Since the release of the book, more time to do things hasn’t magically appeared. I still have a 9-to-5 to maintain, kids are starting school, and the air conditioner died in mid-august. I don’t say that to elicit any sympathy. Because one thing I’ve learned is that no matter how stitched together a person might seem, they are invariably dealing with something.
I know that those of you who were polite enough to read my book and follow me here are in that same boat. However, I do feel a sense of responsibility to give you an update on events regarding “The Stars At Knight” since you are, in a genuine sense, my audience and investors.
First, how has the current book performed? It’s been out for a little over a month. It’s sold around 50 copies of the paperback, 10 ebooks, and approximately 2,000 pages read in the kindle unlimited readers. That may not sound like a lot, but if you read the stories about the reception, most first time authors get their first month; you can believe me when I say that we’ve done well. Sadly, a lot of first time authors sale nothing for a long time. Ouch. Has it made me rich? Uh, no. Nor did I expect it too.
Second, let me update you on the response. From many of you, I could talk about what you thought about it. For a lot of you, the general impression was that you were impressed that I wrote it in the first place. For the ladies, this was typically followed by some comment regarding Mason and a particular female character and whether they should become an item. For the guys, it was usually a character they might have liked, and the near-universal desire to see Mason get some revenge. I tend to look to the reviews for those that got their books from an online source or that I hadn’t spoken with. At goodreads.com, I have two 4-star ratings. As of this moment, on Amazon, I have two 5-star ratings and a favorable comment. In paperback sales, my book is ranked in the top 3000 in “occult fiction.” Considering guys like Stephen King dominate that dojo, I’ll take it.
Third, the audiobook. I spent the last week or two learning the process and auditioning people to do an audiobook. I have selected an incredible voice talent named Toby Tomplay. In D&D parlance, he’s multi-classed in Bard about 10 different ways. Aside from music, he’s doing the Real Life Real Crime podcast with Woody Overton. Oh, and on occasion, he will record and produce the random book by a first-time author from Dallas. The work is in production, and theoretically, we’ll have an audiobook on Audible and iTunes by October. I can honestly say that I’m pretty stoked about it. I like my story, but in the clips that I’ve heard, Toby really adds a new dimension.
Finally, the next book in the series. If you missed it, I have chosen the title “Dark Jury.” I’m going to warn you I’m the type of person that hates movie spoilers, so I don’t intend to tip my hand. What I can tell you is that yesterday I finished Chapter 21. I’m currently at about 80,000 words, and I’m a little over 4/5th of the through. So this book will be longer, but you won’t mind because it is so much better. By their nature, origin stories carry the weight of world-building and character introduction. Establishing all of that slows events down, in my opinion. In this story, I don’t have to introduce you to the protagonists and teach you how to swim. Instead, I just get to toss you into the deep end and start throwing you pool toys to play with. My hope, and don’t hold me to this, is to have this book out before the end of November.
Once again, I want to thank everyone that has joined me on this journey. Each time you tell someone about the book or promote it on social media, mean more to me than I can express. For example, I found out that a book club that spans 2 continents has my book next up in their queue because of you guys. How cool is that? I’ve always wanted to say that “I’m big in Europe.” Still, the promotion and the labor involved in this book mean nothing without readers and fans. Finding those fans and getting them my story feels like an impossible, “elephant-sized” task. That brings us back to the title of the post. Do you know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.