After yet another long period without posting a blog, I come bearing good tidings! I have not been idle, and I am happy to say that the third book in the Sword of Dragons series is nearly ready for release!
And I have some pretty crazy statistics to go along with it. Starting with the fact that I first wrote about developing book 3 on this blog in 2015. Book 3 has been in one level of development or another for five years!
So why the long delay between two and three? Unfortunately there’s no easy answer for that. Long story short, two major factors: Life, and relaunching the series in 2018. Neither of which I regret, and both of which were absolutely necessary. Given the feedback I’ve received (in person, any way) and the sales numbers, the 2nd editions of books 1 and 2 are catching a lot more attention than the original editions did, and that’s good news all around! It has helped spur me on to finish book 3, and make it the best possible book I can.
So, where are we at now? I just finished a major revision and edit of book 3, and have sent it off to two more beta readers to help ensure it is as clean as can be.
What did the first beta readers think? The biggest positive thing they had to say was that pacing was fantastic, and that there were many times they had to go back and re-read a chapter because they forgot they were supposed to be beta reading. There were some critiques as well, and that was what resulted in a month-long revision and editing effort. I am much happier with the story and writing now, and I’m hoping the 2nd round of beta readers will have little critique :)
Additionally, since I do not anticipate a need for any more major revisions, I have gone ahead and started getting the book ready for publication. I know that there will be more edits to come, particularly for grammar and spelling mistakes (hopefully they are minimal,) but it shouldn’t change the page count too drastically, and thus the dimensions of the final product won’t be vastly different.
About that…. page count. Back in 2015, I wrote this blog article about how complex book 3 was turning out to be. The final product turns out to be the most complex story I’ve ever written, with countless story threads diverging, and then in the end, coming together for the final climax. I had to track where all characters were, when, and why, and then weave their tapestry together in such a way that readers never felt like they went too long without seeing what a particular character was up to.
So when my beta readers agreed that I pulled off the pacing spectacularly, I about cheered!
The downside? This is also the largest novel I’ve ever written. By nearly 100 pages. For those who like numbers, here’s a comparative breakdown.
Rise of the Forgotten – The Sword of Dragons Book 1
Burning Skies – The Sword of Dragons Book 2
The Orc War Campaigns – A Sword of Dragons Story
The Sword of Dragons Book 3
Mostly, this isn’t a bad thing. I always knew my novels would get longer with each book, as I added more characters and story threads to be given attention, and dove deeper and deeper into the existing characters.
The downside, however, will be pricing. The minimum Amazon will let me price book 3 at? Over $17. For comparison, Burning Skies and The Orc War Campaigns are sitting at $14.99. So my intent is to list book 3 at $17.99. This isn’t as expensive as some books, but trade paperbacks would definitely cost a lot less. The downside to self-publishing and print-on-demand, I suppose. On the bright side, I’ve already heard people tell me they are willing to pay this much, since they enjoyed the previous books so much :)
Also on the plus side, eBooks don’t cost more to publish longer books, so I’ll still be pricing the eBook at $4.99 :)
What’s Next for Book 3?
I’ve already designed the cover, and I’ve already ordered a preliminary proof copy, to check how the cover looks, and to have a physical copy to proofread. I’ll go through that book as well as await beta reader feedback, and go from there.
Additionally, I am already starting to plot out a marketing campaign, including a title reveal in the near future, followed by chapter title reveals, and finally, a cover reveal when pre-orders are ready!
When will it be released? Well, that’s another bit of info I’ll be revealing in the near future, but I don’t intend to rush it like I did the first releases of books 1 and 2. That means it won’t be in May like the other first editions were. I already have my eye set on a summer date, but I don’t want to say it until I’m absolutely sure I can hit that mark :)
The final bit is determining whether or not I can have an in-person release party. With the Coronavirus Pandemic and social distancing, I just don’t know how things will be in a couple of months. So if it looks like that might not be feasible, then I’ll have to try to figure out a way to host a virtual release party.
Well that’s all for today! Thank you for reading, I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming release! Believe me, this one will be worth the wait you’ve all had to endure :)