As some of you may know from past posts, I put my first two books up on Amazon and Smashwords on December 31, 2011. The first eight months were not very impressive, as I believe I sold about forty eBooks during that time. Then I did the giveaway of The Deep Dark Well, to the tune of over 4,000 copies. Two months later I published Exodus: Empires at War: Book 1, and it started selling well. How well? Over a hundred copies in October, 872 in November, 1,976 in December and 3,088 in January. I released Exodus Book 2 in December, 2011, and sold 1,440 copies that first month. In January of 2012 I sold a total of 8,560 eBooks, and that was when I decided I would do this thing full time in the near future. By the middle of March, 2012 I quit my job and I was suddenly my own boss. So, four years after putting up those first two books, I have sold over 151,000 Ebooks, 1,500 paperbacks, and 4,300 audiobooks, for a grand total of almost 157,000 copies. Six of the Exodus books have hit number 1 in Space Opera or Military Scifi on Amazon.UK, and top 10 on Amazon.US, with one reaching number 2. My total Amazon reviews total over 2,200, with an overall average across all books of 4.6 stars. On Goodreads I have over 2,300 ratings, with a 4.09 star average (4.18 for the Exodus series). We won’t get into money, except to say that I am making a very comfortable midlist (old midlist that is to say) income. So, everything is going well. I would like to do even better. I think most writers would. With the averages of my ratings on Amazon and Goodreads I think I can attract a bigger audience. The trick is actually doing it.
On New Year’s Day I posted that I was going to try for 3K words a day. Then I came down with bronchitis, and have been lucky to average 2K. But I believe the 3K average will come when I’m feeling better. That comes out to about 1.095 million words for the year, or just about nine of the 120,000 word novels I tend to write. It will probably be more like 7 books, and the rest in short stories, blogs, whatever. I have other series in mind, things I would like to work on, but first I need to finish what I started. So, future plans?
Exodus is still the primary focus. I am up to book 9 of the main storyline now. Some have commented that it’s already too long and needs to be finished. The majority opinion is that I can’t do too many books, but I have to disagree with that as well. I am planning a total of twenty books in the main series. Exodus was envisioned as a long series about a grand scale war. Some have said it appears to be World War 2 in space, which it kind of is, but not completely. Being an epic war, I wanted it to have a grand sweep, with successes and failures, advances and retreats, all the things that make up a grand war. While technology advances on both sides, there are no miraculous superweapons that win it overnight. Twenty should get me there, and there will be at least three books in the main storyline in the coming year, with the first release planned for March. Machine War, the side series, is also doing well, though not in the same league as the main storyline. One of the reasons for releasing that series while the main one still progressing was to have continuity between the two lines, without one already having given away the game of the other. There will be at least one book in Machine War released in 2016, and a total of six in the series. I will also put out a book or two of Tales of the Empire, with the first due for release in about two weeks. I like these short story and novelette collections because not only are they fun to write, they are good practice for writing short fiction. There will be some Tales of the Empire standalone novels as well, covering the history of the Empire. I will also write book 5 of the Refuge series, closing in on the finish. I expect 6 books will complete it. This was a series I had great hopes for, but it just isn’t doing it. Maybe some time in the future I can restart it.
In two weeks I will be releasing the first book of the second Deep Dark Well trilogy. I wrote this book back in 2011, prior to releasing my first self pubbed work. I love the storyline, and it opens up an entirely new Universe with endless possibilities. I will probably release a book a year until the trilogy is finished, then see what happens. I have two short stories for invitation only anthologies I need to submit by January 31st, and another two for additional invitation only anthologies in May. And at least one, maybe two, novel submissions for traditional publishers. Now, several popular traditionally published authors have asked me why I would want a publishing contract. The answer is to get more readers. I would like to lock in a series with preferably Baen, do a book a year for them, maybe two, and spend the rest of the time putting out self pubbed. I think I can make it work to the mutual advantage of the publisher and myself.
I have more series in mind for the future. I love the Exodus series, and it has done very well, but it also shows a lot of the things early on that I didn’t know. I hope to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Still, there will be another Exodus series, starting with the contact with the Ca’cadasans and the flight of humanity, up to the establishment of the Empire. I have several space opera series in mind, a standalone sublight warfare novel, possibly an urban fantasy, some alternate history, and a solar system warfare series. And maybe some military post-apocalyptic stuff. I’m not sure when I’ll do these other projects, or even if I will survive long enough to get all of this out. What I do know is I won’t run out of stuff to do.