The first year of Astra Nullius weighed in at 54,000 words over 12 installments. About 3,000 additional words were cut as I made edits to scenes that weren’t working, and around 12,000 words are sitting in documents that are in the process of being turned into next year’s stories.
That’s a decent chunk of text for an amateur author, and while there are a few tweaks I’ve considered making, I’m happy with my work overall. While I’ve written longer stories, this was the first year I held myself to monthly deadlines and routinely published my work. I learned a lot about writing, editing, and marketing in 2017.
My biggest lesson: serials are meant to be, well, serial. Dumping a huge chunk of text once a month makes it harder for readers to follow along as the story unfolds. Starting in January 2018, I’ll be moving to a weekly publication schedule. One new point-of-view scene will go up every week, and I’ll start moving into longer, more complex stories that don’t fit neatly into 4,000-word blocks. You’ll be getting the same amount of content, with around 1,000 words published per week, plus some possible bonus stories if I have the time to finish them.
The email newsletter will keep going out once a month, since a weekly newsletter would get annoying pretty quickly. I’m also working on a nicely formatted ebook version of the first year’s stories, which I’ll send out via the newsletter when it’s completed. I’ll include a few different file types so folks who prefer to read on e-readers, tablets, and phones will have options that aren’t eye-straining walls of text on a white background.
I’m excited about everything I have planned for the crew in 2018; it’s been fun establishing the world they live in, but now it’s time to raise the stakes. The galaxy’s about to get way more dangerous, and the crew of the Benevolence is going to have to make some changes if they want to keep on flying.