About a month ago, I asked folks to answer six questions on the viability of a new Sovereign Era book. That survey closed when May ended, so it’s time to go over the results and talk about what it might mean.
Brave Men Run and What Might Come Next – Survey Results
There were six questions, and some of the answers took you out of the survey. 173 people participated.
Are you familiar with the book “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era” by Matthew Wayne Selznick? — All but thirteen people answered yes, which isn’t surprising given that “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era” was my introduction to most of the people interested in my creative work. For the thirteen people who answered “no,” this was a one-question survey.
How have you experienced “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era” by Matthew Wayne Selznick? — Ten people replied that they were familiar with the book but had not read or listened to it. They were shown the exit, in so far as the survey as concerned. Of the remaining 142 folks, almost 68% (117) heard the free podcast edition. Happily, 91 also spent money on one of the for-pay editions of the book. A sub-question revealed that, for those who had not, 32 folks planned to buy the book in the next six months. Thanks, future supporters!
Would you purchase a new book featuring Nate Charters and other characters from “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era?” — 131 say yes, and 11 people are finished with the survey.
Would you contribute monetarily to a crowdfunding campaign to fund the creation and publishing of such a book? — Ah, here’s the big question, and the point of the survey. Twenty five people respectfully declined, but 106 folks said yes — and most of them left an e-mail address so they can be notified when and if a campaign is launched.
What Does This Mean For The Sovereign Era?
The next novel set in my Sovereign Era storyworld, most likely titled “Pilgrimage,” is plotted and outlined. The answers to two questions will determine when and if it gets written and published:
- Are people interested in it?
- Can I afford it?
The survey, if I assume that respondents represent a sampling of my larger audience, indicates that there is sufficient interest in another Sovereign Era book, even seven years after the first one. That’s nice to know!
Why Even Ask If I Can Afford It?
Some folks reading this might be confused. “What do you mean, ‘can I afford it?’ Just write the thing, Selznick.”
Here’s the reality of the situation: I do a lot of creative stuff. Some of that creative stuff is for other people… some of it is for myself. Either way, most of my revenue comes from my creativity. It’s not a hobby; it’s not a part-time job.
I depend on creativity to pay my bills, put food on my plate and in my pets’ bowls, and pay the rent.
So, when I look at creative projects, those that earn me money today take priority. That means, for now, my clients’ needs earn the majority of my attention, time and energy. My own creative projects come second… and my own creative projects are further prioritized based on their potential for income, weighed by the time and effort involved in bringing them to market.
That’s just part of what it means to be a professional creator.
A novel takes a huge chunk of energy, resources, money, and time to write, edit, produce, bring to market, and promote. That’s energy, resources and time deducted from the pool I can spend on paying clients… and that means, likewise, a novel-sized deduction to income necessary to live.
Right now… I can’t afford it.
Unless a big portion of that novel-sized deduction to my income is accounted for while I’m creating the book.
I’m planning to crowdfund the writing, editing, production, publication, distribution and promotion of “Pilgrimage — A Novel of the Sovereign Era,” which may also be referred to as volume two of the Charters Duology. I’ll be getting cozy with a spreadsheet in the coming week, figuring out exactly how much money I’ll need… and if that number matches what I realistically think I can raise in a thirty day campaign.
And to those of you who participated in the survey… thanks very much!