A New Year for Zdrell

It’s been way too long since I’ve made a blog post, so I’ll try to make up for the wait with some numbers and thoughts.

Progress on Master of Zdrell

I’m fairly certain that those of you who read these posts probably most want to know, when will we get that final volume of the Magic of Zdrell Trilogy? What happens with Master Silurian, Dorull, and Jonny/Eril/Torin (yeah, his master name is Torin) and all the other characters you’ve met along the way? On that front, I have good news and bad news. As noted in my earlier works, I’m not the fastest of writers.

I started The Apprentice in fall of 2000 and didn’t get it published until 2018. I started work on Journeyman in 2007, and it didn’t get published until December of 2019. I started work on Master in 2019, but planned to get the first draft completed by the end of 2020. I didn’t make that goal, but I’m not too far off.

I won’t go into the details, but from September on, this has been a rough year for my writing. My day job has consumed even more of my time and when I finish working on it for twelve hours looking at a screen (that’s what us I.T. guys do) it has been really hard to then spend more hours staring at a screen writing.

Even so, at this point I have written over 90,000 words on Master. I anticipate another 40,000 need to be written, which at my current rate means I hope to have the first draft done around the end of February. This time I’m not going to let the manuscript have months of “resting time” before I start editing, but I’m going jump write into it, so hopefully that will get that done quickly, and then I can deal with the final publishing process.

I’m aiming to get the book out to you by July of 2021. If I can’t make July, it will definitely be before the end of 2021. Sorry it can’t be sooner, but unlike Brandon Sanderson, I don’t have a team of 30 people assisting me and I have a full-time (these days more than full-time) day job, and a family and stuff. So that’s my goal for the book. I I’ve written it here, so I know you all will hold me to it.

Sales and Readership

Most authors/publishers are loathe to release their sales numbers to the general public, unless they are truly awesome. For me, that any of you at all read my stuff is pretty awesome. With the release of Journeyman in December 2019 a lot of folks discovered my writing and the numbers have quite frankly surprised me in a pleasant way. So, here’s some numbers from 2020.

The first two quarters of 2020 saw sales that were more than I’d ever imagined. The second two quarters have seen major declines, but still 2020 was a good year for Zdrell. Ninety plus percent of my sales are e-books, either straight sale or as part of Kindle Unlimited (KU). In general I have two to three times the readership on KU as opposed to those who buy my books directly. Also, since my e-books are only available on Amazon, and I sell very few print and not a ton of audio books, Amazon is where my sales live.

Numbers: For 2020, I sold a total of 1,835 e-book copies and 11 paperbacks across my three titles on sale. I also had 3,667,654 pages read via KU. In April I had 733,704 page reads in KU, so I’m thinking the combination of lock downs giving folks more time to read, as well as the popularity that the books had had prior to that time got me that boost. The Apprentice even had a while where it held the #10 spot in its Kindle book category.

Also, I’ve sold significantly outside the USA. The UK and Australia have taken turns at being top foreign markets, while Canada, Germany, India, and Brazil have all had readers enjoy my work.

I sold just over 120 audiobooks, and that was with The Apprentice being the only widely available volume. I had the audiobook for Journeyman created, but we’ve had technical publishing issues and it will only be widely available in the next month or so.

Bottom line, I’m very grateful for all my readers and everyone who has reviewed any of my books. It is humbling to know that thousands of people have read my work and want me to continue it. The story when it first came to me would not let me rest until I wrote it. It is the support of my fans that gives me the strength to finish it.

Thank you all,

Dave

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