After ten weeks of sale, City of Light just hit 20,000 sales!
Ladies and gentlemen, as of a few hours ago, over one hundred thousand copies of the Traveler's Gate Trilogy books have sold on Amazon.
I don't really know what to say.
One year ago today, I was hoping to sell five hundred copies of House of Blades in the first month. It would be hard, I knew, but my high goal was five hundred. I ended up selling five thousand.
For the year, I was really hoping for fifteen thousand sales, but I knew I could get by on ten thousand without getting another job. I didn't expect to sell that many, but it was a lofty goal to work toward.
And the reality was an order of magnitude greater than anything I'd hoped for.
So thanks to all of you. Everyone who bought the books, or recommended them, or sent me an encouraging email, or comments on and follows this blog...thanks. Because to me, the sales weren't the craziest thing to happen this past year. Sales are great, but they really serve as a way to measure and quantify what's going on with the books.
People have enjoyed my books. A lot of people.
And that's a cool, humbling, unbelievable thought.
I always need some time off when I finish a book, but now I'm back and ready to get back to work!
First on the agenda: some quality of life improvements to House of Blades. The first half of that book is pretty rough, so I'm going to add in some scenes, fix up some others, in generally edit the story to bring it up to the level of Crimson Vault and City of Light.
That should be complete in the next week or two. I should have the City of Light paperback and House of Blades audiobook online shortly after that.
In the meantime, I'll be starting on the next story!
I'm really excited about that: making the stories is the fun part for me. Bringing ideas together, coming up with names, making it all work. I've been enjoying it so much that I've started, like, three different stories while on vacation.
So where will I end up? I don't know. But we'll get there by this fall, I can tell you that!
Several things to cover today, but first: if you'd like to discuss heavily spoiler-related topics about City of Light, do so in these comments!
Honestly, if you're trying to avoid CoL spoilers, you should probably not be messing around in the comments sections of any recent blog posts. But I thought I'd give you a place to speak freely, anyway.
Second, an update on my status--I'm in Santander, Spain! And also sick in bed!
It turns out that pushing myself to release a book, and then immediately leaving for a convention in Boston, and then turning right around and flying to Spain...well, it wasn't the healthiest idea. The morning of my flight to Spain I woke up with a high fever. I choked down medicine and went anyway, because the tickets were non-refundable, but I've been bedridden and recovering for about 24 hours.
This is one of the reasons I haven't been responding to comments since CoL was released. Reason #1: I needed a break. Reason #2: I've been both incredibly busy and sick.
That's the bad news. The good news is that City of Light has already sold about 4,500 copies! It's selling hundreds of copies a day and staying pretty steady in the Amazon Top 200 Best-Sellers, which is mind-blowing. It even cracked the Top 100 for a while, rising as high as #86 on the Amazon Best-Seller Charts, and I can barely believe that. If you had told me last year that I'd be on the Amazon Top 100, I'd have said something like, "No, not in the next year. God willing, maybe in the next ten years."
But you guys came through. You're all my favorite. Personally and individually.
So anyway, the total novel sales have risen to roughly 76,000. I'm hoping to crack 100K by June 2nd, because then I could say I sold a hundred thousand books in my first year, which would just be fantastic. I don't think I'd be able to tell that to anyone without cackling like a mad emperor.
Anyway, I'll be putting up some more posts pretty soon regarding the future of the Traveler's Gate universe, my summer plans, the new series I'll be starting this fall, etc. Once I recover, hopefully.
In the meantime, discuss City of Light in free, spoiler-full terms!
Ladies, Gentlemen, and Those Who Refuse To Be Categorized:
Early this morning, I crossed over 50,000 sales!
That's a huge deal! Mostly because so many people have read my books, but also because now I can say "Hey, I've sold fifty thousand copies!" and that sounds like a lot. It's a milestone: now my high sales numbers SOUND high.
As always, thank you for reading the books! Thanks for telling your friends! Thanks for reading the blog! Thanks for cutting four-leafed clovers by moonlight, and burning them to send me your luck! Thanks for leaving me reviews, and thanks for ganging up on would-be trolls and burning them at the stake like witches!
