Numbers are Dumb

I may have an aneurysm by the end of the day.

In September, I’ll be tabling at a con for my own books. I might be a little excited about this.

Right now my wife and I are running numbers to see how many of our books we should have on hand at the con.

And that’s why I’m going to have an aneurysm.

See, it costs money to purchase the books ourselves. So how much should we budget for that? How many books are we bringing to the con? You want enough that you don’t sell out. At the same time, since we don’t have another con scheduled for about a year, we really don’t want many leftovers.

How many books should we plan on selling? Well, to get a good bead on that, we need to know how many people are going to come to the con. And after that, can we get a breakdown on demographics? We’ll be selling the Madelyn of the Sky books, which is middle grade fantasy adventure. Maybe I’m biased, but I’m pretty sure you don’t have to be a young teen to enjoy it, but that is who we’re marketing toward.

Of course, once you have those numbers (if you can get them), what percentage of people are likely to buy?

And if they’re buying, are they getting just book one? The first three books? The whole six-book series? What if we offer a discount on the whole set? What if we offer a deal to get the first three? How many people will get just book one—which means we need to order more of book one ourselves. How many more?

My wife has set up an excel sheet with all sorts of formulas so we can play with the numbers. How many hours is the con open? How many paying customers do we expect to see in any given hour? Well, Fridays typically people aren’t buying as much, and Sundays the last few years of the con have been pretty empty by the last two hours. What does that mean as we estimate sales?

Annnnnnnnnnnd… aneurysm!

So yeah. If you see writer’s brains leaking out of my ears, that’s why.

When Writing Isn’t Important

Yesterday I saw more of my daughter’s blood than a parent should ever have to see. She was attacked by a dog. I’m thankful that while serious, she is home and recovering. She has stitches over a chunk of her face. She’s very snugly. A little bit ago she was running around chasing bubbles outside, so it’s clear that she’s not devastated and will never recover.

I spent most of the day with her at the hospital. My wife and I took turns standing by her side, wiping up the blood, hugging her…

And today, I’m exhausted. I could write a lengthy blog post about my emotions. I could pen a missive concerning the love of parents. Or maybe I should wax rhapsodic about the tenacity of children.

Or I could just write, because that’s all there is in me.

Some people will advise you to write every day. I’ve not held that for a while. Write regularly, yes, if you want to be an author. Set up a normal way of doing things that works for you.

But some things are more important than writing.

Right now, my daughter is more important. Being with her in the hospital, snuggling her, taking care of the other kids… all that is more important.

So Imma step away from the keyboard for a bit. I’ve got better things to do. Writing will return… but this is more important today.

I Never Should Have Told My Son…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom came out last week. To say there is excitement in my house is an understatement. I’ve just finished another playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so I’m ready for the new game!

We’re not getting it. Not yet.

My kids are begging for it, but I’m not going to plunk down the cash at this time.

My younger boy asked me when we would get it. I told him, “Once I finish the rough draft of my current project.”

Guess who’s been asking me how my writing has been going literally every day since?

“Hey dad, how far are you into your book? How’s it going? Are you done yet?”

Now, it’s my intent to be done with the current project well before summer ends, so the kids will still get their fill of the new game… when the time comes. But I guess I’ve got another source of motivation now!

In the meantime, I should probably stop blogging and get to work on that project, huh?

Also in the meantime, if you haven’t, you should head over to Kickstarter and check out Cade and the Last Starship. I may be working on the next six-book series after that one, but Cade is still getting backing. Help make it a reality!

The Danger of More Than One Genre

Something is wrong in Scar Ridge.

The cows watch the new brides at Jarvis’s Ranch. The new parson keeps burying the same people over and over again. The returning veteran brought home more than scars. And though no tracks run through town, there’s a station waiting for the arrival of a train.

Welcome to Scar Ridge collects nine stories about the darkly different town. It releases October 10 from Dark Owl Publishing, the same press that published my first novel, The Keeper of Tales.

Continue reading “The Danger of More Than One Genre”