2011 Year In Review, And New Art

Happy New Year, everyone! I’ve got one major piece of news, but before I get to it, I just want to talk about some of the more entertaining things I learned as 2011 went out with a bang.

First, I’d like to thank everyone for their recent interest on the site. I’ve seen a huge uptick in traffic, comments, and email, and it has led to some really interesting discussions. That said, more than a few of you have included spoilers in your comments. I don’t want to tell anyone what they can or can’t discuss, but many people visiting the site and reading the threads of discussion haven’t finished the trilogy. I’ll be working on an update to the site that will allow me to conceal any spoilers without eliminating the full comment, but in the meantime here are a few guidelines to help everyone get the most out of the books. If you have a comment or question that might reveal a plot point, I’d appreciate it if you would either email me directly or warn at the beginning of the comment that spoilers follow. Alternately, feel free to join the forum. I’m sure we can rig up a “spoiler zone” for discussions between people who have read all there is to read.

I’ve also been checking out the search terms that hit my site, and there are a few that are really intriguing. First, I’ve seen the term “the book of deacon movie” come up more than once. Thanks for the vote of confidence, whoever you are! There has been absolutely no talk of such things, naturally, but it feels good to know there is interest. (Unless this is another instance of me misinterpreting facts, which I am known to do.) I’ve also seen a few hits looking for Jade Book 2. I hadn’t planned on a sequel to that story, though I never rule anything out completely, but there are at least two characters who appear in that book that do have a place in books I plan to write soon. I’ve seen a few permutations of searches including the books and “wiki.” To my knowledge, The Book of Deacon does not have a wiki or wikipedia entry, but the internet is an extremely transitory place, so by the time you are reading this, who knows what might have happened? Along the same lines, I’ve seen a lot of searches looking for specific characters, or simply “characters” in general. I imagine I could put together a characters page. If I did, what would you folks like to see on it? Descriptions? Pictures? Just let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I live to serve.

Finally, and most importantly, I heard back from good old Nick Deligaris about the latest cover. Those of you who follow me on twitter (@jrlallo) have already seen the nearly complete version of the cover for Bypass Gemini, but I’ve now got my hands on the completely complete version. Check it out.

Hang on tight to that case, Lex!

That’s actually scaled down from the size he gave it to me. In the words of a friend of mine, “Somehow, he has managed to make me more interested in Bypass Gemini after I’ve already read it. How is that possible, exactly?” If any of you have read Bypass Gemini, what do you think? This leaves just one cover to go, the cover for the Bypass Gemini sequel, tentatively named “Unstable Prototypes.” I can’t wait!

UPDATE: Upon reviewing my post, which has got “Year In Review” in the title, I find that I didn’t actually do any reviewing of the year, so let’s fix that, shall we?

At the beginning of 2011, I had published Books 1 and two of the trilogy, and Jade. I had sold somewhere on the order of two dozen books, in total, and wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the prospects of my success. On May 16th, I had published the final entry in the trilogy, and my first Sci Fi book, and having made The Book of Deacon free, I’d started to see some decent interest in my books. My total sales and downloads were in the hundreds, and I’d finally earned enough to get my first check, for $10.78! The next day, Amazon agreed to make The Book of Deacon free. Two weeks later I had given away 18,000+ copies, and was starting to see some fairly positive reviews. I found my way to the top ten of free fantasy ebooks on Amazon not once but twice! Though I hesitate to give dollar figures regarding earnings, I will say this: In the month of December, thanks to some cutbacks they’ve made with my schedule at my day job coupled with massive holiday sales, this little hobby managed to earn more money than my actual career.

Now it is the beginning of 2012. At this moment, I have given away well over 60,000 copies of book 1 on Amazon.com alone, and I’ve had reviews by (among others) Pure Textuality (Book 1 and Book 2), Ebook Apothecary (Book 1), Mel Chesley (Book 1), Best O’ Books (now seemingly defunct),  as well as a guest post and an interview. I’ve had hundreds of ratings and dozens of customer reviews on every site from Apple to Kobo. Some were bad, many were excellent. I found and hired a spectacular artist. My books have been read, re-read, edited, re-edited, and in at least one case, professionally edited. I spiffed up my social presence with a nicer site layout and a forum, and I’ve attempted to improve my Facebook and twitter usage as well. In short, I officially graduated (according to my own informal metrics) from “phoney baloney indie author” to “indie author.” Next step? “Professional indie author.” This is all thanks to you out there, so I bow to you, my readers. Hopefully I can continue to produce things you will enjoy reading in the year ahead. And, as always, thanks for reading.

27 Comments

  1. Hello 🙂 Started book two this morning, and I am very pleased. Desmere’s cracks me up!
    I’m all for a “spoiler zone”. That would give readers the complete freedom, and you as well to ask and answer and discuss everything. I’m excited to get to that point, but I’m going to see if I can drag it out a bit….I hate when a series ends.