You all are awesome, and it's been an honor to interact with you on this blog.
Stay classy, San Diego.
Once more, I have returned!
Sales have crossed the 46,000 mark, well on their way to 50,000. I stand in awe of you, and the zeal with which you press my ebooks upon your unwitting friends. You are an inspiration to salesmen and advertising agents the world over.
On the writing front, I'm steadily chipping away at both City of Light and the paperback version of The Crimson Vault. The paperback is on the way, I promise you that!
As far as The Traveler's Gate Chronicles goes, the writing is the easy part. But that brings me to my topic of the day:
I have three short stories that I'm considering putting first in the Chronicles, and you may get a peek at one of them next Saturday. I can't decide, however, which of them I should put first in the collection.
I thought you might help me make up my mind.
So, which of the following stories do you think should come first?
A.) This is a story that takes place in and around Helgard, the Tower of Winter. There may be some familiar concepts and landmarks, but it's narrated by a new character, and it takes place long before House of Blades. Here are the pros and cons of putting it first.
--I set the right tone for the rest of the collection. If I start off with a familiar character as a narrator, a new reader might expect every story to be told from the perspective of someone they know, and that won't always be the case.
--It's a very different look at Travelers and Traveling than you get in the Trilogy proper.
--The connection to House of Blades and The Crimson Vault might not be immediately apparent to new readers, who do not have the benefit of this blog for their edification and betterment.
--The information you get in this story, while compelling and interesting, has no obvious relationship to the main plotline of the Traveler's Gate Trilogy. It's just a look into another corner of this universe.
--There's no Valinhall. This may actually be a good thing, since most of the stories don't deal directly with Valinhall, and we wouldn't want to start readers out on the wrong foot.
B.) A story in Denner's past, dealing with his upbringing in the Dragon Army and how he became the guy who dealt with flying creatures of all sizes.
--It starts with a somewhat familiar character, and deals with Valinhall, so the reader starts out on firm ground.
--The background is very closely related to the plotline of the Trilogy.
--Lots of swords and sword-fighting.
--I don't want people to expect the rest of the collection to have lots of familiar characters and revolve around Valinhall. For the most part, the Chronicles is about exploring the aspects of the Traveler's Gate universe that we DON'T get to see in the Trilogy.
C.) The story that motivated Valin to rebel against Damasca and form the Dragon Army. Also, why he called it "the Dragon Army."
--This story holds lots of explanations for things I haven't yet explained in the Trilogy.
--No Valinhall, just an explanation for how/why Valinhall was founded.
--Valin's a fun, interesting character.
--I still plan on doing a Valin novella at some point, which would likely reuse some of this exact same content.
--Same drawbacks as the Denner story: it features a somewhat familiar character in Valinhall.
--I haven't written this story yet. The other two I'm just putting the finishing touches on, but I still haven't begun this one. I know what happens, of course, but I haven't put pen to paper.
So I'm interested to know your thoughts. I plan on including all three of these stories in the Chronicles (the first two for sure), but I wanted to know which of these you would want to see first.
Let me know in the comments, you brave soldiers.
Not much to say this week.
Sales are still going strong; we'll crack 35,000 in a couple of days. I'm hard at work on The Traveler's Gate Chronicles and the pre-work on City of Light. I expect to have the first draft of CoL before the end of the year.
The release date of the Chronicles almost entirely depends on whether Amazon will let me do it as a Serial. Also, how long the Serial takes to initially release...and if I can't do it as a Kindle Serial, I'll have to come up with another delivery mechanism.
In other news, I was recently killed and replaced by a sentient alligator who wears my skin like a rain jacket. Florida, am I right?
It's been a pretty chill week. I'm mostly just truck truck trucking along.
How's your week going?
Oh, you want to know what the title of this post means? Please, allow me to delay by dancing around the issue for several paragraphs.
First, as I know many of you were wondering, the map is coming! I sent my crappy hand-drawn version off to a graphic artist today, so in the next few weeks I'll be uploading a map to The Crimson Vault and House of Blades.
