Paperbacks

A loyal reader recently lit a fire under my ass when he when asked about Badlands #3 (Out of the Badlands) coming out in paperback. So, I got inspired and I spent the last two days making paperbacks for all my novels (and one novella) that currently do not have paperback editions.

Look for those soon; I’ll probably send something out to the mailing list about it too. I also revamped the paperbacks for Into the Badlands and Beyond the Badlands while I was at it, putting new covers on the books and fixing some typographical errors still outstanding.

In addition to Out of the Badlands, new titles coming soon in paperback are The Saint, the Sinner and the Coward, Familiar Lies, Yesterday In Black, and It Came From the Mountain.

As always, if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle edition for free. Great for gift-giving to family members who don’t have Kindles. It’s a win-win. (Remember that come the holidays.)  🙂

Productivity Boost

Now that I seem to have gotten my mojo back, the words are flowing again and I’m back on track with my quotas. While I’m happy to be back in the saddle, I’ve been thinking about my current rate of production.

Currently, I produce about 40,000 words per month and I’ve been doing it for almost a year. I write for two, thirty-minute sprints each day. That nets me about 1,400 words per day, on average.

I started thinking about how I might improve upon that while still avoiding burnout. I landed on the idea of adding a half-sprint (15 minutes) to each day.

Look at the numbers: Take 1,400 words per hour, divide it by 4 and you get 350 words. Now, take 350 words and multiply that by 365 days; that’s more than 127k words per year, just by adding a single 15-minute sprint to the daily quota.

Even adjusting it down to say, 250 extra words then multiplying that by 300 days (assuming I have some off days) that’s more than 100k words by year’s end.

That’s more than enough words for an entire novel.

Do the math…it’s not about speed. It’s about consistency. Fifteen minutes a day nets me an extra novel per year and without so much extra work that it’ll burn me out (I’m a full-time programmer with a wife and kids, so I have to watch my time closely). But fifteen minutes? It’s a no-brainer. I started today and I got my extra sprint in easily.

So if you like my books, you’re in luck; there’ll now be an extra one for you each year.

Short Stories, Distractions, and More

Summer has been anything but relaxing for me. I thought I’d be able to keep up my writing streak and maintain my high levels of productivity, but I’ve dwindled down to about half of where I was during the winter months. So instead of 40,000 words per month, I’m writing about 20,000 words per month. I suppose some might still consider that a success, but in context, well…not so much.

But life intrudes. My day job hasn’t been so stable for me these days and that seems to have intruded on the serene little writing happy place I’d carved out for myself late last year/early this year. I think we all need to remember that life isn’t going to cooperate with our wishes and desires all the time and that distractions and tumult just has to be weathered like a storm. You batten down the hatches, hunker down and do the best you can until it passes.

That said, I have still made some progress. I finished Devil Breed a couple of weeks back. It clocked in around at around 200 pages or so and I like where it went. It still needs some editing and a final read, but I’m going to try to get it out before the end of August. Looking back, in the last ten months I’ve published five novels, so I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. 🙂

Outside of Devil Breed, I’m now caught up on all but one of my completed manuscripts. They’ve gone through their edits and have been released out into the wild to fend for themselves. Only a single book remains; a little novel called Vengeance In the Badlands, which I’m still trying to figure out what to do with. I’m not sure that I’m happy with it, so I’ve been sitting on it until I make some time to read it again and make a decision as to its fate. It’d be nice to have another book for sale, but I don’t want to rush it or publish something that’s not up to standards. I’ll probably make a decision by the end of the year, one way or another, but for now I’m just going to let it sit.

Since finishing Devil Breed, I’ve started two novels and ended up stalled out after only a few chapters. I think the stress of my day job and the distractions of summer have taken their toll. I also let self-doubt catch up to me again, which slowed me down a lot. And if I’m being honest, I also made the mistake of focusing too much on sales and not enough on the fun of telling stories. When it becomes about the money, I know I’ve gone off the rails somewhere.

That said, it’s time to refocus. June is gone. July is now upon us, bringing with it a blank slate and ample opportunity to get back in the saddle. With summer distractions and day job instability, it’s going to continue to be difficult to focus on a novel. So I’ve decided that instead of spending the next two months on a new novel, I’ll instead spend it writing short stories. By their very nature, they don’t require marathon-like focus and dedication, allowing me some latitude to deal with the other stuff going on for me right now. I just don’t want to lose momentum and this keeps me writing. And at the end of the summer, I’ll have another book for you once I gather all these stories into a single collection.

So with renewed focus and dedication, I should have a novel out to you by summer’s end, followed by a whole bunch of short stories. After that, who knows? I choose projects on a whim, so I couldn’t tell you what kind of mood I’ll be in after summer is over. I do, however, plan to be working on something. Until then, I’ve given you plenty to read, so check out my stuff and see if you find something you like.