Reflection on Four

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.

8 novels.
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.

Thank you.

About The Captain

The Captain is Nathan Lowell -- Author and narrator of these Tales from the Golden Age. You can find out more about him at his main website.
This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Reflection on Four

  1. Memline says:

    Well, all I can say is, Nate, I sincerely hope you come from a bunch of ancestors on both sides that were long-lived and healthy. You don’t have time to cut your years short. You have a lot of writing to do. I also am sure that now that you have realized this (you made a comment somewhere about that), you have improved your life style and eating habits to reflect this goal. Marriage and kids seems to help. For some reason, marriage improves longevity, especially for guys. Go figure. See, all that frustration of washers, screaming kids, etc, is GOOD for you. Aren’t you glad?

  2. Diana says:

    Hello Nathan, congratulations on your anniversary with Ishmael and the gang. I love the worlds and believeable characters that you have created. I love my hardback copy of Owners Share now well read…Thank you. I can’t wait for my collection to be complete. Anne McCaffrey is still my favorite author of all time, but you are clearly number two. I am liking/enjoying “the ride”. Live long and write more….Diana

  3. Michael says:

    I’m another ravenous fan, but you have left me with quite a dilemma.

    I am definitely a text reader***, but your great stories have forced me to jump ahead to and listen to the podcasts while I wait for the text. I really don’t want to buy both the podcasts and the texts, so I guess I’ll need to wait for the texts to come out to buy them. However, if there was a way to donate now for the podcasts and to get the texts later I would happily pay you now. Any ideas?

    *** and on a side note, you are an excellent reader, and I have really enjoyed your podcasts. You may convert me yet to preferring that medium. I wonder what I will hear in my mind when I go back to reading your books.

  4. Nate says:

    @Michael – enjoy the podcasts. they’re free. when the books come out, feel free to buy one then. Ridan Publishing does a great job in providing autographed paper copies and there’ll be limited, signed and numbered hardcovers of all the books as we roll them out. If you really feel the need to donate, there’s a paypal link on my home page. And thanks 🙂

Comments are closed.