Thanksgiving is over, after which I had to respond to the usual deluge of work that piled up over the holiday. I'm finishing that up tonight and tomorrow, so if I haven't responded to your comment or email yet, fear not! It's coming!
One of those tasks that I've been working on is the November short story, which I'm trying to get finished and out tomorrow. Fingers crossed! It's in Cradle, because I wanted to use this opportunity to help me test out some ideas for Blackflame.
And speaking of which, the time has finally come to add one of the most-requested features to the site: a progress bar.
I haven't added one in the past, mostly because it's impossible to keep it accurate. An average week of work for me is chaotic, so a progress meter might go from 17% to 19% to 15% to ???%. Anything I put up will be an estimate by definition, because I don't know how long the book will end up or how hard it will be to get there.
Of Dawn and Darkness, for instance, took me way more work hours to complete than anticipated because it just ended up being harder to write.
Also, there are multiple phases in the writing process. I'd need to progress from 0-100% in planning, then go to word count, then editing, then the second draft, then editing again, and then usually final changes followed by release preparation. That's six phases, and they're very fluid; I go back from the first draft to planning many times.
Now that you know kind of how it works, I'm looking for your input! What should it look like? How and where should I display it? What information do you want to see when you check the site?
I saw one reader suggest marking progress in stages from Copper to Underlord, which was hilarious and appeals to me. But what do you want to see?
It's Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., which means it's time to give thanks for everything awesome in our lives!
I have a lot to be thankful for this year: my Stardew Valley crops are coming in nicely, I've begun recording the City of Light audiobook, there's a new bundle of my old stuff up, and I won a hefty Amazon Kindle Unlimited All-Stars bonus check this month!
So many people read my books on Kindle Unlimited last month that I was dubbed a Kindle Unlimited All-Star, meaning that I'm one of the top-selling writers in the Kindle Unlimited program! In fact, though they didn't tell me my exact rank, they said I was in the top thirty! That means that I'm somewhere between the twenty-first and thirtieth best-selling out of all the authors in Kindle Unlimited!
That's only counting KU borrows, but the All-Star bonus for me was an extra five thousand dollars! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!
So uh...if you have Kindle Unlimited, and you're wondering whether I get paid for KU borrows, fear not: I do!
What that tells me is that people are really enjoying the books, which is awesome! In celebration of the holiday and this new round of good fortune, I'm putting both SEA and SHADOW up for free over the next four days!
That's Black Friday through Cyber Monday, as my culture-savvy friends tell me. Why isn't there a cool name for the weekend? Like Chartreuse Saturday and Buy A Bunch of Stuff Sunday.
TL;DR - Kindle Unlimited is awesome, Of Sea and Shadow / Of Shadow and Sea are both going to be free for the next four days, and I'm thankful for you! A lot of the people on this blog have been with me since the beginning, and the ride's still going!
P.S. Next time on The Blog: after this weekend, I'm going to put up some sort of progress thingy for Blackflame. Maybe a progress bar, maybe a percentage meter, maybe periodic reports, maybe arcane symbols that flash meaning straight into your brain. We'll discuss it next time!
Have you finished both Cradle books too quickly? Do you wish there was something else you could read to scratch that itch? Are you sharpening your pitchfork right now because I'm writing something that isn't Blackflame?
Well, you're in luck!
Cradle was my humble, meager attempt to write a story in the xianxia* genre: a subcategory of Chinese novels that have grown popular on the English-speaking Internet over the last couple of years thanks to sites like WuxiaWorld and GravityTales (not to mention the hard-working, dedicated, good-looking fan translators who provide such works to lazy monolingual English-speakers like myself).
I've had a lot of people ask me if Cradle was inspired by these Chinese works, and I usually respond by saying "Absolutely!" and then listing my favorites. It's the reason why I chose to put Unsouled in the Asian Myths and Legends category of Kindle fantasy.
But after tonight, when people ask me these questions, I don't have to type out an answer every time! I can just link them back to this post! Behold, as my laziness sheds its skin to reveal its true shape!
IF YOU DON'T SEE THE REST OF THIS POST, CLICK "READ MORE"!
The Knight Progress:
"I couldn't leave it all to the power of friendship."
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Hey, what about those short stories you claim to have already written?
Apparently they're kept here!