In the aftermath…

It’s been just over a week since Blood in the Machine launched. I think now is a good time to sit back for a second and look at how things have cracked up.

It’s been borderline chaos, what with having to set things up and reorganize things in the wake of it all. Having to get in touch with Goodreads and get my account enrolled in the author program, contact M.S. Fowle (who did the cover work) and request an Author’s Spotlight (of which I am quite thankful for and can be found here), learning the Kindle portals and tools, etc. There’s been a lot of figuring things out.

At the same time, this website has also undergone a bit of a change. The Veil‘s release announcements are gone, a section of the article pages have been trimmed down, things a bit more organized on the menu to the left, and other changes.

It’s almost like cleaning up your house, which is normally a pig-pen, when you learn your distant family is coming over. Everything’s awkward, nobody really knows each other, and the host is trying to impress everyone he can while shoving old trash under the rug.

So, how has the launch gone? Outside of being chaotic, it’s been rather interesting.

The number of copies that have been sold has been above expectations. Then again, when you set you expectations for your debut solo piece to be 2 (one for each living parent), it’s easy to be pleasantly surprised.

We aren’t breaking big numbers here, but when you factor in how I’ve joined this race (an almost non-existent following, a completely unknown name, not much knowledge to draw from, etc), it’s quite surprising. There’s even our first review on GoodReads, something that made me smile both when I saw the sign that it was there, and also when I read it.

I think, however, what I’ve learned will definitely help expedite the process in the future. I know more about how and who to approach for artwork, edits, and so forth. The only thing that should be holding me back should be my own pace.

This doesn’t mean that I will suddenly break out and start shoveling half-baked stories out into the Kindle marketplace, don’t worry. I’m someone who gets incredibly paranoid about whether a story is good enough to stand on its own.

As for what’s next on the writing list, we’ve got the continued chapters with The Veil, and I am making headway on Beyond the Rift, though I hold some doubts on it.

With The Veil, we’re getting closer to the end, something for which I am thankful for. It’s not that I hate the story as a whole, it’s more that I see an insane amount of ways that it should have been designed differently. This version of it will definitely not be the final form of it, a re-write will be on the list of things to do.

Given how broken and fractured it feels, hiding it on the website for some time after it ends is a tempting prospect. I’m not entirely sure if I will or not, so if you want to voice your thoughts on it, go ahead.

As for Beyond the Rift, it’s definitely a first draft. There’s some fluff that needs to be cut out from what I’ve written, of that I’m sure. However, I think the foundation for a decent story is there, so it’s just a matter of trying to pry a good story out of it. It’s definitely not in nearly as bad of shape as The Veil is in.

For other stuff besides those two, I am actually looking at Salvaging Life, my former submission to Clarkesworld. Since it’s free of any word limit, I have some ideas of what I want to do to it. I’m going to start jotting down some notes to remind me, but I’m curious to see what I could do with it.

Firs thing I could do would be finding a better name. After that, expanding it drastically so I could make the plot grow and feel more natural. Maybe it’s just me coming down from the release last week, but it feels like the kind of story that Blood in the Machine started out as. That in mind, it makes me wonder if I can grow it into something more, something akin to how BotM came out.

Before that, however, a friend of mine has pointed out a couple continuity errors with Blood in the Machine that I will see about getting rectified with his help. After they are dealt with, I’ll upload the new version of the story as a soft-update on Amazon.

Once that is all said and done with, it will be back to the grind. I had let my writing schedule slack just a bit due to the release week and relaxing from it, but I’ve gotten back on track. 500 words a night at a minimum is a fairly easy goal to hit, yet it keeps me productive with time on my hands.

We’ll see how it all shapes out, but I’ve definitely got my hands full for a while. Then again, given how my mind spins things and how I work, I’ll have my hands full for another twenty years. Until the next time, however, enjoy the show.

~ James.

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