Thank you. Thank you so much. The Essalieyan Novel Patreon was way more successful than I thought it would be. It was such a big ask. I didn’t want anyone who has read these books all along to feel pressured or guilty or obligated. The author deal has always been: I write a book, the publisher publishes the book, readers buy the book. And this was … not that.
Going forward, I’ll do all Patreon stuff on Patreon, so it’ll disappear from this web-site except as a link in the sidebar.
But: I get to write the final arc, the final series, in the Essalieyan universe – and I will. I will write the books at the same general speed I’ve always written them, during the same writing time. The gap between War and book one of the new series will be longer than usual because of all the uncertainty (and also: the wrong 110k words).
I wasn’t certain I’d be able to write them. I would have tried, but they would have become writing I would have had to do in my free time, for myself, and there would have been much larger gaps between books, because it’s usually the “for myself” things that get put aside in the face of deadlines and household stress.
Now, I won’t have to struggle to find that free time.
I’ve been given that time, and my commitment is to write these books from page one of the first book to the end of the last.
(If you don’t know what this refers to, this is the long story.)
I have seen things on the internet, and I want to address them.
1. I am not angry at DAW. I am not angry at Sheila or Betsy. I seriously do not want readers to be angry at DAW on my behalf. We were all doing our best in difficult situations, and sometimes best isn’t enough. I have an omnibus for Queen of the Dead coming from DAW in December of this year. I want to write books for DAW in future.
At any other publisher, House War would probably have been dropped in the middle. Even so, if it weren’t for the PRH negotiations, the rest of the books would still be with DAW.
I obviously love these books. So does Sheila. I really, really worried that my readers would be angry with DAW about this, which is half the reason I struggled with the last post. I can’t tell people how to feel; I can only tell them how I feel and ask them not to be angry for me when I’m not angry.
2. I am going to self-publish in ebook when Hunter’s Redoubt is finished. That was always the intent. If you read ebooks, the book will be available from the usual suspects. Given the Patreon, I’m looking at possible print options as well.
My self-publishing choices will not seem like smart business choices to many self-publishers. I understand that.
If I were starting out now as a new author and I was trying to gain traction and earn money, I would seriously consider the Kindle exclusive option for Kindle Unlimited. But in that case, I would be building a reader base from readers who are, obviously, already on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Those readers would not be disenfranchised by the exclusivity choice because… they’re already on Amazon.
But I’m not a new author who is just starting out. My West readers came to me, originally, through print. Through bookstores. Through B&N, through independents, some in different countries. Some of them don’t or won’t use Amazon. Some of them don’t read ebooks. Some of them have moved to kindle or to kobo or iBooks or nook.
I can’t tell those readers: Sorry, I am only going to be available on Amazon. I know all the reasons why that choice is smart for self-publishers who are not in my situation. They have different priorities.
But I’m going to do my best to reach the readers who’ve been with these books for so long. There may be bumps or delays – some of this will be totally new to me – but that’s my intent.
Nothing much is going to change here on my web-site. As I said in my previous post, I’m still going to give progress reports on the state of my writing, and the state of my writing will involve both books. I’m still going to have good writing days and days where I pull out half my hair and days where I delete whole chapters and curse #PastMe.
I will still blog covers & preview chapters. From the blog side of things, nothing will change.
If you only want actual publication notifications, I’ll still do those on the pub-only mail list (the link is also in the sidebar).
And finally, for Sagara readers: Thanks so much for your patience as I panicked. Sword and Shadow is with the editor, and I expect it will return to me with editorial feedback (i.e. revisions) soon. I haven’t started the next Cast book yet, in part because those revisions will be on the desk and in part because of all of the stuff above. I’ll be starting that after I’m done with Sword and Shadow revisions.
This is the preview cover of Sword and Shadow, the second Severn book. I love it.
Usually I try to post only the full cover (with the back cover blurb) because you’ll see the front cover in other places. I will post the full cover when it arrives — but it always arrives later than the front cover.
ETA: The cover, as always, is a combination of artist Shane Rebenschied and art director Kathleen Oudit.