I realize I have been silent here for several months. It has been a busy time. My writing is moving forward on several fronts (think weather, not war!). I am finishing up the revisions to my second volume in The Ido Chronicles, the novel Messioph: The First Book of Ido. These were revisions in response to editorial remarks and suggestions by the three editors at Untimely Books who have been providing oversight on my work. It has been a challenge. The book is, I think, more substantive than Plenum in several ways, and addresses issues that require careful thought to get right: issues such as child abuse and the lifelong difficulties of recovery this can pose. That story is wrapped up inside others that concern the cosmos and our place within it; the mix is, I think, potent.
I have also decided to develop a proper newsletter. Participants of this site (geoffreyjenedwards.com) will have found my presence here spotty. I have been struggling with technical issues related to the site, in particular, the way membership lists are managed by Wix and its widgets. The development of a newsletter will, I believe, resolve these issues. Services such as MailerLite or MailChimp provide robust management of email lists in support of newsletters, and so I expect to develop a much more consistent presence without the security issues that have been plaguing this site. I will keep this site, but it will be complemented by the newsletter.
However, a newsletter is its own thing. I have been reading how-to books to find guidance on procedures, and developing support elements, such as emails that can be sent out automatically, and also what is called in the business a "reader magnet". This is a story related to my novels that will be offered exclusively to newsletter subscribers as a way of attracting new readers. I have been developing a short story about the jonahs that will serve that function.
On Amazon and Goodreads, reader reviews have started to appear for Plenum. They are all, so far, at the four- to five-star level, which is gratifying. Sales are still slow, but I have also started doing book fairs, such as Montreal's Holiday Book Fair shown below, which extends readership through personal contact. Although that is hard work, it is also gratifying. Most people find the story synopsis interesting and even when they don't buy, I find there is a connection.
On Tiktok, just before Christmas, I gained more than 1000 followers. This milestone is important, because it provides access to other parts of Tiktok, and in particular, the live streaming service. I am hoping to connect with other writers to do some live streams about writing, and I have also launched some live streams that look into my illustration efforts in relation to my novels. My engagement on Tiktok is hardly viral, but 1000 followers in 8 months is still pretty amazing in my opinion. On Twitter I have over 3.5K followers, but I have been on Twitter for over ten years. I don't think my followers will have much impact yet on sales, although certainly there have been some as a result of my presence there.
As for prospects for the year, in addition to the projected publication of Messioph, I have a third novel in the wings ready for submission: Pinnacle: The First Book of Eng. As the series of 15 books, The Ido Chronicles, slowly gathers steam, I am expecting a livelier discussion with readers about the diverse issues it addresses, especially with the impending launch of a newsletter. I am also expecting to finish the screenplay I have been working on, which deals with a prequel to the Chronicles called the Third Testament. There is a possibility of forming a group to read the screenplay aloud, which will provide interesting feedback for improvements. I don't like to say more about my other projects. Readers of my blog will be aware there are several, but my priority at the moment is to get more of the science fiction saga out into the world before moving forward in other areas. I have the sense that 2023 may be a booster year for my writing as I consolidate the work already done and get new work out.