Last day of April

Posted on April 30, 2014 (Subscribe to Blog)

You may look at the title of this post and think, "The last day of April? So what?" Well, fair point. There's nothing significant about the last day of April. It's just that this blog is looking a bit sparse these days, and I thought I'd add another post before midnight so it shows up as part of my April blogging. So here I am.

Ho hum.

Well, I do have a few things to report. Prison of Despair (Island of Fog, Book 8) is written and has now been seen by my author buddy Brian Clopper, and he's offered a few suggestions such as:

"Decent chapter, but it reads sluggish since it takes so long to get the meeting started. Maybe trim it down. It serves its purpose to get everyone on the same page with the info, but it does need some thinning."


"This chapter feels a lot like explaining. You go here, I go here and you do that. So close to the meeting chapter, it slows the action down. Get them going on their missions rather than talking out what each is doing."

In retrospect, it's obvious he's right, so it's GREAT to have someone point this stuff out. Brian is the only person in the world (other than me) that will ever get to see the first draft. The second draft will be mostly the same but with a few improvements such as the trimmed scene mentioned above, and this one below, which I've carefully edited to avoid spoilers. What you see here might just tease you a little bit...

"This is the only chapter I am not buying. I really think the scarf woman confession about performers isn't working and is plot hammering. I would have the village on edge and do a tense scene where Hal and company start to spot scrags hidden among the citizens. They're there to keep the village from getting word out. They wouldn't make up a silly performance excuse. They would rule by fear. I think then having them chase down some scrags who are running through the village to sound the alarm as the helicopters approach would be more interesting."

Brian and I often swap our books for early critique, and we don't mince our words. I didn't hold back when I saw a few problems with one of his recently finished drafts. He cleverly rewrote a few scenes where necessary, and the result is a superior book, Irving Wishbutton: The Revision Ravine. I'll be doing the same with Prison of Despair, just altering or deleting a few scenes so that the final result is better. The second draft will be sent out to beta readers in the next couple of weeks, and they will find more to fix. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, I'm on Chapter 5 of Castle of Spells (Island of Fog, Book 9) and it's coming along nicely. Too early to comment on it, though. As a reminder, Book 8 will be published in July, and Book 9 will follow exactly a month later in August.

I'm also doing some small edits to Sleep Writer (Unearthly Tales #1) and I expect to get this out to beta readers soon as well. Again, stay tuned!

This month I ran a promo with BookBub, and the result was 12,000 free downloads of Island of Fog (Book 1). Following that, my sales of other books in the series nearly doubled, and I expect that trend to continue awhile as we move into May. Still, I'm not rich yet. I can't give up my day job anytime soon. Perhaps the release of Fog Books 8 and 9 will help me out.

Funny enough, with an ever-increasing series like this, it's possible to see the potential worth of each new book I add. I have enough sales history and averages, etc, to figure that a new book is worth x amount per year, therefore five new books should be worth y amount per year, and so on. Armed with this information, I can plan my retirement. All I need to do is write about twenty more Fog books...

What, you think I'm kidding? :-)

Someone asked me recently how I juggle self-employed work as a website designer with writing novels, and I thought that topic might be vaguely interesting to some, so look out for that in a forthcoming post.

But now I must say goodnight. The end of April is nigh.

Comment by RALPH CORDEROY on Thursday, May 1, 2014...

Hi Keith,

Looking forward to hearing how you juggle.

"I have enough sales history and averages, etc, to figure that a new book is worth x amount per year, therefore five new books should be worth y amount per year, and so on. Armed with this information, I can plan my retirement. All I need to do is write about twenty more Fog books..."

So you're saying that a book, once past its flush of youth, continues to bring in a steady income, and N books in that state funds retirement?

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Thursday, May 1, 2014...

Ralph — in theory, yes, and very roughly speaking. That's assuming sales continue as they are now or improve. Who knows what lies in the future, though? If I'm making x amount with my current 7 Fog books, then 20 more books (ie, 27) should yield about four times more, right? Or, being conservative, three times more, which would still be enough for me to "retire" on. And by retire, I mean keep writing and promoting and hoping sales continue while my wife continues to work... or maybe I keep my day job until I've written 30 more books and we can BOTH retire... and so on.

Comment by AUBREY on Thursday, May 8, 2014...

Love your books. I've read all of them from 1-7. Can't wait for the next one. How many are you thinking of doing?

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Friday, May 9, 2014...

Aubrey, at the moment I'm thinking of nine books in Hal's immediate story. I'm currently writing Books 8 and 9 back to back, and they should be released in July and August respectively. After that there will be spin-off novels about other characters in the series. Stay tuned! And thanks for being a fan!

Comment by WALKER on Saturday, May 10, 2014...

When will Prison of Dispair be released?

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Saturday, May 10, 2014...

Walker, I'm planning on last-July. Castle of Spells will then follow in August.

Comment by WALKER on Saturday, May 10, 2014...

OK, thank you. I sucked through your entire series and read them in less than a week. I'm not sure if I can wait, and I will have to pre-order.

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