Been a while since my last Journal entry, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to update Valiard
readers on the status of the story (spoiler free). So if you don't read The Valiard Mansion
, you don't need to waste any time reading this Journal entry. Move along!
Several folks are asking me the same questions, so I'm gonna answer the most frequently asked ones here. That way, if someone asks again, I can link them here.
How far is Valiard?Valiard Vol. I
is three chapters away from completion. 15 of the planned 18 chapters are done and published, with progress on Chapter 16 going ridiculously smoothly. I should publish it in the next two weeks. It won't have illustrations, but frankly, I'm so gosh darn excited to get to the end of this book, I just want it out of my system.
I'm sure you guys want to get it over with, too. Some of you have been reading Valiard
since it was first published almost three years ago!
I can't say when the first manuscript of this book will be done, but I'm confident I'll finish it before the end of 2015. Life and work might get in the way, but this horse has smelled her stable, and she's going for it somethin' fierce!
I'm so close!!!
You say the book is almost done, but Valiard will keep going, right?
I have only spent time planning the first novel, but depending on how planning goes from here, Valiard
might be a trilogy, though I'm fairly certain it will only span two books. I only have so much story to tell, and I won't stretch it thin if I can help it.
Will Valiard be a book I can see on a bookstore shelf?
Although I've conversed on this point a few times, people are still regularly asking me if Valiard
will be a legit printed book. Unfortunately, after exploring all my options, I have found that the answer to this question is long and complicated.
To self-publish Valiard
properly, with professional help, it will cost me an arm and a leg, and I don't have a large enough reader base to justify the cost. I thought at first that if I lost a few hundred dollars, or broke even, I'll be fine, but I'll lose closer to a few thousand
dollars, and I honestly can't afford it. My next option is to keep the novel online for free (yay!) and send the book to literary agents and hope someone sees potential in it. That might take some years, but at least I won't be sitting on Valiard
like it's some golden latrine. It can remain on the Internet for folks to enjoy, which is frankly the very reason I write at all. If nobody reads it, what's the point?
I know there are print-on-demand sites, but there's little immediate quality control. I'm not selling something that's rife with paragraph spacing issues, badly hanging lines, spelling errors, etc. It's not fair to my readers, who deserve the very best product I can manage to make. And I've met several people who've gone the print-on-demand route to print their stuff to sell on their own, and they have only managed to have boxes full of printed novels that they can't even give away for free.
If there's one thing that's almost as hard as getting people to give you their money, it's getting people to read your book!
But there's crowdfunding, right? Well, sort of. It's against the rules of Kickstarter for a South African to run a campaign, but besides that, since there's still Indiegogo, I might very likely
not reach my goal. And even if my backers each get a copy of the book, I might still sit with boxes full of copies in the garage, growing damp from the summer rain and being eaten by silverfish. Yay.
It just isn't a workable idea. I don't have the means or expertise to distribute a book effectively.
Which is why I'm as keen as I am on the traditional publishing route, though I won't do a thing about it until I get an agent who'll help me along my way. Publishing houses are still businesses and they need to make a profit, so they'll wrangle what they can out of unprotected authors.
Or is it better to keep Valiard
online for free forever? I've often wondered about this. I know there are some of my readers who'd love to own a hard copy of the book, and getting some professional distribution would be nice, but odds are I won't make much money from my first novel anyways. The money I make might very well be negligible. So I don't know. It's something I still battle with every day, but I'm just doing my best to focus on finishing the manuscript before I go nuts.
And that's it for now!
Hopefully I've answered some burning questions, or at least shared some interesting info with those of you who are also writing your novels.
As always, thanks to everyone for your support and for reading Valiard
. I'm gonna get back to writing now, so you guys can know sooner how the book ends.
And of course, if you have any thoughts about the above that you'd like to share, PLEASE DO!
I love hearing from you guys, and I value you guys's opinions. Goodness, you guys are the REASON I WRITE. So please, share!!!