    Thank-you for giving tips on spoilers. I’ve been tip toeing around the different comments trying not to run into any more. Is there anyway that your web guy could set up a notification email? It would make it easier for discussion- if one was aware when something they said was commented on.

    I’m going to email you about the covers of the first two books, I noticed something, but don’t want to point it out to others who have not read the second book.

    Happy writing 🙂

    1. Hi. One of my friends would be very pleased to hear you say you like Desmeres, since Desmeres is ‘his’ character, so to speak. (I’ve got two friends who have designated characters in the books.) I received and replied to your email, but rest assured that I’ll try to get things like “The Spoiler Zone” and email notifications going sooner rather than later. Thanks!

      1. Fantastic! Who is the other friend/character? It would be quite amusing (or maybe not) if we were all as honest as he is. Is your friend like this IRL? 29% of the way through book two, and loving it. Oooo, look!!! A box that says to notify about followup comments. WOW- you guys are quick!! Impressive. 🙂

        1. The “Desmeres” friend isn’t quite as blunt as the character (usually) but he shares the same pragmatism and cynicism. For spoiler reasons I can’t go too much into the other character, since the primary appearance hasn’t come up yet, but the name is Oriech. He, by the way, is the “web guy” you’ll frequently hear me mention. You can thank WordPress for the comment notification button that we managed to add so quickly, but just about everything else is thanks to him.

  2. Just “met” Oriech last night. I liked how you worked that. Kudo’s to the “web guy” he does a wonderful job. There is a certain character that I want to reach through my kindle and strangle! What a complete monster. lol.

  3. Thanks, I’ll be sure to let him know you approve of his efforts! I got your emails, but it isn’t hard to guess which character was strangle-worthy.

  4. I just finished the final book. I must say that I missed a great deal of sleep throughout the series because I could not stop reading. The books are phenomenal. I wish you the best in your writing, and I cannot wait to see what is next. Hopefully, you will find a way to continue with some of the characters. If not, they will be sorely missed.
    Best

    1. Many thanks! I’m extremely pleased that you enjoyed the books. It is certainly my intention to give these characters another outing or two, and I hope to expand the world a bit more, as well. Thanks for reading!

  5. Loved the series!!! I laughed, cried, and was also shocked in parts of the three books in the series. This was one of my favs and look forward to reading more of your work.

  6. you are new author for me since getting a kindle for xmas. I have now just this minute read the full trilogy. I just want to say thank you for a damn good read and more please

  7. Hi! I just finished BoTD and let me say I was impressed. I especially liked how you described the different magics and the master characters. Though that fairy could learn some manner. Nevertheless, I cant wait to read the rest of the books! Thanks for writing them! 🙂

    1. I’m always happy to learn that I’ve impressed someone. Ayna’s bad, that’s for sure, but according to some of my other readers, there’s at least one character coming up in book 2 who is even worse. Thanks for reading!

      1. Cassandra- hang on to your e-reader, because there is a character the we have the displeasure of meeting that makes Ayna look like an angel!

        Happy reading!

  8. Picked up the first book for free and look forward to reading the second and third. I see that you mentioned your books have been edited, re-edited, and professionally edited. Are those versions going to become available as well? It’s been a fantastic read so far, but there are some little things that I nitpick over and I’d love to see these new editions!

    1. Hi! Thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed the first book enough to look into the second and third. Depending on when and where you bought the books, you should already have the latest versions, though there are recent indications that Amazon my have been distributing an older version. I’ll send you an email to clarify. Thanks for the comment!

  9. I LOVED The Book of Deacon and immediately downloaded books 2&3 when I finished it! Yes, I for one would love to see these characters come to life on screen. I’m only a third of the way finished with book 2 and I feel like I can’t read fast enough! I love Myranda and Myn’s innocence and devotion to each other and Deacons unwavering loyalty to them but there’s something about that Lain that always keeps you on your toes! Great job with these books and much luck and success in the future!

    1. Hi! I’m really happy you’ve enjoyed the books so far. Thanks for the support and the very kind words! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

  10. Just finished book of deacon…..Fantastic!!!! I got kindle fire for Christmas and while I work I am able to shop for books. Thanks cant wait to read the rest!!

  11. Hi

    First of all congratulations to a great 2011. It is funny with book series where the first one is for free. Even if I love the book or just like it… I always end up buying the follow up books.

    As for the Book of Deacon, I really loved them. A good read where i had to dedicate all spare time and useless sleep to finish them off as soon as possible, being left with a feeling off loss when parting from Miranda and her friends.

    Except from there being moments where it felt like the story was repeating itself and some discussions as well.. I am left with no more to complain about.

    1. Thanks! I’m really glad you liked the books! Man… all of these people giving up sleep to read them. I guess it makes up for all of the sleep I gave up to write them.

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