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July Review 2020

It’s an excellent time to take stock in this July Review. Last summer I stepped up the pace with my writing, so now a year on it’s a good time to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t.

In the last twelve months, I’ve managed to publish one book, Outbreak London. I’ve also got one book coming up on Amazon pre-order (more details to follow on this blog later this week). I’ve also two more books ready for editing and am writing a third.

Having gone over two years without publishing, it was good to get things moving again. I was completely over-optimistic and hoped I would be able to publish at least four books over the course of the year. Getting the drafts written, was not the problem. The biggest challenge has been getting the editing to a high standard, especially the frequent redrafting, which is very time-consuming. I’m therefore revising my release plans for the next year to be far more realistic with the time demands. Likewise, I’m adjusting my workflow to better balance the creative versus the editing demands.

A number of other things I put in place a year ago are also having an impact. This blog has been more active than before, although it tends to be based around monthly reviews rather than anything else at the moment. I’ve grown my mailing list, the CM Harald Readers’ Club. If you haven’t signed up for it, you can download an exclusive short story only available to subscribers. I’ve also improved my marketing on Amazon and Facebook. Writing several short stories, I’ve experimented with some new characters and stories I’d like to develop. Finally, I’ve been really pleased to commission some excellent new covers, one of which was for a previously released book.

July Review – word counts

Word counts in July are usually excellent as I’m moving into the summer holidays and therefore have much more time to write. However, this year I’ve used the time to work on Dead Handler to get it ready for publication. As a result, I’ve written far fewer new words. Writing new words is not where the bottleneck currently is, so I’m not worried about holding back on this. Therefore, instead of the 15,000 words I was aiming at in July, I’ve only hit 5,800.

July Review – writing projects underway

· ‘Dead Handler’, Book 6 of the Royal Zombie Corps series, is now available for pre-order. It will shortly be going out to ARC readers, and is undergoing the application of final edits. I’m expecting to release the book towards the end of August

· There are two first drafts queued in the editing pile

· The third story in the Butcher’s Funeral series is part-written, but I’ve put it to one side while I focus on editing drafted work

· I’m continuing to develop ideas for two new future series

July Review – other projects

I’m continuing to work on a number of marketing projects and tided several aspects of this blog. July was my third best-ever month for sales, which is good considering how Coronavirus impacted sales earlier this year. Several other authors in my genre, and related genres, experienced significant drops in sales during the early stages of the outbreak.

Publishing schedule

In light of the areas which have progressed over the last year, and those which have not, I’m massively adjusting my publishing schedule to make it far more realistic. Now I have a year of experience working at this writing pace, I think it is only realistic to aim to publish new works twice a year. I may well exceed this, but this is unlikely based on the current pace.

· August 2020 – ‘Dead Handler’, book 6 of the Royal Zombie Corps series.

· December 2020 – ‘The Sands of War’, book 7 of the Royal Zombie Corps series. This is the last book in the WWI sequence.

· Early 2021 – Butcher’s Funeral new cover and 2nd edition.

· Summer 2021 – Butcher’s Funeral book two titled ‘Butcher’s Fire’. 

August Plans

· Release ‘Dead Handler’. It has a release date in September on Amazon, but it will be released in the second half of August.

· Apply final edits to ‘Dead Handler’, finalise copies for publication.

· Get back to writing the first draft of Butcher’s third book.

· Edit a short story.

· Continue working on marketing efforts.

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