Monthly Archives: July 2023

A tweak and an apology

  1. I’ve dropped the price of the Therapist novellas to 99 cents. I could ramble about why they were priced higher in the first place, how I hoped that maybe this would prove that my work was worth more than I’ve historically charged for it, etc., but the truth of the matter is that it’s just not working. So I dropped the price after all.
  2. I am very sorry to anyone who bought the new book at full price when it went down so quickly after release. I did not intend to scam anyone. I think Amazon is lenient with returns on ebooks if you want to pursue that route. With my sincere apologies.
  3. I have thinned out some of the storefronts that weren’t working. Here’s what’s staying:
    • Healers: Amazon and Gumroad
    • Therapist: Amazon; Gumroad for the first book only (still PWYW including free).

As I was de-listing everything on Kobo, I found out that apparently I have sold 106 books there lifelong. Which isn’t technically nothing, but it feels like it. Maybe I’m just feeling discouraged right now; I’ll own up to that.

So that and Nook are out. I am not considering putting Healers back on Kindle Unlimited at this point, but I might with Therapist once the omnibus is ready. If so, it would have to come down from Gumroad.

Okay, enough literal shop talk. I’m marking this post “sales” because of the price drop, though I expect it to be permanent. Thanks!


Incredibly minor thing, but the content/trivia links for Therapist 4 are fixed. They previously both went to Content. Which, honestly, is preferable to the reverse — the content lists are at least theoretically useful, and I don’t seriously expect anyone to read the trivia.

I just do those because that’s how my own brain works — when I am even moderately emotionally engaged in a piece of media, I feel the impulse to learn everything I can about how it was made. Obviously, most people are not like this. Though some are; <3 to all those minutiae obsessives on TVTropes and IMDB who feed my obsession.

That’s about all for now. It’s only been 4 days since the last release. If I were a real indie I’d be *checks imaginary watch* finishing the next draft by now. But luckily for my sleep patterns, I am not.

Gave up the “level up everything” strategy in Pokemon Violet at level 35. I just could not take it anymore. Instead, I separated my army into types and now level up all of the types needed for the next challenge. Ex., I am taking on the Psychic gym next, so I’m leveling up all of the Bug, Dark and Ghost types. I won’t end up using them all, but that’s how I’m compromising with my usual playstyle.

I also leveled up to the range where I can take advantage of Wholesale Chansey Slaughter Happy Fun Time outside the Fairy base, and that helps tremendously. Between that and Dugtrio Search and Destroy in the mountain pass area for slightly lower level groups, we should be set for a little while.

It’s happening?

Therapist Book 4 is processing on Amazon. What?? I could have waited another week, but I kind of wanted to stop worrying about it. It’s as finished as I’m going to make it, I think.

It’s July 22, 2023. I started writing book 1 in late September, 2022. I’ve expressed disbelief time and again about how fast this project came along, and here I am again. There’s a common bit of advice around self-publishing, “pick a popular genre that you actually like, write in it, and you’ll make lots of money” (something like that, I don’t pay much attention).

That hasn’t happened; this series isn’t selling. Probably because I can’t do anything normal, and this is yet another genre-mashing exercise instead of writing to market like everyone says you should. Maybe because I still haven’t done any advertising. But you know what? I’ve had a lot of fun, and I think it’s been good for me to switch gears for a while. I don’t think it’s ruined my touch with the Healersverse, at least based on the WIP I’ve been working on. It’s been refreshing just to do something different. I’ll go back to my serious(tm) universe and be happy to do so — I don’t think I’ll be free of that universe anytime soon, my brain still lives in it — but it’s been a fun vacation.

This sounds like it’s all over, but I’ve also been working on a set of side stories since I finished the second draft of book 4; if all goes well I’ll release them all in a kind of sidestory omnibus someday. (I cannot justify buying separate cover art for more novellas. It’s been really fun, but I have to be a little more practical.) I also intend to release the 4-novella set in ebook and print later this year.

But for now? Lavender’s story is soon to be out there at last, and I’m happy about it. That’s all.

Forward motion

Writing: As of last week, I reached 200 days working on some aspect of writing every day — either writing or editing. Lately I’ve been alternating between the second Therapist side story and the Healersverse prequel / side story. Trying to get my daily word count up, since there have been some really, REALLY minimal days — but as long as I keep working on something to the extent my focus and energy can manage, I’m all right with it. It’s something.

