Four isn’t one of the magic numbers. Not like five or a number with a zero or two at the end. Yet anniversaries have power of their own and when an anniversary falls at the cusp of the calendar, they gain even more.
On January 12, 2007, I set sail in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper. So much has happened since then that I’m not sure I can grasp it all. It’s like remodeling your kitchen. It seems like a long slog, one messy bit after another, until you get to a stopping point and look back and smile. So, please pardon the brag, but I want you all to know how much you’ve done for me.
The Trader’s Tales are not exactly done, not precisely at the end. I’ve finished writing them, and I’ll have the podcast finished in a few more days. The first podcast anniversary is a few weeks off yet, and the whole idea of “done” has taken on new meaning with publication. Looking forward to moving all the books into text formats means we’re still a couple of years away from finishing with the Trader’s Tales.
When I look back, I can see the beginning. It’s not that far — particularly compared to so many others who have struggled for a decade or more. The journey that started out with a few kindred spirits and followed a roughly blazed trail has expanded to include hundreds — if not thousands — of like-minded voyageurs exploring a new terrain of publication. The path I followed to get here seems pretty clear in hindsight.
Like milestones along the road, the numbers keep adding up.
128 episodes of my own work in audio.
2 novels in print with all the rest in the pipeline.
15,000+ fans around the world.
2,000,000+ downloads – over a million in the last year alone.
4 Parsec Award Finalists
1 Parsec Award Winner
And that doesn’t include the work I’ve been privileged to produce, like Michael J. Sullivan’s The Crown Conspiracy. Or the works I’ve loaned my voice to — like J. Daniel Sawyer’s Down From Ten or Abbie Hilton’s Guild of the Cowry Catchers. Or the stories I’ve read for Tony C. Smith and the StarShipSofa.
In the last year, Quarter Share and Half Share both made it to text publication and have done so well that my initial idea that maybe I’d sell 500 copies to the fans seems hopelessly naive. In the few days that Half Share has been available on Kindle, I’ve already sold many more than that. Combined sales from December alone between all formats and both titles staggered me – and at this point, the numbers are still estimates because some venues are slow to report.
And that’s just the recap — The Story So Far.
Looking forward the path is still more thicket than trail and the direction is far from clear. I suspect there are a few changes in direction, a few rivers to cross, a mountain or two to climb. I firmly believe there will be more surprising vistas, new opportunities and rewards. At an age when most people are thinking about how they’re going to retire, I’ve started worrying that I’m going to run out of time before I run out of stories.
For all this and more, I am humbled and grateful for the support of all of you. The hundreds who read my blog every day. The thousands who listen — sometimes again and again. The people who ask for the next book, or the next episode minutes after the last is released. The commenters, the lurkers, the listeners, the readers and even those who bash the heck out of the stories because they’re so incensed–I’m grateful to you all.