The New 2023 Roadmap & Changes

The New 2023 Roadmap & Changes banner
By Dustin Tigner
Announcements
Making Progress

The old 2023 roadmap now redirects here. Welcome! Think of it like a water slide. It’s fun. Weee! You get thrown all around and hope you don’t get stuck on the inclines. That was always my problem as a kid with not enough fat for speed… What were we talking about?

Nearly a year ago, when I launched this site, I wiped the slate clean. Every promise and deadline, implicit or explicit, was tossed out.

It was a fresh start.

And with this announcement, I proclaimed a rule that I should “… not announce projects until I know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they will be completed. I shall also not give specific deadlines until such deadlines are guaranteed.”

Uncomfortable silence. . . .

Look, I got better. I did! I started using Q1 or Q2 to talk about when a project would be done. I avoided specifics to give myself the wiggle room to do my thing. But then, apparently, I forgot.

I published the 2023 Roadmap with many specifics. I said, with confidence (sigh), that “I firmly believe I can hit my stated deadlines.” Except I didn’t hit them. Projects got pushed back.

Apparently, I need a strict rule.

Thou shalt not give ANY dates, vague or specific, even when such dates are guaranteed!
—Gameus

I think I made that large enough. . . .

“Why is this such a big problem?” I give a date, vague or otherwise, and something always happens to disrupt my plans.

For Dungeon Runner 4, I spent December relaunching Bookworm to Badass. January has been filled with marketing courses, optimizing my ads, hiring narrators, negotiating with an audiobook distribution company, and—following my creative voice—I came up with a fun side story that must be finished before I publish the main book.

None of this was planned.

All of it takes time away from my original plans.

So then I need to push back all of the dates I published. This breaks promises and hurts trust. It adds stress because I know I’m failing the awesome people who enjoy reading my stories.

The stress mandates that I do more while feeling less motivated and more overwhelmed. None of this is conducive to being creative. Writing becomes work, something I don’t look forward to. This affects the prose, the characters, and the story, as I race toward word counts.

Eventually, my intuition sits me down and says, “Dude-bro, yer cray! This shit ain’t workin’.” (I don’t know why my intuition sounds like that.) The magic isn’t there. I’m missing a key component, which becomes more elusive the harder I work to get it. This only compounds the original problem: stress.

And all of this is because I’m a doo-doo head. I made public deadlines on projects that needed to be flexible. I’m not a machine.

Beep, boop, beep…

Instead of informing you when the next book will drop, I promise to work hard to bring these projects to light and give them the time needed for them to be good.

2023 Roadmap

So how can there be a roadmap?

Instead of publishing dates when these projects will drop, I’ll talk about what my priorities are. Take everything I say with a mouthful of salt. Ready?

Print

All the authors I know tell me it’s a magical experience to hold their first newborn in their hands, see the beautiful colors of its cover, and all the pages. Books are our babies. Go with it.

Print does not make much money. We’re talking single-digit percentages here. Even so, I’d like to see my books in print and have already invested a lot of time toward achieving this.

Audiobooks

I have signed Joel Simler to be Arachnomancer’s narrator. These books will definitely launch . . . when they are ready. Likewise, I’ve signed Reba Buhr to be Bookworm to Badass’s narrator.

It’s going to be a lot of fun listening to these books voiced by such talented people. And I’m not giving up my own interest in narrating my books. I plan to start small and see where it goes.

Dungeon Runner

This series is my current priority, which I plan to pursue to completion before moving back to Arachnomancer. This is because a big part of my focus this year is on completing projects. Dungeon Runner is the smaller project.

The series is getting a soft relaunch, which should include new covers. My current plan is to finish the series with six books. This is down from the previously announced eight, but they include more side-story content.

Speaking of side stories, I’m planning to include Eizel’s episodes in the main Dungeon Runner books. She is important to the overall story. I don’t like forcing my readers to jump through hoops to get the full story. To this end, I’ve removed her books from the Books section on my site.

Arachnomancer

Once Dungeon Runner is complete, I’ll focus on finishing Arachnomancer. My current plan is to finish the series with three books.

I’ve wanted to deny this for a long time, but despite the positive things people have said, there’s a big dropoff in readers between the first two books.

I’m working to rectify the problem by rebranding the books, designing new covers, and pushing ads. If this works, then I’ll reconsider the series’ length.

So much work has gone into the Arachnomancer world that I’d love to write more books in the series. But if readers don’t want to read them, I’d rather invest my time writing something that gets them excited.

Secret Projects

I have so many story ideas. But it’s sad. It’s sad because I jot the idea down into a new Notion document and wait until all the excitement goes away. I’m like a carbonated drink, waiting to go flat.

My writing day is seven straight hours long. That does not include website updates, social media, emails, marketing, covers, negotiations, and so on. I have a dedicated seven hours that I write. And at the end of those seven hours, my brain turns into worthless goop.

To combat this effect, I want to use my excitement for new and fun projects to both motivate and reward my efforts to finish my main stories. I think splitting my schedule between two projects will help me stay interested in my work and produce more words.

These secret projects will not be listed in the Projects section of my site until they are published. Please don’t murder me if I publish a new series before I can finish my current ones. I’m doing this to keep my brain happy. :)

I don’t think this will actually happen. Dungeon Runner will likely be finished before any of these side projects are ready. I might also write a few before I publish the first.

Changes

To ensure I follow the one rule to rule them all—no public deadlines—I’ve read, edited, deleted, and added 146 files to this website. So let me just take a second to talk about a few of those changes.

Articles

I’ve removed the Eizel episode announcements, I’m a Fudging Vampire posts, and the 2023 Roadmap. And I’ve edited/updated every other article.

It was bothering me to have striked out text everywhere, haha. I did that to be transparent and to own up to my mistakes, but I think it makes the articles look messy and doesn’t benefit future readers.

Briefs

Every day since December 12th, 2022, I’ve started my day by writing a few paragraphs to share what I’m thinking or doing. These are not always writing-related, but most of what I do is related to my work.

These posts will now be featured on the homepage of my site, as well as in their dedicated section. Following my Facebook Page is probably the best way to get these updates. I reply to all comments. Join the conversation! :)

Projects

The homepage now only displays active projects. These will be updated every Sunday, so if you’d like to check on the progress of a project (without deadlines!), this is a good way to do that.

Projects will no longer include small projects, such as side stories or art.

Donations

To those who have donated, you are amazing!

With that said, I’ve decided to remove the donation page. The reason I created it was that a lot of my work was free. But that’s changing.

The best way to help an author is to let other people know about his or her work. You can do this with a review, a social media post, or just telling a friend about this new cool book you read.


That’s it!

So in a quick recap, I’ll be following a strict rule that prevents me from giving future dates. I’ll be working on Dungeon Runner, Arachnomancer, and secret projects this year. My books will be available in print and audio! And my site has undergone a bunch of changes to keep up with my madness.

Thank you for your understanding (if you understand). Sorry for your incomprehension (if you don’t comprehend). Am I doing this right?

Let’s make 2023 an awesome year. :)