Greetings to all! I hope you’re doing well? Hows it all going?
Firstly, suffice it to say that North America is full of hate and horror at the moment. Matters of race and discrimination are on everyone’s lips and streets. Personally, I stand with anyone who is being oppressed or treated unjustly in these so-called modern times. There is no excuse for barbaric and outdated thinking. We are all equals on this earth, and while this update is not and will never be a political message, that is where I stand. Inequality and racism are simply inexcusable. Remember, the most dangerous phrase in any language is, “We’ve always done it this way.” The time to make a change for the better is now. That’s how I stand.
Outside of this crisis, not a huge amount has changed here on Vancouver Island in the last few weeks. Although a lot of us are easing out of lockdown, I’ve chosen to stay a bit safer and stay indoors or away from people whenever possible. Antisocial? A little. Safer? Hopefully. More productive? YOU KNOW IT. The words have been flowing.
The Forever King (Scalussen Chronicles Book 1) is rocketing along like a greyhound on cocaine. I’m pleased to say I’m on the final stretch and so very eager to finish. Hell, it’s been a blast being back in Emaneska. I think this book will clock in around 150,000 words, which is about 20k longer than the original The Written, published back in 2010. Just shy of the longest book in the Emaneska series: Pale Kings.
As such, focusing on that has shifted Dread Rising, my super secret book project onto the back burner for a week or two. It can be difficult switching between books, especially when you have to switch tense and perspective. It hasn’t caused me much trouble until now, when both books are getting more complicated and require more concentration to wrap up effectively.
My awesome web developers put together these cool progress wheels on my site. That way you can see exactly which stage I’m at in a book’s creation and you can stay up to date. CHECK IT: www.bengalley.com/progress/
Veil of Ruin launches DISCONCERTINGLY SOON
As you may have seen, I’ve been writing for a local tabletop game company called Project Dark Water. The guys behind it are amazing, and I’ve been writing adventure text, character backgrounds, creature descriptions, and worldbuilding the post-apocalyptic jungle world of Orman since the middle of 2019. What we’ve been working on is Veil of Ruin: primarily a tabletop game but it also has a standalone DnD 5e version, and the DnD part is launching on Kickstarter on June 19th! It’s a full DnD adventure setting and campaign, with 3D printed miniatures, maps, character options, a giant bestiary, and all sorts of stuff. The teams The art alone is just… DAMN. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/246051873/veil-of-ruin?ref=3zkuxy&token=cf0c79aa.
On that page you’ll find a trailer (that a certain somebody might have done the voiceover for) and all the info on our rewards, the game, and what Project Dark Water have built. The team and the DnD experts and co-creators Salt Games have done an epic job with this, and it’s been an honour to be involved and lend my writing skills. It’s been an extensive and busy road getting to this point, for all of us involved, but it feels unreal to have the 5e adventure less than two weeks away from crowdfunding launch. I know how many gamers there are amongst the Elite Circle, Guild, and my social circles, so I hope you’re excited!
The big piece of news for this update is my switch in distribution strategies. I have decided, for the first time in 10 years, to make The Emaneska Series exclusive with Amazon Kindle.
(Those of you who only reader paperback or audio can mosey on as this won’t affect you at all)
Now, this wasn’t an easy decision, because I know I have a lot of readers across all sorts of stores and e-reader devices. The Emaneska Series has also been available on all ebook stores since its release. However, times are a-changing, as a Bob Dylan said once, and the benefits of being wide, both in terms of meeting new readers and financially, have shrunk for me. In order to get more security and stability, I have made almost all of my books exclusive to Amazon, Emaneska included, at least for the next 90 days.
What you may not know is that for books in the Kindle Unlimited program, authors get income from pages read, similar to Spotify listens. This additional revenue could really support me for months and years to come, without the uncertainty and fluctuation of other stores. It also allows me to focus on smarter marketing. Without trying it, I’ll never confirm it.
This all sounds very businessy, I know. But, as an indie author, entrepreneur, and a self-employed individual, I have to act like a business. That means keeping revenue and security in mind. Yes, I write out of passion for fantasy, love of entertaining, and for you, the reader, but a boy’s also got to make a living. In uncertain times as these, any certainty is helpful. Going all-in on Kindle could give me that, and so that’s why I’m giving it a shot.
What I’ve been worried about is disappointing you, my esteemed readers. That’s why you might have seen me do a survey on Twitter and Facebook last week. That really helped, and thank you if you commented or voted. Out of the 300+ responses I got, I was overwhelmed to see Kindle users accounted for over 85% of the responses. This eased my fears a bunch, but I know it’s not all of you, and that there are readers who my decision will effect.
Genuinely, my apologies if this decision has resulted in you not being able to read my books. Just know that if this all blows up in my silly face and doesn’t work, then this interruption will be for 90 days max. If it does work, well, it means a shitload more fantasy books for you to devour in the future. And, at very least, hopefully my books are worth transitioning – even briefly! – to Amazon Kindle. They make it hella easy with their free app. Massive thanks for understanding, and here’s to (fingers and claws crossed) a successful 90 days. Do get in touch if you want to share any thoughts: www.bengalley.com/contact
Thanks as always for your support and for reading. I’ll be back in a few weeks with another update, but if you want to catch up daily, I can always be found on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
In the meantime, let’s support each other out there. Care for each other and campaign for change. Above all, stay safe.