This post is being made simply because I'd like some feedback. I have a few routes to go and, to me either is acceptable. As such, I go to you, the public opinion.
Planet Comicon is the big comic convention here in Kansas City. Thousands of people show up for this and it's a great opportunity to "whore myself out"...as far as books go. Here's the issue: at a convention, series don't sell. I can't say I blame the average consumer. I wouldn't buy the entire series from some unknown author that I spoke to for 10 minutes. Sure, I'd buy the first book, but unless it sounded like the most amazing thing ever, I'd probably save my cash for someone else's wares.
Currently, I have CoM book 1-3 in paperback, ready to go. For obvious reasons, I have about 3 times more copies of book 1 than the others. I figured I could do some sort of buy the set and save money sort of deal. Either way, I only have 1 real seller here and that is book 1.
Hitori, being a standalone, makes for a perfect addition. It's just a matter of getting in paperback and getting some copies. No biggie. So, I have 2 real sellers.
IF I manage to get a kickstarter going and IF an artist and I can push out a first issue of the CoM series before then, I may have that as well. Planet Comicon is in March and the earliest I can hope to have an artist lined up would be Jan, so it's highly unlikely that's going to happen.
Book 4, "Consequences" will be done by Decemeber, might not be published, but it'll be to the point that I can start on the next book, giving me just enough time to finish it, publish it and get it out in paperback, so long as there aren't too many hurdles along the way. "Consequences" begins the next set of books 10 yrs after the previous set, so technically a new reader could pick up this book and use it as a starting point if they really wanted to. That is also a possible seller.
So, after that long explanation, here's the situation: I have 3 options here for the next book I work on. I can either continue on with Book #5 as I originally planned, giving me nothing new for the Con. I also have two, potentially three other ideas for standalone books that I could easily sell at a con, but would force the main story to come to a halt (again).
1. A CoM standalone of what I've been calling the Five Man Midget Death Squad. It's a team of steampunk, Scottish dwarves (fantasy dwarves) who work for a Lord (No spoiler here) in the same sense as Mai/Hitori does for Bishamon - defend the lands, fight off nasty stuff, etc. It would be part historical piece, explaining why the dwarves live in the Scottish mountains and why no one knows about them except in myth, eventually leading up to their introduction in book 4. it would also explain a few other silly ideas to give it a more realistic ring.
2. A CoM standalone about very old, very insane, sociopathic, mass murdering zombie named Dom. He's introduced in book 4 and I won't say anymore than that, other than he is basically the worst case scenario for a evolved zombie, vs Uhler who is probably as good as it gets. So, a first person story about a mass murderer who gives zero f's.
3. Something I started working on, but put to the side a while back. A few of you may remember some blog posts about it. A grindhouse/horro sort of story with dumb college kids, ghosts, midget bikers and a whole slew of crazy characters that end like any good grindhouse movie should. With a big ass, ridiculous battle.
There we are, 4 options to choose from. Personally, it's all the same to me. I'll eventually write each of them regardless of this decision. I just felt that it should be up to the people following the books, or whoever cares to voice an opinion. On one hand, I feel kind of bad leaving the main series for a seperate book when I just came back from that with Hitori. On the other hand, doing so might garner some new readers at this convention. Either way, there will be new content to read. So....what do you think? Drop a comment below and thanks in advance.