The State of Sword and Soul 2012: Six months in

Once Upon A Time In Afrika cover art by Stan Weaver, Jr.

So here we are, six months into the year. Time to take a look at where we’ve been, where we’re headed for the rest of the year and to begin the planning for 2013.

I must say, I’m pleased with the year so far. Last year we sold 332 books total. By the end of June 2012 we were at 329! I think I can say that we’ve established a toe nail hold on the fantasy market. We’re averaging 45 books sold per month, the majority of those sales being e-book sales through Kindle. With at least two titles planned for release this year, I think we’ll sell at least 600 books this year. Thanks to all of y’all who have contributed to these sales and who are spreading the word. It’s greatly appreciated.

Speaking of book releases, I began the year with the release of Changa’s Safari Volume 2 in February. I did so with fingers crossed because there were big changes in store for Changa and his cohorts and I was really concerned how previous readers were going to take it. I’m happy to say that all went well. There was some grumbling, and a few folks were upset, but overall Changa’s Safari Volume 2 has been as well received as the first adventure, Changa’s Safari. I’m currently researching Volume 3, which I plan to begin after I’m done with a current manuscript.

Griots continues to do well and receive good reviews. As a matter of fact all the books are doing good sales, with the exception of my Sivad Chronicles books, The Possession and A Debt To Pay. I plan to repackage both books under one title ‘The Sivad Chronicles,’ and release as a e-book and paperback.

For this year I have two more releases. My most special is ‘Once Upon A Time In Afrika by Balogun Ojetade. This book is special for two reasons. Firstly, it always good to work with a fellow Sword and Soul writer, especially one as talented as Balogun. He brings his vast knowledge of African, especially Yoruba culture, and presents it in a way that rings true to traditional West African storytelling. I’m also excited about this book because it is the first novel I’m publishing  by someone other than myself. I always envisioned carrying a few titles by other authors; I saw MVmedia as a launching point for authors having difficulty entering the market. Balogun is the first of a few. I plan to release the first book in Charles R. Saunders’ Abengoni series next year, and there are a few other writers I’m encouraging to write Sword and Soul novels for me to release. You know who you are. 🙂

Sadatina by Chase Conley

I also plan another release of my own this year, ‘Woman of the Woods,’ the novel that was the inspiration for the image to the right. I commissioned the image two years ago while working on the novel.  Finally you’ll get to read the prose on which the image was based. Sadatina is the first woman character I’ve written a novel for and I hope you like her adventures as much as you’ve enjoyed my other novels.

Woman of the Woods will hopefully be a good preview for the second anthology, Griots: Sisters of the Spear. Charles and I are currently working on this next collection of sword and soul short stories, dedicated to women of color. The stories have been chosen and the cover artwork has begun. Look for Griots: Sisters of the Spear in early 2013.

Next year will be significant because it will be the fifth year of my five year plan. Five years is a significant milestone for a business. If you survive that long you’ve been around long enough to shake out all the misconceptions and you should have a good idea what it takes to do what you do.  I’ve learned a lot over the years and I think we’re poised to continue to grow and share exciting stories and other projects with you. Thank you for believing in and supporting us.  Most of all, thank you for your patience. Sword and Soul Forever!