Friday, November 6, 2015

This, that and the other

Here's what I've been up to lately.

As I said last week, I am now taking story commissions. I should have added that I'm also taking commissions for creating ebook covers, proofreading/copy editing other people's stories, and photo restoration/colorization. So far I've had takers on the first three of those four options, and while I can't share the clients' names, I can tell you they've all been very happy with my work. I'm especially surprised that the story commission came off well, since what the client asked for was waaaaay outside my wheelhouse. It's nice to know that I can take someone else's ideas, which are very unlike my own, and turn them into a full-fledged story that the pleases the person who asked for the story. And writing it went very quickly, too. I'm normally a slow writer, but I turned out this commission in less than a week.

I'm more than halfway through the first draft of "Transfixed," and it's coming along very well. I'm in the zone and writing fast. I've also decided to follow it up with a "Choose Your Own Adventure" that will be set after the events of "Transfixed"and will allow you to [spoilers ahead, so highlight the text if you really want to know]save some or all of the characters who've been brainwashed and even stop the alien invasion[/spoilers]. Of course, writing a CYOA takes a lot more time than writing a straightforward story, but I'm going to try to zip through this one pretty quickly. I learned a lot from writing What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything?, and I think I'll be able to turn this one out a lost faster. I might also take suggestions from fans of the "Transfixed" short story as to what I should include in the CYOA. If I go that route, I'll be sure to give credit to anyone whose ideas I use. There will also be opportunities for several beta readers, who'll get cameos in the story as a reward.

I also have an idea for updating and sexing-up a lesbian vampire story called "Christabel." The original version is by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom some of you might remember as the opium addict who got interrupted in the middle of writing his best poem ever ("Kubla Khan"), lost his high, and was unable to recover the dream. Well, "Christabel" is a lot longer and sexier than "Kubla Khan," and I've already figured out how to turn it into the kind of fetish-filled EMC story you've grown to know and love (I hope) from me. I plan on writing "Christabel" and the CYOA at the same time so I can get the former on the market quickly while still working on the latter.

Finally, speaking of markets, here's something I threw together that you might or might not be interested in. I've been keeping track of all my sales over time, and I wanted to see which books were most profitable and why. The chart below includes everything I've written except Slave-Bride of the Sidhe, which hasn't been out long enough to take a proper measurement, and the two anthologies I took part in. For those of you who publish your own ebooks, or who are thinking of getting into publication, here are my biggest takeaways: 1) CYOA's sell like hot cakes, and 2) sexy covers make all the difference in the world (Colonized has only been out since August, and it's already in third place, beating out books that have been on the market since 2013; and Willing Subject is still raking in the money after three years on the market - thanks, as always, to Callidus, who is also taking commissions BTW). I can't help wishing Sleepwalkers was higher up the list since it's my baby, my epic, and the story that got me into self-publishing. But what can I do besides encourage you to buy it if you haven't already? If you like my stuff, Sleepwalkers is quintessential thrall.

I don't know if this info or the pie chart will interest anyone besides me, but I'm throwing it in here just for the hell of it.


K said...
Was looking around and I found this mentioned as something to help with creating CHYOA books. Don't know if you've heard of it or not, but maybe its something to look into if you decide to go that route.

thrall said...

Thanks, K. I did know about Inklewriter and actually tried it before going with Word. Inklewriter was just a huge pain in the ass. I couldn't figure out how to make it do any of the complicated things I wanted to do with my story. Maybe there was a way, but the instructions on the site only told you how to do very basic stuff. I just decided I was better off doing it all my own way. :-/