Book 3 draft serialized for patrons, plus: I'm not @amandapalmer

  • Posted on: 2 November 2013
  • By: MeiLin

I've started posting draft writing in book three of IHGK, something many if not most of you have been waiting for. It's only for patrons, though I'm going to give newsletter subscribers little tastes along the way. Remember this is "alpha" writing. You will note typos, editing artifacts and inconsistencies; I'm not going back and revising earlier bits if the plot changes or I foreshadow stuff. But it's an insight into the making of the sausage. Smile

Sad announcement: As it turns out, I'm not Amanda Palmer after all, which is okay because I suck at the ukulele, I look terrible in lingerie as outerwear, and as much as I like him, waking up next to Neil Gaiman doesn't appeal as much as waking up next to Velvet Ackbar. Smile The free model isn't working for me any more and hasn't for some time. I can't keep up the pace and deliver quality that satisfies me, and even when I do the return on my time investment isn't there. With the advent of ereaders, the age of the reader-supported webserial, except for those serialists long-established, is past. Serials themselves can make it in ebook, but not free on the web, at least for me it seems.

I will not be serializing the third book, nor the next book in the Drifting Isle Chronicles. I was even going to pull book two of IHGK and book one of DIC, but on consideration I will leave those books currently up for all to read. As I find time to write more Scryer's Gulch that will also remain free.

This decision makes me extremely sad. It's been my business model since I started this site in 2008. It worked then--I made half our household income thanks to my wonderful readers. But now I make almost nothing off anything but advertising here. No one donates, I hear more and more that people don't want to pay when they don't have to--they devalue my work. So I've reluctantly made this decision. My books will always be Creative Commons and DRM-free, though. That will never change, nor will my love for those of you who've been with me since the beginning and those who've just joined us on this exploration of the Greater Kingdom and the Drifting Isle.

Ok I'm getting teary now...


Tigger's picture


I got a bit teary reading this. I can understand how you came about this - the readership seems to have dropped a lot, if the comments are any indication. I can also see why people don't want to pay for what they can get free - that's an average human response, I think. It still makes me sad. I say this, knowing full well that I think I've only donated once. We are barely keeping our heads above water, but I know you understand that and that this was not written to guilt anyone. Smile You need income to keep YOUR heads above water too and you're just not getting it by serializing. I applaud you for making the hard decisions and I will keep hope that someday you will be able to go back to serializing down the road. I look forward to Scryer's when it starts back up!

sarianna's picture


I'm sorry that this has been a hard and sad decision for you, but I actually find this kind of exciting. The model you've been using for the last couple of years isn't the same as the one you started out with, and I'm glad to see it go. I loved what you now call the CFDs, and I genuinely felt connected to the rest of the community because we discussed characters and chapters, speculated about what might happen in future, and chatted with each other about our lives. Once the full books released, there was little point in reading along with the serializations, since I'd already read the books on my Kindle and in dead-tree--I'd be too worried about accidentally spoiling people in the comments since the playing field was no longer level with can-afford-to-buy vs can't.

I love your writing, MeiLin, and I will be resubscribing as a patron to read the book 3 draft. I enjoy the way you develop your characters, and the world of the Greater Kingdom is absolutely spectacular. I couldn't get into Scryer's or Drifting Isle--although I did try reading both, I can't find suspension of disbelief in the same way--just not genres I "get," I suppose. I am looking forward to learning more, and hopefully regaining the sense of community from years ago, as IHOTGK book 3 coalesces. Smile

MeiLin's picture

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Donations were dropping rapidly even before I went on the book one hiatus. I was kind of hoping people would use the serial chapters as a book club, but after the first few bits of book one it never happened. Ah well, on to something else. Smile

Cheez-It's picture

So what you're saying is that there will be no more Drifting Isle posts or any stories posted and you'll simply announce when they're available for purchase in completed form somewhere?

MeiLin's picture

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I'm finishing the serialization of The Machine God, and when I can return to Scryer's Gulch those will be released free as well. I may revisit this decision--nothing is final in life--but I doubt it.

Cheez-It's picture

Hooray! I can't wait for more Machine God and loved the Scryer's Gulch series as well. No complaints whichever way you go from me, I'm just not hip on the book world lingo and wasn't quite sure what you were saying

MeiLin's picture

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Subsequent books in the DIC and IHGK series will be available as ebooks and paperbacks. I deliberately make them affordable; short stories are 99 cents, novellas are $2.99, short novels (like the DIC books) are $3.99 and full-length novels--which for me are in the 150,000-word range--are $4.95. That's a lot of book for not much money. Smile

And yes, I'll be keeping people updated here, on my Facebook page and my newsletter, and posting excerpts here and in my newsletter--longer ones in the latter.

GreenGlass's picture


Well I'm sorry to see this. Sad

I got lost in all the edits to a story I loved. I loved it enough that I bought the book, but the changes were hard to get used to. I wanted to buy the second book, but I didn't know if I would adjust. I'm still not sure now. The version of book three we finished reading hear felt a lot more painful than I remember the first write-through ever being. But again, I am invested in the story so I keep coming back to see if I will get more of the story I fell in love with. If that's through an e-book... I don't know. All I can say is I hope I find the time to buy it when it's done.

The new stories were all on the same feed when I returned to the site and I found I could not keep up with them or fall in love with them as easily. It was too hard to follow. I got the stories mixed up and started skipping the new stuff. For awhile now... I just stopped trying.

But I found your story at a key time in my life and I am very grateful to your hard work and dedication, Meilin. I wish the era wasn't ending this way.

I still pay a tiny monthly fee to a few authors that do the web-serial thing regularly. They almost lose me when they put up too many different things, but there's been enough quality, life changing, rewarding content that I keep going back.

...Come to think of it, for 2 out of 3, it's because they keep giving me content on the characters I loved first and love most. Smile And I think I still love your writing too... when life isn't so hectic (I'm not a student anymore), maybe I'll find something to delve back into here. I think you've earned at least that amount of faith!

I do still love you, Meilin... You're part of the biggest transformation in my personal life. Surviving a divorce and defining myself as polyamorous (still do, although it's limited in practice, lol). I probably wouldn't be in the amazing relationship I am today without that transformation. Without the introduction to ideas in a format I wanted to understand and embrace.

So yes, I am one reader who has faded away. But I did keep coming back from time to time. And I mean it. I will always love you for writing Temmin into existence in the first place.

MeiLin's picture

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I love all my "old-timers" like you. Just as you say I helped you through changes, so you all helped me through mine.

It sounds like for you it's not so much that I'm going to stop serializing the books as it is you can't get into the final version. I feel badly about that--I'm positive you're not alone--but I have to be true to the story. First drafts rarely are, that's what makes them first drafts.

I'm grateful you keep checking in. I love you too. Smile

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