Thirty-five weeks ago, on my birthday, I started posting Sand and Ash on my website. There were a lot of reasons I started posting or my decision to release it as a Creative Common licensed serial. Most of those reasons are still true, over half a year later.
There is a reason I'm woolgathering at this point: Sand and Ash is now completely released. Tonight, I have posted the final two chapters of the novel on the website. In doing so, most of the subscriber-only features disappeared and everything is now unlocked including the full EPUB, MOBI, and PDF versions of the novel.
I love this novel, mainly because it was different than anything I had written before. It was dark and gritty, but also filled with hope and drive. The main character broke down more than a few times, had his heart ripped open, but still managed to stand up and walk forward. He fell in love poorly and died for it, but in the end, he found something far more important than winning some fight or making a girl love him.
In my original post, I wrote a few reasons why I was doing it.
Editing: Every chapter that I posted, I also edited one more time. That gives it at least six rounds for every element, though I introduced a few typos as I went along. Overall, I think it ended up being a much stronger story in the places it was weak.
Obscurity: As far as I can tell, this still remains a problem. I've had a few votes on Wattpad, a number of retweets on Twitter and Facebook, and some loves on Ello. That was great that I got those, but I didn't really gain in interaction. No one asked about the characters or the plot, no discussions or “moars!”
Patrons: There was one kind soul who decided to help me out with subscriptions and another who gave me a hunk of change (effectively a year's worth). Those two are fantastic. I was hoping for more, but obviously I'm not there yet.
Giving Back: This wasn't listed but it is true. I made this Creative Commons because I wanted to give something to the community and I felt this was a good way to go about it.
What's next for Ash
The next steps are going to be pretty simple but take time.
- I want to go through the novel and document every character, created world, and epigraph. I did this with Sand and Blood and I thought it created a more interesting world that I used to write this one.
- Get a beta reading from a friend. He offered to read it for me and I'm going to take him up on the offer.
- Get a final copy editing. This will take a bit of time, but I should have enough saved up to have this edited formally and then get it polished. This is what the subscriptions were going to help with and I'm going to use all the money to get the final polish.
- Finish the covers. At the end of last year, I decided to go with a more abstract style of cover that fits some ideas I liked. I hadn't finished the series to prove out the ideas, but I like how it has turned out so far. I need to work on the other covers before I can finish it, but it should be done by the time I get it fully edited.
- Get it printed and ready for the author signing at ICON. It probably won't be done for WisCon unless things go a lot faster than I expected.
I'm getting ready for the next serial. I'm thinking about making Sand and Blood, the first book, public in the same manner. For those who are interested in giving me feedback, were the notes interesting? Worthwhile to keep going? Or should I just have a short note that there was a chapter and leave it at that?
I plan on starting with chapter eight of Blood on the first week of May. I may switch to a different day though, Sunday? What is the best day for anyone?
Next week, I'll be back to Flight of the Scions for subscribers.
For those who have read the novel, thank you. You have made my day.
For those who have retweeted and shared my posts, also thank you. Without you, I would be in that empty room.
And for Susan, who gave me the time to write this, I love you.