And here we are, it’s ALMOST SPRING!
*Bug swarm immediately rises from a nearby pile of leaves to feast on the living*
Excuse me, I understand not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the changing of the seasons. You know, I’ve thought about the question of “which season is my favorite” for more than a couple moons, and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that my favorite season is simply the season that’s coming next.
The future is bright, and I look forward to tackling new challenges, growing new food in my garden, writing new books, and being beaten down by the merciless rays of our solar overlord.
Now then, how about a little bit of low-pressure music to get us back into the cleaning mood, shall we?
Bloodkeep: it Keeps the Blood!
At long last, The Court’s Divided’s 3rd book, the 2018 novel Bloodkeep, will see the light of day on February 19th – but hopefully it doesn’t see the light of day too much, because then it’ll melt… because vampires, get it?
You’re going to witness a great expansion of the Courts universe in this book, with Chaos, Order, and others spanning great dimensional distances to reach their destinations. Knight Order is out to hunt down Overlord Pales, just as Chaos is. What will be readily apparent, however, is that they are both searching for this mysterious super-vampire for two quite-different reasons.
There’s quite a lot going on under the hood in this one when it comes to implied context, which is basically a nice pretentious way of saying that there’s a lot of secrets that most readers will not pick up on during their first read-through. If it’s been a while since you’ve read Courts, then I’d highly recommend you backtrack to Gravetower where most of this book’s events are set up. Granted, you can read it solo, but understanding the backstory of what’s going on would notably increase the quality of your experience.
That said, there’s a lot of interesting build up in this one, leading to what many will consider a principled “primary event” in the scope of all the books. It’s going to be quite amazing, I assure you.
If you want to be the first to enjoy and leave a review, please take a gander over at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089QMYZBY to get your copy in preparation for the stealthy release on Feb 19th.
I’m not going to push very hard with this one for launch, partially because I get to feel sneaky and smug putting this one out as if it’s hardly even a big deal, even though it’s a totally big deal, but mostly because I’m carefully, slyly planning my next big marketing move.
That said, if you’d like to tell your friends about Bloodkeep, feel more than welcome to. Be sure to add in that they can get the first book for totally free by visiting https://dl.bookfunnel.com/lxsfw9icf9!
Now then, onto news that actually excites me even more.
On the Nature of Advertising and Figuring “it” out: an Unprecidented Rant
“B-but Kell! You’ve been waiting YEARS to release Bloodkeep! What could be more exciting than that?!”
Allow me to elucidate.
So as you may know, Occult Vengeance released last month, and the numbers (for me) were good, but there was something special that I noticed in the weeks following.
Now, like any launch, the numbers tend to be sharp at the beginning, and taper off in the days to follow. This is the typical spread of roughly 98% of authors (don’t quote me on that), who do not have maniacal followings (no offense intended, I think you’re totally maniacal <3).
That said, it was to my surprise that this time, Occult Vengeance kept selling for weeks after launch.
What were the winning factors?
-The best cover I’ve ever had for a book
-Some of the best blurb copy I’ve ever had for a book
But perhaps the most notable here, is the successful use of advertising.
By spending but $5 a day, I was able to capture a consistent engagement of readers who not only bought Occult Vengeance, but my other books as well. There’s some readers (many of which are no-doubt reading this) who bought, OV, and then book two and three in the series as pre-orders! To that, all I have to say is: thanks! I’ll do my best to delight you and prove that your faith has been well placed.
The past month or so has been liberating in a very special way: Long have I toiled in the cold wee hours of the night, with but a cup of tea and my wild dream to comfort me as I smack away at book after book, rich in my mind was the next level. I was envisioning a day where I would fire up the sales report and see consistent orange bars across the board, each one validating the progress of my dream.
It seems like I’m finally there, at the next level per se. I’m greeted by new orange bars every time I check, and it tells me that I’m moving closer and closer to an advent horizon.
Take note, current and aspiring authors, learning to use advertising platforms is well worth your time when it comes to contacting new and curious readers, those would are ready to be delighted by the colorful lanterns you have to point up at the sky.
By leading new readers in day by day, it breathes consistent life into my backlist as well as my author works. Yes, the Cost-to-Gain ratio is not always inherently in my favor, but as I’ve mentioned in the previous musings, my goal is to be read, rather than to be rich. In fact, the primary “success” goal of my writing in the financial realm would simply be allowing me to quit my job and do writing full-time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and all the challenges it throws my way, I believe difficult stuff is what sharpens you as a person, but dream madly of the day that I can devote all of my time to this one singular obsession. I can feel my brain deteriorating from desire alone, focusing so sharply on this target that it’s verging me on delirium.
With that in mind, I still believe I am here on this planet to write the greatest literary epic humanity has produced and use that as a means to connect us all as a whole. Shoot for the moon, and you’ll land among the stars, it is said.
