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2022 Targets and Changes   Recently updated !

I think 2021 was a weird year for most of us. I usually do a great deal of research (it’s pretty much a necessity for science fiction writing) but during 2021, I did more research than ever before on getting published. It’s been a LONG time since I self-published my first novel and, after some initial success, my book sales have simply dwindled. All the effort I put into marketing clearly counts for very little and I tend to find my marketing experience seems to be out-of-date before I learn it. Many courses, books, videos etc. have had no effort on the decline so I’m shifting my effort into doing this properly.

Four months of reading acceptance criteria from many, many literary agents, listening to genuine experts in the field and more have taught me a few things. First, literary agents mostly don’t want science fiction. This is extremely annoying. Second, as my best science fiction novels have not received any positive feedback at all from dozens of literary agents, I would be wise to jump to another genre. Third, anyone’s writing is only going to be great if they love the genre in which they are working. I’m not going to be able to make a go of Romance or Women’s Fiction, so I need to stick to what I like and know.

Back when I started writing, almost four decades ago, I wrote fantasy novels. They weren’t any good but I loved writing them. 2021 has sent me back to Fantasy, so I’ve been writing “Rise of the Witch Queen”, the first of a series of light-hearted fantasy novels set in the land of Karduga. I’m well over 50,000 words in and hoping to finish before the middle of February.

This leaves me with a problem: Do I start a new website or post announcements and progress reports here on Astronomicon.co.uk?


Read the new Astronomicon #1 on Wattpad for #FREE!

Inception Point front cover artI’ve already posted the first 27 chapters of Astronomicon: Inception Point on Wattpad and I’m trying to post a new chapter every day! If all goes to plan, I’ll have all fifty chapters posted before this time next month.

I haven’t decided yet if I will leave it up on Wattpad indefinitely but it will be there for at least 30 days after the final chapter is posted. Ultimately, I’ll be publishing it on Amazon. In the meantime, I’m looking for feedback and I’m especially keen to hear what you all like (or don’t like) about each of the chapters. Please don’t feel shy about leaving comments. Feedback can be extremely helpful.

If you like a chapter, please, please vote for it. It helps me target those chapters that need improvement by looking out for those with lower vote ratios.

 

Read Astronomicon: Inception point here for free..

 

All the feedback I’ve received so far has been very positive. Inception Point has the highest vote to read ratio that I’ve ever had on Wattpad and far above the average. I’m hoping that’s a good sign! My own opinion is that this new version of the novel holds together much better, the science is more accurate and the pacing is vastly improved. I’m hoping my readers feel the same way but, if not, please let me know. I’m tough – I can take it!

 

Thank you for reading it and even more if you leave a comment there too!


Astronomicon #1

Astronomicon: The Beginning old cover designIt’s been a lot of work and it’s STILL not finished, but the first batch of chapters have been sent to my trusty proofreaders. The second and third (final) batch will be going that way very soon and I’m now trying to sort out a new front cover too. The layout and font are in place but I’m missing the actual cover art. I did consider going with a pure black cover with just the title of the book across the middle in the classic Astronomicon font, but for that to work, it needs to be embossed or foiled. Less than that tends to look more like a printing issue!

There’s still a round of editing and then a final proofread to go before I publish the initial release version on Wattpad. An Amazon launch will follow within weeks after that but in a break from my previous business model, it will not be free. Being free on Amazon now is a quick way to disappear in a sea of poor quality junk, so Astronomicon #1 will be priced at 99p (99c) instead. It’s a token payment (the lowest Amazon permit) but it means the novel will be competing with paid books rather than all the free stuff out there.

One more thing which hasn’t happened yet is the title reveal. It will no longer be named “Astronomicon: The Beginning” but the new name is a secret for now.


35,000 Words into Astronomicon #1

Whilst I didn’t finish the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, it did get me 35,000 words on the way to completing the rewrite of the first Astronomicon novel. That’s not bad progress. It’s shown me that it’s entirely possible to squeeze in 500-1000 words per day most days of the week, so I can keep some momentum going until the book is finished.

Unlike the original, this new one will not be perma-free. There are SO many free books out there these days that most people equate free with poor quality. I’ll be pricing it at Amazon’s minimum of 99p (99c) but running a bunch of free days immediately after launch so people who already have the original version but want to see the new one, don’t have to pay.

I’m most pleased with the pacing of the new version. The original had some patches which were too slow and not particularly interesting. This one is structured very differently and makes it a drastically more exciting ride for the reader. This left me with some problems with character development. I have had to be someone covert with the character development, weaving it discretely into the action and brief conversations as the long, evening conversations of the original just don’t happen in this one.

With things getting busier the closer we get to Christmas, I’m most unlikely to finish it this year, but I’m hoping to be posting chapters on Wattpad before the end of January 2020. I’ll post updates here and do a big announcement as soon as the new version launches. The Amazon release will follow a few weeks later.