At the very least, you'll be able to get a vague picture of the region. I know lots of you have asked for this, so there you go.
Second, I will be adding a Territory reference section as well (this will be included in the map update). It will have each of the Territories listed by name and attribute, as well as some bits and pieces about the Territory's history, cultural impact, and abilities.
Third, I have uploaded many typo, proofreading, and editing changes to The Crimson Vault. I've changed every mistake that has been pointed out to me, as well as several I found since first putting Crimson Vault on Amazon. These changes should take effect tomorrow, and if there's a particular editing issue that bothers you, please send Amazon an email sometime tomorrow afternoon asking for an updated copy. They'll be happy to send you the new, updated version.
Or, of course, you could wait a few weeks for the map/reference update. Whichever you prefer.
Finally, I'm elated to report that sales of the Traveler's Gate Trilogy have now crossed 30,000 copies.
You know how many writers sell 30,000 copies their first year? Not many. Four months ago, I didn't expect to be one of them.
P.S. Oh, right, the title. I'm also working on a collection of short stories set in the Traveler's Gate universe. The collection is entitled The Traveler's Gate Chronicles, and is tentatively set for release next month (it may take longer, depending on how long Amazon takes to process Kindle Serials). The first story or two will be available immediately, with another story added every two weeks until the release of City of Light. I intend for this to be a Kindle Serial, but if that doesn't work out, I'll figure out an alternative delivery system.
P.P.S. No, this will not delay City of Light. Not even by a day. I will be working the maximum amount of time possible on CoL, but I can't spend ALL of my time working on one thing. I would explode. The Chronicles can provide me with a healthy amount of distraction, as well as something fun for you guys to read between now and early next year.
As the prophets foretold, I have risen from my post-book coma and returned once again to the prestigious throne that is my desk chair.
If you're waiting on an email response or a response to you in the comments, I believe I have responded to pretty much everybody. Now, it's time to begin work on City of Light.
Elysia, not Paris.
Also, for those of you who care about such trifling mundane matters, I passed 25,000 sales last night as I slept. That's House of Blades and Crimson Vault combined, but it's still pretty staggering. You guys are just that awesome.
Now, about the blog: I'm planning on producing more regular blog updates instead of the irregular mishmash that you have tolerated until this point. From here on out, I plan on writing one blog post each Saturday. Of course, I will also post whenever anything significant happens--like when I release a new book, for instance--but in the absence of breaking news I'll probably produce one post each Saturday.
So tune in on Saturday for the first of these regular posts.
Free tip: you probably don't want to miss this Saturday. I'm going to include a spoiler-full deleted scene from The Crimson Vault. It's tentatively entitled, "What Happened to the Bears?"
The bears from Elysia, not Chicago.
In the meantime, between now and Saturday, I'd like to hear your questions. "What kind of questions?" you ask. Well, let me clarify:
What is the one question about the Traveler's Gate Trilogy that you would like me to answer?
Keep in mind, as you formulate your inquiry, that I would respond to such a question in the form of a short story.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have crossed 20,000 sales.
As of yesterday morning, we passed the 20K mark. That's incredible! Thanks everyone for buying the books, leaving a review, telling your friends, and using your private jet to write my name in the clouds. You guys are the best!
Also, thanks to those of you who sent me the typos from the first edition of Crimson Vault. I really do like receiving those, because the text isn't set in stone. I can fix these typos, and then future readers get a slightly cleaner draft.
I still haven't cleared all the typos out, due to Dragon*Con, but I'm working on it. Beginning next week, I should have all your changes made. At that point, you should contact Amazon if you want the updated, cleaner file on your Kindle.
In the meantime, I'm back from Dragon*Con, and I had a blast! I am now going to follow that up by taking some REAL time off, as--though Dragon*Con is unbelievably fun--it's not a great way to relax after writing a book.
So this week I'm going to relax, play some League of Legends,
"Calder straightened his back, focused his mind, and opened the door."
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