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Progress Report 2024 Week 05

I’d forgotten how much work it is to publish an eBook and a paperback. Especially when Amazon and Draft2Digital have such different tools! Did I finally push Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities across the finish line? Did I start writing The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone yet? After all, it’s been ten days since I started pre-production work! Let’s take a look at the numbers for last week before we get into any of that.

Progress Report 2024 Week 05 By the Numbers

Last week, the infographic read “Book 7.” I’d forgotten I had already completed its first draft!

I’m bummed I’m still showing zero words written in Collapse Zone. But, I did make progress! I’ll talk about that in a minute.

The biggest news is that after the cover reveals last week, I published Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities! It’s available on Amazon now, and it will be available on other platforms on January 30. If you’d like to buy a copy, you can find the links here.

You’re reading it here first. I’ll announce it to my mailing list as soon as I confirm the other links (like Apple and Barnes & Noble).

I gotta say, it feels good to have five books out. I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m going to call Evolution’s Hand complete after I publish Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis. Whatever comes after, it’s a great introduction to the world. It’s given me at least three distinct domains to play with. More, depending on how you count the perpendicular universes. Even if they aren’t written to market, I’m rather fond of them.

If any of you have read my materials from my anime site, me saying I don’t hate my writing might come as a shock. In fact, I had to stop typing when I wrote that line because it shocked me! I’m going to have to think about what that means.

It’s cool seeing Split Infinities listed. Though I’ve often wondered why Amazon doesn’t list the books in order. Like, why list Book 3, then Book 5?

Collapse Zone Progress

Looking back over my notes, I see that it takes me about two weeks to spin-up a new novel. I use that time to identify the point of view (POV) characters, discover what those characters want to say, build any sets/locations, and cast any new characters. By “discover what those characters want to say,” I probably mean that I want to let my imagination spin a story from the perspective of those characters. But I don’t want to discount the possibility that the characters only rent space in my brain — they exist independently of me. Stephen King voiced that perspective in his book On Writing. I want to make sure I respect their story and tell it to the best of my ability.

Am I being serious or facetious? Most days, I’d answer facetious. On others, though, I’m less sure. That’s how little I understand my creative process! I figure defaulting to a respectful position can’t hurt.

The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse zone is ten days into the (traditionally) two week spin-up cycle. On Saturday, I thought I’d actually start plotting on Sunday. I felt like I was that close. After all, I had finished sketching Ira Malhotra’s military plan and I had a good sense of where Luisa Brunner’s going. I even thought I knew enough about Owen Payne’s arc.

I thought I was ready to start plotting. The character Owen Payne had other ideas! His arc needed characters like Lukas Reiter, pictured above.

But when I started to plot, I realized that I knew the theme Owen Payne wanted to address, but not the mechanism. And now, a day’s worth of work later, I have six new characters who will interact with him! They’re part of TransStell Sirius’s Security Field Services division. Yes, I borrowed liberally from US military special forces for the acronym, and I hope it’s clear I did so with respect. Taken collectively, the group is called Special Operations Anywhere Response (SOAR) team. There’s more than one team, but this will be the only one in Collapse Zone.

Owen’s going to train with them. Well, more precisely, he’s going to help the AI named Amaterasu train with them. He’s going to develop a strong appreciation for what it takes to operate on the level of a special operator. Which is a good thing — he’ll need that knowledge where he’s going.

With that casting complete, I think I can start plotting.

One by One or As a Whole?

I’ve been thinking. I’ve gotten experience advertising and promoting a series starting with book one and publishing subsequent installments as I complete them. The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Red Flag Warning will go into its second draft cycle after I finish writing Collapse Zone. Should I publish it as soon as it’s ready? Or wait until I finish all three books?

I’ve seen evidence that I would have better read through if all three were ready. People get busy. If they read the first book and want to buy the second but it’s not available, I might never reach them again. That’s a lost opportunity. On the other hands, enthusiastic fans want the new releases as soon as they’re available. I don’t want to disappoint them. Plus, if I publish all three, there will be a delay in whatever comes afterward. I’ll have broken the production chain.

What do you think?

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here’s how I did against last week’s goals:

  1. Take delivery of the cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities: Done!
  2. Format the ebook for Split Infinities: Done!
  3. Format the paperback for Split Infinities: Done!
  4. Continue working on sets and casting for Collapse Zone: Done!
  5. Begin plotting Collapse Zone (stretch objective): Not Done! See above for an explanation.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 05

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Complete the first iteration of Collapse Zone’s plot
  2. Take delivery of the beta reader’s feedback for Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis
  3. Write Collapse Zone’s first chapter (stretch objective)

What Do You Think?

Do you release books in a series one at a time, or all at once? Maybe you do both? If so, how do you decide? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2024 Week 05

  1. This is one of the ultimate questions an indie author faces. On one hand, you could release all three at once, although I think the common idea is to release the first and set the preorders for the rest leaving a month between releases. Of course, that then prepares the readers to expect something from you at a pace that is likely unmanageable.

    I haven’t decided what to do with my novellas, although I feel like I want to have a good number done before I start releasing. Releasing them monthly sounds like a nice idea and having a buffer that allows me to keep working on future volumes. Although I have considered finishing them all and then making it a weekly release for a year. Decisions, decisions.

    Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.

    1. I’m still thinking about it, but right now, I’m leaning toward maintaining my current cadence. Trying to do anything else might impact my stride, and I don’t want to do anything to endanger the writing part of this process. It took me years to get starting again. I’d hate to mess it up now!

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. It helps me see this from another angle!

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