Seven stories about ?????? travel
That's right, there's more of them.
This feels like quite a big announcement.
SEVEN STORIES ABOUT TIME TRAVEL is not a standalone collection.
It is the beginning of a series.
Feel free to guess the titles in the comments. I’d love to see if they are guessable.
Paying subscribers, don’t spoil it for people! (you get to find out at the bottom of this email)
Most of you were around to vote for a cover for SEVEN STORIES ABOUT TIME TRAVEL back in September. I’ve not abandoned that design, but I am working on mixing it with the newer one now I’m revealing it’s a series.
Some of you may already know that I’m not usually a fan of series’. I prefer standalone books. So, if a book is in a series, I’d prefer it to be a self-contained thing with its own conclusion. What that means is I can follow the characters or world into the next book if I want to, but the story I’ve just read has ended in a satisfactory way.
That said, there are other reasons to split a story into a series, such as if it will wind up being 300,000 words long or if there are huge gaps of time in the story between books.
In conclusion, I need a good reason to write a series. A simple reason.
For Earthloop, that reason was artistic. The final story is going to be around seventy chapters long, somewhere near 250,000 words. Lax Morales, the central character (and arguably, plot device) goes back in time twice, leading him to appear three times during the period between 1947 and 2016. Each of the three books in the Earthloop series will focus on their own incarnation of Lax, with some crossing over. The chapter titles across each book also reference each other, so there’s a poetry there, a reflection across time. Earthloop is a series because it could not be anything else.
For this new collection of short stories, the reason is again artistic.
I am grouping the stories by theme.
Each of these three books is themed around a certain type of sci-fi travel. At the time of writing, I intend for each to have precisely seven stories.
This might change however. It might look better to have varying numbers so the numbers don’t look forced, but I like 777. A nice triangular number fits thematically with my time machines and time portals, all of which are triangular. You can also tile three 7s together on a piece of paper into a triangle, if you rotate each one 120 degrees. This is foreshadowing.
If I keep the idea of seven stories for each book, the series will be called:
The Seven Stories Series
Whilst most of the stories will be new to you, they won’t all be new to me. If any of you were around in 2019 or 2020, you will have read the short story DEATH’S GARDEN already, in the original beta version of WBTH. I later swapped it out for an expansion of Lucy’s and Nori’s universes.
About that, those characters might be returning.
Subscribing is free and gets you access to exclusive perks like comments and short stories. The paid tier adds behind-the-scenes content, commentary, and discounts on things.
So how should I publish these things?
Some hybrid of the geometric and fractal covers would be ideal.
I have looked into traditional publishing for these books, but I am really enjoying the process of self-publishing right now. Discovering how Draft2Digital works, how I can get my book into proper bookstores, and how to get into conventions are all things I love doing. I am going to self-publish all three of these books because I am confident I can take what I learned with WBTH and do a better job this time round (pro tip: if you want people to buy your book, tell them about it).
These covers are designed to tile together because I will display them side by side at conventions and bookstores. I plan on doing this for more books in the future, including my poetry, Earthloop, and any spin-offs or sequels from WBTH.
I plan to launch pre-orders on Etsy or Kickstarter. Etsy takes a slightly bigger cut off me, but means I’ll make the money right away, whether I reach my goal or not, which is good as I can get to work on ads immediately.
Kickstarter has a way to create tiers and add-ons inside a single ‘listing’ (project page) which is useful if you’re adding perks like “Get your name in the book”. But if a project is only 99.99% funded, it will die! It’s also a bit harder to market as Kickstarter is a lot more competitive. I managed to raise about £600 (not counting printing/postage costs) for Who Built The Humans? back in 2020, when I had hardly any followers online.
So what should I do? I feel that Kickstarter comes across more professional, but Etsy might be more accessible for people.
I hope you’re looking forward to this as much as I am. Seven Stories About Time Travel is shaping up to be a great short story collection so far. The books are quite a bit shorter than WBTH’s 125,000 words, but I believe this will make them a lot more marketable. Each one has a simple concept and enough weird stories to keep people thinking. The links across the books and to other books I have should keep my existing fans happy too (anyone who misses Lax Morales will be very happy with at least one of the books in this series).
At the edge of the universe, a barrier presents itself.
I made this image just to advertise the paywall. Behind this vast cosmic barrier you will find quite a lot of behind-the-scenes content about the Seven Stories Series as well as some info about my future publishing plans, ideas, and a short Q&A about the process and that other book I was writing, Hologram Kebab.