Scott Marlowe
Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Moving Forward

My wife and I moved from the country into the city about six months ago. Preceding that move was a fairly large promotion for myself at my primary job that required me to start going into the office every day. The move was prompted by this, as well as some other factors, but ultimately it came down to a desire for both my wife and I to drastically shorten our daily commutes. Somewhere during this period of getting promoted, moving, getting settled, and focusing on doing the best possible job I could in my new role, I completely lost sight of my writing. I didn’t forget about it; it was always there in the back of my mind. But it somehow just wasn’t that important anymore.

There isn’t anything prophetic about this. Neither is it very unusual to have higher priorities take over when something—like my writing—isn’t generating anything near a measurable amount of income. Truth be told, many of my books have not “earned out,” as they say in the industry, meaning that I have not made back my costs of production. This isn’t factoring my time into the equation at all. If I simply look at the cost of editing plus having a professional book cover created, in many cases my books have not made back that investment in sales.

Which brings me back to our move. Moving is a liberating experience. My wife and I freed ourselves from untold quantities of “stuff” that we either never used or never used enough or had so many of that we were never going to make effective use of all of them (I’m specifically thinking of glasses here; three different kinds of wine glasses are wonderful for people who drink a lot of wine, but my wife doesn’t drink wine at all and I prefer craft beer over most other forms of alcohol). So we donated, gave away, and threw away a ridiculous amount of things, which was to our benefit because otherwise we were paying to have those things moved to our new house.

The point of that story is to convey that I’m now carrying over the same liberating ideology to my writing in the following ways:

1. I’ve removed all of my books from all retailers except for Amazon

The bottom line is that I move an insignificant number of books via iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and all the rest of them. Very few readers, very little sales, an irrelevant amount of revenue to help me cover my time and the production costs of putting together a novel or story.

2. All of my books are now therefore exclusively available via Amazon.com and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited

If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, either via the program directly or as a member of Amazon Prime, you can now read all of my works for free as part of that membership.

3. I’m putting all of my Assassin Without a Name stories on a separate site where anyone can read them for free

More on this in a near future post.

4. I will be completing The Alchemancer series but it’s not my highest priority and will likely be released in an unconventional manner

The series has not earned out, so I’m very reluctant to invest another $1500 or so to hire a professional editor and have both digital and print book covers created. Not to mention the 10 months or so it takes me to actually write the darn thing. If sales were better, if the number of reviews was higher, if readers were banging on my door demanding to have the next book ASAP, then I’d be willing to spend every free waking moment on finishing it up. But those things have not happened, so here’s what I’m thinking: I will finish the series in time, but it may take the form of chapter by chapter posts to a blog. If there’s interest past that, then I’ll gladly package those chapters up into a novel, give it the professional treatment, and put it up on Amazon for sale or as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Feel free to share your thoughts on any of this via a comment below. Thanks for reading.