Author Steven Lake

Writing Update: State of the Pen for April 2023
Thursday, April 27th, 2023 10:07pm
Keywords: Writing, Stories, Update, Books, Progress, New, Existing, Publishing

Hello everyone!  Sorry for being 3 months without an update.  Needless to say there's been a LOT going on lately.  Plus, a few things happened that caused me to push back the release of one of my books for at least a few more months.  Sorry again for the delay, but I didn't want to rush the book out the door and not have a satisfactory polish on it.  At this point, After Offworld, Book 1 - Homecoming, is on hold until I sort out a few things on this end.  Once that's done, then I'll give everyone a fresh ETA date.  Again, sorry for the delay, but a LOT has been happening, and I'd rather push back a release date than rush a substandard book out the door to meet a deadline, and then regret it later on.  That being said, I do have some positive progress reports to give you on a number of items.  So here goes.

1.  Wiki - While I've been waiting for an opening to move the AO - Book 1 novel forward, I've been working in the background to get my writing wiki updated.  And boy have I been doing a whirlwind job of that.  I'm not done yet.  However, given that I have 805 entries in the wiki in total, you'll have to understand that this isn't going to be an overnight fix.  There's a bunch of things in there that have been severely ignored, left incomplete, or really badly needing updating.  That's what I'm doing now.  One big push I've been doing is trying to get appropriate character and filler art onto as many entries as I can.  I know how much I hate bland Wiki articles with no artwork, and I know that many of you hate that too, so I've been trying to rectify that as best I can.

A large portion of the newest additions have been compliments of MidJourney AI Art.  Since I'm not an artist, and can't afford an artist (I get my book covers done for free as a favor from a friend, but that's the limit of the art I have done professionally as I can't afford it otherwise since this is just a deeply loved hobby, and not a paid occupation), I've had to resort to AI art, and a little bit of Google diving for free artwork.  If my books ever take off in the bigtime, I'll replace those with paid art.  However, until then, it'll be free and AI art filling in the gaps.  Hopefully all of you enjoy the art.  Also, if any of you are into AI Art, and want to help contribute to the artwork for the Wiki, please do.  If you're a MidJourney user, and are good at building prompts, please let me know as I'd love to pick your brains so I can get better art. :)

2.  Print Books - One of my near future projects is to push my books back out into print.  I realize that print is 80% of the publishing market, and Ebooks is only about 12%.  The problem I have with this is that my prior sources for doing print books have all gone away, and all the possible replacements I've looked at are cost prohibitive on my current budget.  So I've held off pushing back out into print until I find a good solution..  I still have some print books on Amazon, but since they're such a horrible company, I've tried to stay away from them as much as possible.  That being said, Smashwords, who I Ebook publish through, merged with Draft2Digital.  The latter is now working on Print on Demand publishing. 

I don't know what the costs will be, or if there will be any at all.  Once I have a solid answer on that, I'll update everyone on whether I'll be able to afford to get back out there.   I really want to get back into print publishing, as I know you want me to as well, so I'll see where this goes and, if things work out, I will begin to, as I can afford it, both in money, and time, start pushing the books back out into paperback printed editions starting with the Earthfleet Saga and Land of the Lions, and then work my way up the food chain to my latest books until everything is back in print again.

3.  Future Works - Right now I have several items on my pile of future works that I'm still in development on that are beginning to finally get legs under them.  They include "Earthfleet - The Delta Riders", "Earthfleet - The Specimen", The Empire Trilogy (The Artifacts of Earth, The Riders of Krowa, and Whalandria), and possibly several others.  As for who goes first, or who gets worked on first, that'll depend entirely on how soon the ideas gel in my mind and get feet under them.  The three After Offworld books go first, as the most work has been done on them out of everything in the pending pile.  After that I need to see which is the most viable prospect for further development into a full story.  As a bit of a fun aside, I also have a parody novel called "Cat Quest" under development that's an RPG style story, but the MC heroes are all cats. :)

Anyhow, that's all for this update.  If you have any questions, updates, help offers, etc, just let me know.  Thanks.

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