Meanwhile, the cover for the Therapist omnibus is in progress, and looking great. Looking forward to that. Book 4 is in the hands of one more beta reader and the cover is done, so we’re still more or less on track for an August release for that.

I also signed on to beta read two other people’s novels, and doing not as well with that than I had the last few times. By no fault of the writers at all; my focus is just shot lately. So there’s another goal. Get the word count up, and beta read more.

Entertainment corner: Still grinding away at Pokemon Violet. As I probably mentioned, I’ve always had the habit of leveling up my party evenly in games where you can swap party members in and out, e.g. Final Fantasy Tactics and the like. This habit is beginning to kick my ass in Pokemon. I have about 250 party members, and can only level up 6 at a time. It’s extremely slow going. But I have yet to change my strategy. Podcast on, game on mute, wander around, fight a bunch of things. Repeat repeat repeat.

The current anime season is… …existing.

In which I really start ranting about power fantasies as a concept

I… have not made a mistake, and yet

subhead: One way the sausage is made, if you can’t draw but need to hire someone who can

Now that book 4 of Therapist is almost ready, I turned toward preparing the omnibus edition. This will consist of all 4 novellas in the series, packaged together for print and possibly ebook.

I’ve really liked the individual novella covers I’ve commissioned so far, but a wraparound cover for a paperback is an entirely different kettle of fish. I knew I’d have to start fresh, because as far as I can tell, the cover artist for 1/2/4 isn’t doing complicated-background stuff right now. (Hey, I could be wrong!)

Anyway, I laid out the combo package for print (which is just a long, tedious, but IMO satisfying process in Word) and got the template for the cover from Amazon. This is a layout graphic based on the size of the finished paperback, not only the trim size (trade paperback, etc.) but the width of the spine, which is dependent on the number of pages. So. I added this to the reference document I’d put together, which is a description of the kind of vibe and scene I’m looking for, the art I already have of the character who appears on this cover as well, and examples of similar art that I’ve found out there online. [I always dreaded this process because I thought I had to have preexisting art of the characters, but so far the ref docs I’ve assembled seem to have worked for the artists I’ve commissioned, even when I didn’t have preexisting art. So I think it’s working??]

I posted on r/artcommissions last night, which is a lively community at the slowest of times. I woke up to 56 comments and 7 direct messages from artists, and I think some more came in today. Now, I’m sure some people throw their hat in the ring whenever they can even if their style isn’t what was asked for, and I kind of don’t fault them for that. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, and all of that. Plus, I posted a budget that I honestly think is commensurate with the scope of the project, and not lowballing probably helps my chances.

But um. I am currently eyeball-deep in fantastic art portfolios. I wish I could hire them all. Honestly, though, I am going to bookmark every single one and keep them in mind for future projects. Y’ALL ARE SO TALENTED, I CANNOT HANDLE IT.

My old sneaking impulse to commission some more Healers art is bouncing around my brain, too — not for covers, just to frame and hang in my house. I commissioned a piece years and years ago when I was tabling at anime conventions, but so far that’s the only Healers visual media that exists besides the amigurumi I made (because I’m a sentimental dork). The space right over my writing desk is all vaporwave-ish space stuff currently (the vertical poster here and this Lego set), but we are assembling a fantasy-nerd gaming room, so y’know. It could also go there.

Anyhow, I’ve got some art to look at, woo hoo.

Edit to add: Watchlist-wise, we finished Bocchi the Rock! — recommend, alarmingly relatable — and I just watched the first episode of Land of the Lustrous. Boy, this series is pretty. Also, let’s note that I have rambled here before about wanting to write about a character that everyone inherently/instinctively dislikes, even though they haven’t done anything particularly wrong; they just have something naturally repellent about them. I’m like this IRL, but so rarely see this type in fiction (people are just as repelled from fictional characters like this, I guess). It’s a very lonely feeling. (The What We Do in the Shadows TV series has one, but he thrives on others’ discomfort. While this is funny, I do not thrive on being this way IRL. It really, really sucks.)

Enter Cinnabar from LotL, an alien who uncontrollably exudes literal poison (mercury, to be exact) and is exiled from the rest of their species because of it. Hi, Cinnabar. I don’t think this will end well for you, but I’m paying attention.