The Rest of the JP Story
So, unless you have just stumbled upon this page by accident while searching for goulash recipes, you are aware that I got my writing start by authoring fan fiction. Specifically, it all began with a series about a certain boy wizard, James Potter, son of the ultra-famous Harry. The three James Potter books have been read worldwide by more people than I could count. It’s been a delightful ride, and I, for one, want more. There are four more books to go in the series, and I have them nominally planned out. I know all the secrets. I know the three words that James scribbled on the parchment after his dream of Petra and Albus in the graveyard. I know that we haven’t (quite) seen the last of some people we thought were lost forever. I know whether Petra and Izzy have been permanently tainted by their actions beneath the Wishing Tree. I know what happens in the last paragraph of the last book.
And if I may be so bold, it’s all pretty good stuff.
So. The problem is simply this: as happy as I am to make more free James Potter stories, (and as eager as my readers are to encourage them) those stories cost me a lot to produce. They take a tremendous amount of time and effort to write, and it occurs to me that it might be considered foolish (if not completely daft) to continue writing free JP stories when I could be writing original stories that I can actually sell. After all, as much as I love writing purely for the sake of the story, story doesn’t pay ye olde bills.
Thus, I formulated a plan. I would alternate writing one original (sellable) novel for every free James Potter story. Ideally, the one would fund the production of the other. Seems fair, yes? After all, I have avoided just asking for donations outright (I hate the very idea, actually). I have even, for the sake of the purity of the story, avoided putting ads on the websites, despite the revenue they would surely generate. In short, I never wished to abuse the loyalty and faithfulness of the readers by turning the stories into a crass money-making venture.
But I have no problem selling my original stories to them. After all, they are hard work, and the reader gets something for their 2.99– they get a new story, and the chance to support the free stories they have already enjoyed. Seems like a win-win, yes?
The problem is that my readers have gotten rather used to free. They aren’t particularly eager to throw money at any new stories. This might be because the new tales don’t have the word “Potter” in the title. It might also be because a lot of my readers are young and simply don’t have credit cards or income. But it might also be because they just don’t want to pay for what they will eventually (hopefully) get for free.
Thus, when my newest original book, “Ruins of Camelot”, came out, I knew the sales wouldn’t be huge. I hoped for just enough income from the book to push it up the amazon charts, earn some new readers via that exposure, and make enough cashola to justify the months it would take to write the next James Potter story.
Suffice it to say, that hasn’t happened.
In fact, thus far (if you don’t mind me putting it bluntly) the sales of “Ruins of Camelot” have not been enough to pay the web hosting fee for http://www.jamespotterseries.com. As of this writing, RoC has sold 51 total copies, most of them to my immediate family and friends.
This, as you may imagine, puts me in a tough position. My readers want more James Potter stories– and I want to write them– but I simply cannot, at this point, justify the time and expense of it.
But I have come up with what seems to me to be an elegant and simple fix. The solution, I think, is to make my problem your problem as well. We both want the same things, yes? Perfect. Here it is:
I will write more James Potter bookwhen the sales of “Ruins of Camelot” and any other writing ventures allows me the financial freedom to do so. EDIT: I want to be sure to mention that I am not intending to blackmail you, the readers, into buying RoC simply to ensure more JP stories. I want you to buy RoC because it is a GOOD STORY. It is of the same quality and depth (perhaps more so) as the JP books. By getting your copy, you not only get a great new story, you support me as an author. That support frees me up to write more stories, some free fan fiction, some more sellable books. Either way, I hope you understand that I am mostly just pointing out a practical reality: book sales equal more books, including more James Potter sequels.
Truly, I do apologize if that sounds crass. If it angers you, please feel free to bid me and my stories adieu with no harm done. If, on the other hand, you appreciate the effort involved in the creation of these books and understand the need to balance my passion for the story with my need to take care of my people, then I thank you grandly for your consideration and support.
For those who don’t have the means to buy “Ruins of Camelot” or any of my other published works, there are equally valuable ways that you can show your support. My favorite is this: go to your public library and request “Ruins of Camelot”. it’s free to you, gets the book onto the shelves, and encourages new readers, all of which helps me immensely. Another way is simply to spread the word about the stories. If you read “Ruins of Camelot” and enjoy it, tell people about it. There is almost nothing in the universe as powerful as word-of-mouth recommendations. Finally, if you did read the book, you can leave reviews for it on goodreads.com and wherever you purchased it from. Reviews are a hugely powerful way to encourage new readers.
Thanks a million for reading this, and for offering all of your encouragement and support. If you are one of the fifty or so marvelous people who have already bought “Ruins of Camelot”, you have my undying gratitude. Words can be very encouraging, but there is nothing as inspiring to a writer as when a reader chooses to invest their hard-earned coin in their story. If you plan to suggest RoC to your library, or tell your friends about, thanks very much as well. This is how independent publishing will succeed– with the help if each individual reader.
With your support and encouragement, the James Potter story will go on. I will keep you all updated on the progress to our goal. Whenever you are curious, simply ask and I will give a report (within reason– let’s keep it on a weekly basis or so, agreed?) And whenever you see anyone asking when or if there will be another JP book, post a link to this blog post. Spread the word and encourage your fellow readers to do the same.
Thanks much, and as always: onward and upward.
Oh, and just in case you are still wondering, here’s the best goulash recipe I know.