Yes, I understand what they’ll say:
Arrogant, overconfident, dreamer, impossible, can never beat Tolkien, you can’t write something everyone will resonate with, fiction cannot solve real-world problems, you’re too ambitious, you’ll never complete it in your lifetime, you don’t have the temperament to be a good writer, you need to focus on your real job, you need to make sacrifices and abandon your childish art, you’ll never see your name in a bookstore, the publishing industry will never accept a concept so wild, no one has enough patien-
ETC. ETC. ETC. ETC. ETC.
People that are too scared to make History
Okay. Thank you, folks that are afraid to look like idiots by trying something that’s never been attempted. Those certainly are opinions you can have about myself and my cause.
I think that it’s perhaps the most important thing I can do to write a massive narrative, each with people of their own walks of life and genuine, three dimensional problems. I think that it’s even more important to give people heroes that are real, and I don’t believe that’s happened yet at the level of which I’m planning. The Marvel comics began moving in that direction for a while in the 90’s, but now in the world of long-form, there has been a malicious gap waning in the dark of the social whole.
Art that pulls us together with truth is deeply resonant with all humans, and we have yet in my view to challenge that in a way that really stretches the boundaries of the medium, perhaps more than simple books and words. I’m committed to bring this great story to life, but I’m only getting close to laying down the framework-the true construction has hardly begun.
Stick by my side, amorphous, wonderful reader – I’m relying on you to help me once you believe in what I’m doing. Until then, I will remain your faithful servant and continue producing my work slightly behind schedule.
The stress is great sometimes, but never so great that it crushes me. I understand the years will be long, but I won’t afford that as an excuse. My soul may die before my body, but my body cannot not stop even then – I will continue The Work.
I’m having trouble describing the sensation, it’s as if all of me is being steadily engulfed by this one desire. It was planted nearly twelve years and over twenty books ago, maybe even earlier, but I do know the pull is only becoming stronger. Perhaps it is a matter of pride, like a molten hook jabbed into my skull, that I cannot pull away from this now that I’ve committed my entire being to it. It is still such a secret. My family hardly knows, I never speak about it at work – in fact only a select handful of people would even connect the outside me to the writing.
In a way, it has transformed into a mysterious spiritual realm, at times equal parts Heaven and Hell – I like it.
I used to struggle at such odd hours of the night, my mind victim to an array of thoughts that it imposed upon itself. My waking head and my subconscious have since made peace, even so much as to begin working together into this one, encompassing goal. This is no longer the case.
I’m not afraid anymore. I am ready to deliver The Work.
Whew boy, I have got to lay easy on the midnight snacks. I ask you to forgive, or at least understand my ramblings, they probably don’t mean anything after all, right?
Long story short, it’s clearer than ever that we’re making progress, and thank you so much for your support. Let’s move along.
Short Story of the Month: DRT Part 5!
Yes, tis’ time to continue Chaos’ adventure in the depths of one of the most secure galactic prisons ever!
In this segment, our stalwart destroyer:
-Makes a new friend
-Takes tens of thousands of lives
-Saves tens of thousands of lives
-Reminds everyone why he’s the Big Cheese on the inter-dimensional landscape
Thrill yourself with the latest entry at https://kellinkston.com/2021/02/02/dirty-rotten-thievery-part-five/ . Please enjoy!
Is there a Holy Verses-related item that you wish to be created in our universe? A t-shirt, hat, mug, or otherwise? What would you give to have a High Overlord Chaos body pillow? It’s all in the realm of possibility when we use our imagination and apply our willpower to it!
We got pretty close to opening up the Holy Verses Bazaar with the now-mythical Boris Mug:
AND THAT WAS OF THE NI-
And that was nice. Everyone liked the idea, but the storefronts (mostly my ignorance) got in the way.
However, I think it’s time to change that. I’m going to start leaning forward on some new product ideas, and I need your help!
Have you ever dreamed of a slick minion mug? How about my own #1 Analyst mug?
Could it be that you’d longed for little pillow with automatons on them, or a cool t-shirt of Carrie?
Do you want a hoodie with The Captain lecturing Colette for being a brash imbecile again?
Truly the sky is the limit!
So with that in mind, please let me know (comment, contact, what-have-you) for a piece of Holy Verses merchandise that you’d kill for. I’ll share your idea, and if it’s good enough, we will craft it into REALITY (with your permission, of course.).
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me to build something glorious for everyone, and it shall be done.
Now, let’s wrap this up with the release schedule:
Projected Release Timeline – February 2021:
–Mystic Vengeance: Soot Knight #2 – May 20th
Certain Vengeance: Soot Knight #3 – October 20th
Blades of the Moon: Azure Vigil #1 – TBD, either late 2021 or early 2022
A pleasant So-long:
It’s been a good month, all things considered. With many lessons learned and a new book out, I feel stronger than ever! I hope you’re doing well, and that you’re getting your little seedlings ready for the upcoming growing season. There will be much food to go around so long as you prepare!
I’ll write to you again soon,