If you've been following this blog or my social media accounts, then you've probably come across hints of a major milestone in my publishing journey. Today I can confirm that I have begun work on a new novel for the relatively new but highly esteemed small publisher Castalia House.
There have been a lot of questions about my collaboration with CH, so I'll address the most common queries here.
Did you submit this book to Castalia House because you got tired of publishing yourself?
No. In fact, I didn't submit a manuscript at all. CH lead editor Vox Day approached me with an offer to work on this project, and I gladly accepted.
Does working with CH mean you're no longer indie?
I've never been a pure indie author. My first pro work was published in Sci Phi Journal. Then I wrote another short for them and had a third appear in Forbidden Thoughts. It's more accurate to call me a hybrid author. That's always been the case, and it hasn't changed.
Will you no longer advocate for self-publishing?
Self-publishing is an ideology for some people. It never has been for me. I self-published my first three novels based on the strictly mercenary calculation that self-pub was the best way to reach an audience and GET PAID!
The results proved that self-publishing the Soul Cycle was the right move. I'm still convinced it's the right move, and moreover, Vox concurs.
As for which publishing options I advocate, recent events in the industry have changed the game:
- Traditional New York publishing is dying even faster than anyone predicted. Don't believe me? Read my fellow Dragon winner and CH author Nick Cole's sad account of his recent visit to B&N.
- Conversely, Amazon has gained a majority of print and eBook markets.
- The SDL himself hints that a major player is poised to challenge Amazon on their own turf.
- Meanwhile, CH's number of titles rose from 37 in 2015 to 65 in 2016, and its sales grew by 54%--all while sales at the Big Five are falling.
What do these data mean? Actually, they reinforce the position I've held for years: that nontraditional publishing--including indie as well as writer and reader-centered smaller houses like CH and Baen--is the smart choice for new authors.
However, seismic changes on the horizon will soon make nontrad pub the only choice for all authors.
What will happen to the Soul Cycle?
Put your minds at ease, SC fans. A condition of my agreement with Vox is that writing for Castalia House will not interfere with my indie publishing schedule. By way of proof, I would have started work on the CH novel earlier, but the SDL insisted that I get The Secret Kings out the door first.
Long story short, I will be writing and publishing the fourth and final book in the Soul Cycle, The Ophian Rising, myself. Look for it closer to year's end.
What can you tell us about this new project with Castalia House?
Not much. It's fiction. My skills were deemed a good fit for the job. Beyond that, here's all I'll say until further notice: consider the kinds of projects that Vox has been engaged in recently.
That's about it for now. Thanks again to Vox Day and my excellent Castalia House editor--you know who you are. It's not every day that relatively new author gets the chance to work with the publishing house that's on track to become America's #1 SFF publisher. It's an honor to be included with and learning from a team that includes legends like Dr. Jerry Pournelle, David VanDyke, B.V. Larson, Martin Van Creveld, and Colonel Tom Kratman plus friends like David the Good and Rod Walker.
It's also delightfully symbolic that, including John C. Wright, Nick Cole, and myself, the Dark Lord now has three Dragons in his stable.
The battle to take back SFF by entertaining you is just beginning. Get a head start on the fun with my award-winning, CHORF-vexing Soul Cycle.