Oh man, a month has flown by. It’s the end of the month again, and I’m going to tell Claimings fans to look for an announcement near the end. First, Aberrant Magic 6: Texas Charm is on the sidelines and ready to go. Book six is edited, the cover is done, I’m lining up reviewers, and we are a go for August 20th.
Detective Zach Johnson never resented his lack of magic, although he hated that as a mundane he had no power to stop a corrupt Talent council from stealing the resources of the magical community. However, the return of the ancient ifrit guides led a blood-thirsty hummingbird to choose him as a partner. Now he can be a true equal to his shaman lover, Art Lammas, and the two of them can take on the council and the entire community if need be.
Art Lammas loves Zach’s enthusiasm and sense of justice, but the Talent community is much more complex than he assumes. Not only does El Paso struggle under the corrupt leadership of the council, but it stands at a place where three different traditions clash: the Vatican-trained shamans from Mexico, the Egyptian-trained shamans of mainstream America, and the Native Peoples traditions, which are far more complex than Art can possibly describe. Art would far rather focus on solving their cases. More than that, Art fears that Talent might be the one force in the universe that could drive a wedge between them. Art would happily burn all the magic out of the world before allowing that to happen, but he may not have that choice.
This one is heavier on the magic, and it reveals some important information about book five. This is also the last piece I needed to put in place before I was ready for the first of the big bad ifrit to come through. Anzu waits in the wings, but our boys can’t win with having some new pieces on the board. Angel, Darren, and Zach are new pieces, and a few people who haven’t appeared for a while are ready to come back on the main stage.
So, all I need now are readers.
If book six breaks even in that golden thirty days on Amazon, I will definitely write Aberrant Magic 7: Defalcation. If book six doesn’t, I may need to cut the series loose. After 30 days, the Amazon algorithm will make it impossible to get the book in front of anyone searching for a certain type of book. People will then need to know the exact title and be looking for it specifically. So, what does break even mean in real terms? Well, let’s assume I don’t mind starving and get literally nothing for the HOURS of work. Then I need $150 for the cover and $740 for the editing. So the book has thirty days to make $890 or I lose money. If it does well and earns $2000 that first month, then I will definitely write the next book and call myself fortunate to make to make roughly $1.25-$2.00 per hour for my work on the title. Honestly, that’s worth it for me. I love telling stories. But I do hate editing, so I need some money for my time to compensate me for the misery of catching grammar and continuity errors.
What’s next up? CLAIMINGS! A Patron on Patreon offered to help defray these costs. They are helping with the editing costs and another Patreon angel is doing a cover. So that means I don’t have the same financial obligations. It does still mean I am spending hours in my least favorite part of writing—editing. But Patreon angels are also jumping in with that, helping me find grammar errors, so I just need to go through and correlate suggestions from different people into one master document before I send it off to the editor.
So the long and short of it is that Claimings 4 will be coming out as an ebook. My goal would be to hit by September 30, but I’m running tight and may not be able to hit that goal. We’ll see. I need to get my ass in gear and get to doing my editing work so I can get it sent off to my editing. This week I’ve been way more into catching up on Supernatural and doing some hours for recertification. Funny enough, I can’t afford to lose my day job.
But I will say this—Patreon is making it possible for me to continue to tell stories, even if I’ll never be able to make a full-time living out of it.