Sometimes you stop and look around and ask yourself "why am I doing what I am doing?" Such was what happened with me with my novels. For a decade, I have been pushing and struggling, and desperately begging to sell books. I have followed every 'rule' about how an author should act, and I saw little to no gains. So, recently, I stepped back and asked myself 'why I am doing what I am doing?' Why am I publishing? Why am I trying to sell books?
I want people to read my books. I want people to read these stories I have poured my heart and soul, and literally years of my life into. I want to entertain, to make people smile, and laugh, and cry. As nice as the dream of being a smash hit with millions of books sold is, well, it is exactly that. A dream.
So, having decided that, I had to decide what to do next. Then, percolating like a nice cup of coffee or tea, I had a *crazy* idea. Maybe there's another way to get my stories to people, and maybe--just maybe--still make some money as an author. At the heart of it is this: What if--and stay with me here--what if I gave away my stories for free? But, and there's always a but, with a caveat: it's not going to be all at one time. You have to come along with me for the journey by following my blog. Every Saturday, I will post one chapter for free with no strings attached on my blog. Eventually, you'll get to read not just the entire book, but the entire series, because I almost never do anything as a single book).
When I put this plan into form, I looked at my series, and I realized there was only one that could possibly be the first series for this great experiment: The Kingdoms Series.
The Kingdoms Series is more special to me than any other series I've written, because it was the first thing I ever wrote. Over two decades ago, I wrote a lil fanfiction that contained some core elements that are still in the series now. I wrote some dialogue then that is still in it! Over the years, I kept revisiting it, and rewriting it, as my skills grew, and eventually it bore only a superficial resemblance to the original series it had been based on. I looked at it and thought "What are you really?" So I sat down, and I worked out a brand new outline, brand new content, and built my own magical girls story for adults from the ground up. It bloomed in a way I didn't expect, and my first ever story is now my most beloved to me. It is my love song to every magical girl story that ever inspired me as a teenager and even as an adult.
And now, I am giving that story away. All six books of this epic love story will be made available here on my blog. And it is a love story. Love of all sorts--between lovers, between twins, between siblings, parent and child both blood and adopted, between subject and ruler. It is an adult fantasy romance with adventure, tragedy, and triumph. It faces what it means to have the burden of power, the burden of leadership, and why we have to sometimes destroy ourselves to become our true self. Throughout it, many important characters ask "Why was I born?" and the answer is not always easy. It's not supposed to be easy. But when we close the final chapter on the final book, everyone will have their answers, and some of them might surprise even you.
The series: The Two Kingdoms, The Unseen Kingdoms, The Destined Kingdom, The Eternal Kingdom, The Chaotic Kingdom, The Final Kingdom.
Total chapter count: 156 (no kidding!)
Total word count: 891, 778 (give or take a few)
Estimated time to post entire series on blog: Almost three years exactly
But, wait, some of you might say. One chapter a week? That's going to be a long time to wait for the whole thing! Well, there's another option, and it ties into how I might still make a lil money doing what I love: Patreon.
(Click to go to my Patreon!)
If you have $5 extra a month, you can sub on my Read Me tier on Patreon, and not only get two chapters a week and thus have the stories twice as fast, but also receive extra content, behind-the-scenes, and cut/bonus story content. When a story finishes posting on Patreon, all members of the Read Me tier can receive a downloadable copy of the book in PDF/mobi format to read on any mobile device at any time. Don't want to do a monthly sub? No problem, the books will continue to be available on Amazon Kindle or PDF from my Etsy. So if you get five chapters in and have an itch to spend a couple hours just binging the rest of the story, there will be an option for that! The story will continue to be posted for 100% free on my blog through all this; all it costs is patience!
Moving forward with The Kingdoms Series, however, I will not be offering paperbacks unless my Patreon reaches its $400 per month goal. Paperbacks are both expensive to produce and difficult to sell. If we do reach that goal, however, paperbacks will once more be available on demand to all readers, and offered at only the cost of shipping to Patrons.
And so, here we are, friends, at the beginning of my great experiment. If at the end of the three years all I've done is entertain more people, that's a success in my eyes. If people are subbing on Patreon, that's a bigger success, and it will inspire me to continue to provide my books in this hybrid format that, I hope, fits into this new world we live in and people's busier schedules. I know how daunting the idea of reading an entire book can be. There's a weird belief or threat almost that you have to read the entire thing at one time, and because of it, books sit untouched. My hope is that by providing one (or two) chapters a week in a bite-sized format, people will feel welcome to take their time reading the books, and enjoying the journey.
The prologue is going up tomorrow, Monday, June 14, 2021, since it has been available on my website for a couple years now. But Saturday the 19th, we begin our weekly postings with Chapter One going on the blog and Chapters One/Two going on Patreon. Chapters with mature content will be flagged as such, and require clicking through a confirmation page that you are the age-of-consent in your region. I write adult content for mature readers, but I do not write erotica. My personal opinion is that my content is more than safe enough for any sixteen-year-old who has (probably) spent a fair amount of time on fanfiction sites in the questionable sections, but since age-of-consent can vary, check your region to be sure before you click through to the naughty parts!
Oof! This was a longer post than I expected, but there was a lot to be said! As I said earlier in this post, at the end of the day, all I really want is people to read my books, and hopefully now I am making it far easier for that to happen. I hope you will come along for the adventure! <3
-Stacy J. Garrett