Yesterday morning I sent off the draft manuscripts for A Soul Full of Guns and A Protocol for Monsters. They both came in around the 30,000 word mark, which is probably still a bit long in terms of my work flow and productivity, but I just feel that's the length at which readers get full value for their money. Finishing those drafts freed up some time to let me dive into all the submissions for the fanfic-based e-book. At the moment I'm calling it Dave versus the Monsters: an Oral History of the Daemon Wars. But I'm open to catchier titles.
I moved all of the submissions from Google Docs into Scrivener and organised them into a very rough story arc. The word count at the moment is just over 36,000. Some of the pieces are very short, just a few hundred words. Some run to thousands of words. I'll be editing them all to bring them up to publishing standard. I will also be writing maybe a dozen or so of my own stories to act as narrative scaffolding. My best guess of how long this will take is a month, because I'm not doing this as a primary project. It's only getting about two hours a day.
Before it can go live, I have to complete the second 'giveaway' e-book, The Daemons of Buttecracke County. This is the origin story of the female sheriff we met briefly at the end of Ascendance. Sheriff Sheila May Robinson. It's a piece I first worked on two or three years ago, before coming up with the idea for The Dave, but one led naturally to the other. I have about 20,000 words in that manuscript, but it was structured with a view to publishing a novel of seventy to eighty thousand words. There'll be some work in adapting it to a shorter format.
As I explained originally, the anthology will go free forever upon release, and act as a 'funnel' (in marketing speak) to both the second book and the newsletter I'll be starting towards the end of the year. Buttecracke County will retail for a buck ninety-nine, but be available free to anybody who provides an email address for the newsletter.
On a quick read through yesterday, the fanfic anthology is looking really good. I'm open to the idea of sending out a beta version to a small number of people who'd be willing to read it looking for errors to correct. If you're interested let me know, but understand you be reading it as a subeditor, not just a reader.