June 2019 Update

I’m back! It’s been a long six months, but I’m planning to put out regular content for the rest of the year. I hope you’re all having a happy, healthy, and productive 2019.

Life Update

My plan for the year was to write full-time until June and then get a normal non-writing job again. That plan didn’t end up happening. In January, I was offered my dream job as a writing tutor, and there was no way I could turn it down. Due to contract issues, the job didn’t work out in the long term, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I love helping people to improve their work.

As a result of taking the job, I’ve had a lot less time to focus on my own writing this year. That being said, I’ve still made some major progress towards my goals.

Writing Goals for 2019

  • Publish “The Gloaming”
  • Overcome my aversion to marketing
  • Finish “The Rabbit in the Moon” & start querying
  • Sell 3+ short stories to SFWA-approved markets
  • Get better at writing endings

It may be difficult to achieve all of these goals now that my situation has changed, but I’ll try my best.

WIP Status Update

  • The Wereforest Academy: rewriting, 50% complete
  • The Rabbit in the Moon: rewriting, 50% complete
  • The Astral Entity: rewriting, 50% complete
  • The Gloaming: final edits, 95% complete

The Gloaming

After much thought, I have decided to self-publish “The Gloaming” instead of querying. Why? For several reasons.

Word count. No matter how many times I’ve tried to reduce the word count, it’s caused many more problems than it’s solved. Technically, I could eliminate the issue by splitting the book into three separate books. It’s already divided into three parts. However, Part 1 does not feel complete on its own, and I’m reluctant to force readers to buy multiple books to get the whole story. As a reader, I usually despise trilogies that rely on cliffhanger-style endings. I don’t want to put my readers through the same thing.

Passion. I have never been as passionate about a story as I have been about this one. I believe in it 100%, and because of that, I’m not embarrassed to market it. Which leads me to my next point.

Marketing. One of the two major reasons I wanted to go with a traditional publisher in the first place was the idea they’d help me with marketing—and by “help”, I mean I was hoping they’d do 99% of the work for me. In reality, that doesn’t happen. Authors these days are expected to be heavily involved in the marketing process, regardless of whether they choose trad or self publishing. If I sign this book to a traditional publisher, chances are high they will expect changes (especially RE: word count). If I have to make changes I don’t like, I will lose passion for the book. I will have no desire to market it. In that scenario, no one wins.

Economics. High printing costs are an unfortunate reality of publishing longer books. Having crunched the numbers, I can understand why publishers don’t take chances on longer books. On IngramSpark, you are usually expected to give retailers a 55% discount when buying your book. If I do that, the publisher and I would be fighting over less than twenty cents profit per book. I’m okay with that, but they won’t be, and that’s completely understandable. It wouldn’t be fair on anyone to go that route.

Prestige. To be honest, I don’t care about getting famous from my books. My only goal is to break even on production costs (covers, editing, printing, advertising, etc). Anything after that is a bonus. I would like to be able to say I got traditionally published one day, but I can do that with another book. I’ve got three WIPs that align much more closely with what traditional publishers are looking for, and ideas for dozens more. I don’t mind waiting for a better time.

I think I’ve rambled on for long enough, so I’m going to sign off here. Have a great month, everyone.

Sincerely,

J. R. Schuyler

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