I read a book earlier this month that caused an urge to write a salty email to an editor who should have done a lot more work than they did and sugary emails to the editors who’ve kicked my ass over the years and taught me to self-correct a lot of problems before a manuscript leaves my hands. I won’t do either because (a) unproductive and (b) kicked my ass, but I need to rant and—what ho!—I have this nifty spot for just such an occasion.
This month, I rebounded from some rant-worthy romances I can’t talk about (contest judging… do not recommend) by rereading an old favorite and breaking the glass on an expected feel-good I’ve been saving in case of emergency.
All links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded. Almost all books are available at other sellers (I’ll note when that’s not the case and chastise myself for poor shopping habits), but linking every book to every store is a lot of work to do for free, and the two other affiliate programs are a pain in the ass.
COMPLETELY by Ruthie Knox: Rosemary is 39 years old, divorced, mother of a 19-year-old daughter, and she’s trying to reclaim her own identity by climbing the seven biggest mountains in the world and writing a book about her experience. Her Everest climb is interrupted by an avalanche that requires her climbing party to be evacuated. They’re unharmed, but the base camp below is wiped out, killing 29 people, many of whom had become her friends while waiting to start her climb. She’s shell-shocked when Kal, the 32-year-old “ice doctor” who was in charge of the safety of her group and still feels responsible for her, checks up on her at the hotel to which they’ve been evacuated. In the customary “we’re lucky to be alive” fashion, they celebrate with food, wine, and sex.
I’ve recently had a small flurry of emails inquiring along the lines of when I’ll be releasing another book.
First, for the 99% of readers of my previous books who apparently missed it, I released a book in May 2018! It has a whole page dedicated to it! You can request it through your Overdrive-affiliated library or purchase from the following sellers:
Sales of the most recent book keep authors alive while writing the next book. WCAD and 10KH each sold ~10,000 copies the first year post release. At ~$3 per book (after retailer cuts), that’s ~$30,000 per year, which after expenses and self-employment taxes is closer to $20,000 per year in my checking account. That’s obviously not enough to be the sole wage earner in a household of 4 adults in the United States, but it’s still slightly better than the take-home pay from a $10/hour day job, so I could justify calling writing a full-time job and supplementing with freelance work.
Silent Song, at the time of this writing, is 9 months post release. During that time, it has sold slightly over 100 copies, also known as 1% of what I needed it to sell in year 1 in order to survive while writing another book. August 2018 was absolutely the last opportunity to turn the failure around financially, and that didn’t happen. Since I had to take on more paying work at that time to cover the bills, I no longer have 40 hours a week to write. When I have 40 hours a week to write, it takes me a year to write a novel. When I have 4 hours a week? See you in 10 years.
In other words, there isn’t going to be a next book.
I’m sorry the news isn’t better, but I promise it sucks for the person who wasted over 20 years on this “career” only to end up making less in her last year than in 1996 way more than it sucks for readers who have millions of other options to console them.
I think my web hosting expires in May, at which time I’ll probably redirect the URL to a book landing page on free WordPress until domain registration expires in November, at which time I’ll have to evaluate whether there’s any point maintaining even that. Old books will remain for sale until stores start charging upkeep for listings. There just won’t be anything new.
Here’s to better days for us all ahead.
Remember when I split this month’s reading because I was afraid one post for the whole month would be obscenely long? Yeah, I forgot about contest-judging obligations that arrived on the 20th, so this is actually super short.
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THE END OF THE WORLD: STORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE by Various Authors: I’ve said before I have a terrible time with anthologies (it takes me a long time to commit, and most short stories are over before I warm to them sufficiently; also, I want a line of logic I can follow from beginning to end, and a lot of short stories are… “experimental” is the most generous term I can come up with), but since I was already having a terrible reading streak, what’s the harm? At least I like the apocalypse!
The stories themselves date back as far as 1944 and have all been previously published, so if you’re a SF short story aficionado, you may have seen many of them elsewhere. This collection was published in 2010, when nobody in publishing even pretended an interest in diversity; accordingly, the 19 authors include 1 woman and 0 POC. The +/- after each story indicates my positive or negative feeling toward it.
Happy New Year! For 2019, I’m going to try posting these book roundups at the end of each month instead of every other, and I’ll also take a stab at describing what a book is about before launching into the usual litany of grievances. Don’t let the smooth start here fool you—I still hate (almost) everything and will tell you all about it.
Links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded.
STILLHOUSE LAKE by Rachel Caine: Gina Royal arrives home one day to find a drunk driver has crashed through the wall of her garage, but the police are much more interested in questioning her about the dead woman hanging from a noose in the middle of her husband’s “workshop.” Thus, Gwen learns her husband Mel is a serial killer, her family’s life is a lie, and the world is full of rotten people who will never let her and her kids escape the legacy of The Kansas Horror.