series are concerned, future books are coming along nicely. I have eight more books planned in all for Beaumont & Beasley, which will culminate in a resolution to the main plot threads introduced in The Beast of Talesend. It's a little too early to talk about what will happen after that–it may be the end of the series, it may not. Sales will be a factor, of course. I certainly would like to continue the stories of the surviving characters in some fashion after Book 12, even if it's in a different, sequel series of some kind.
Crockett & Crane Book 2, Deadwood, will be released sometime this spring. After that comes Book 3, Westenra, which will complete an initial trilogy for the series and wrap up certain plot arcs. There will definitely be future books after Westenra, however, since Horseman is performing surprisingly well on Amazon despite being one of the least “written-to-market” books in existence. It has achieved bestseller rankings multiple times since my October relaunch, and I'm very grateful to everyone who made that possible by deciding to give this bizarre (but fun!) little book a try.
This also means that I am the first author in history to reach bestseller status in Children's Westerns and Historical Fiction with a book featuring a centaur protagonist. I wear the badge proudly. And fie on any schoolteachers who accuse me of teaching inaccurate history to kids.
I currently have a full “season” of five books planned for Blackfire, starting with The Thirteenth Knight in late spring/early summer. There will be further books after that.
Non-Afterverse Fiction Projects
Yes, I do have two projects in the works that are separate from the Afterverse (and from each other). I'm holding off seriously developing these until later in the year, though, so that I can focus on getting certain Afterverse projects completed.
You read the heading correctly–I am working on a non-fiction book. It's a humor/inspirational work for authors entitled Don't Write: A How-Not-To Guide for Writing Fiction. Despite the title, it is actually intended to motivate you to write rather than the reverse. It's some goofy reverse psychology that I wish had been available to me when I was struggling with creative anxiety, and which I hope will make a difference for other authors going through similar struggles. I will be sharing more details about this project very soon, and I intend to release it before the summer.
I will be arranging the production of an updated audiobook for The Beast of Talesend this year, and hopefully Horseman as well. I can't say too much about these projects yet, as they're still in very early stages. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon.
My current newsletter is going to get a significant overhaul in the very near future. I want to shift its focus so that it's of more value to my subscribers, and so that it encourages more engagement. I'll be revealing my full plans for the list very soon, but in a nutshell, it's going to be more of a fun, fiction-based experience than the basic newsletter I've been using up until now. Separate mailing lists will be launched for Don't Write and my other fiction projects in the future, while my current list constrains its focus to the Afterverse books.
Also, I will be unveiling a new set of email-subscriber-only freebies before long. These will be novella-length works rather than the short stories I currently have available, and will feature exciting untold stories of certain popular Afterverse characters.
There are currently two exclusive short stories available to my Patreon supporters, and more on the way. Some people have asked me about the possibility of these stories appearing in books outside Patreon. I've decided to collect the stories into anthologies periodically, as I accumulate enough of them to make for books of sufficient length. These anthologies will then be released on Amazon and other platforms (unlike my other books, which are exclusive to Amazon). The first of these anthologies, featuring a variety of Beaumont and Beasley stories I've written over the past couple of years, will be released early this year. Those who prefer not to wait for the books can sign up for my Patreon to read the stories on a monthly basis.
Conferences (or lack thereof)
It's been a very enriching and fun experience to attend the awesome Realm Makers conference for the past two years, and initially, my plan had been to definitely attend the next one as well. However, I've had to make some hard choices about what I can and can't do in 2019 in terms of finances, time, and other factors. Since I can't do everything this year, I've decided to shift conferences to the back burner for the time being. I'll reserve my final decision on whether or not I'm attending Realm Makers until the end of this month, but at the moment, it seems very likely that I won't be going. If I can't make it, I'll miss being able to interact with my author friends in person this year, but my hope is that I'll be able to get my business performing well enough over the coming months to allow me to attend at least one conference in 2020.
That's everything I can discuss right now, but there will be plenty of exciting news in the near future. Thanks for an amazing 2018, everyone, and I'm looking forward to sharing many more stories with you in the new year.