Villains Inc., Episode Three is finally out–a week behind my self-imposed deadline, but well worth the final days put in on it. So now we’re in the home stretch as I pound away at my draft for Episode Four: Endgame, which should be out mid-December.
The entire novel will also become available in December, just on time for Christmas, and then it’s on to my third Wearing the Cape story, Bite Me: Big Easy Nights, a story about Artemis that takes place between WtC and VI. After that I’m going to take a break from Hope’s world by finishing up Worst Contact, a sci-fi space adventure. Those two projects may well keep me busy through 2012, but I’d like to fit in one more Wearing the Cape story as well–a story currently nothing more than an exciting thumbnail sketch.
So, three-quarters of the way through my second Hope/Astra story, it seems like a good time to pause and consider how it’s going. The good part, and this is definitely a bonus for me, is the episodic format. From a writer’s perspective, the inability to go back and “re-plot” as later scenes have suggested changes has led to some moments of frustration–but the push the tightened release-schedule has given my writing has forced me to work through several bad moments of writer’s block. I am not yet as disciplined a writer as I need to be, so the “publish or perish” pacing has helped tremendously.
On the other hand, the Amazon pricing problem remains; since Amazon only pays a 35% royalty on any title costing less than $2.99, episodic publication requires the reader to pay nearly twice as much for me, the author, to earn the same royalty returns on the book. Add to this the fact that, unless Villains Inc. takes a huge dive in popularity, in December I will hold six of the Top Ten positions in the Superhero category, pushing other deserving titles down the list. This seems a little much for what is really only two books.
So I have decided that once the complete Villains Inc. novel is published I am going to take down Episodes 2-4 (probably not till mid-January, to give everyone who wants to the chance to purchase the last episodes). This will leave only Wearing the Cape and Villains Inc. up, plus VI:1 up as a $.99 teaser. Alternatively, I may leave Episodes 2-4 up but remove them from their categories.
So enough about plans; now that I’m nearly done I’d love to hear some feedback. Have readers enjoyed the episodic format? Has it been able to keep up the action/tension and keep readers interested in what is happening to Hope? Overall, how is Villains Inc. going so far, and how does it compare to Wearing the Cape? I put up this blog largely so that I could update readers and hear their thoughts here, and I would love to hear from you. The favorable and insightful Amazon reviews many of you have put up for Wearing the Cape are even more appreciated (thank you, thank you, thank you). I hope to have an appendix at the end of Episode Four and in the novel, giving more details about Hope’s world, but any questions you have now you can certainly ask here.
Now onward! Best of luck to everybody as the year winds to its end. I will try and post more often as time permits, but now let us finish what was begun.