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.