Some book musings

I’m basically done with the “break” part of my break; I have the weekend and then I’m back to work on Monday. Usually by this point at the break I’m climbing the walls and chewing on my extremities; for the most part, other than yesterday’s post, I’ve managed to avoid going slowly crazy. I’ve gotten a fair amount of stuff done over the break. What I haven’t done is any of Luther’s stuff. It’s all been Clark Kent nonsense over here for the last couple of weeks.

My first priority in 2019 has to be to decide what to do with Skylights. I have so many half-written drafts of the sequel, under more than one title, that it’s frankly kind of ridiculous. That may or may not be the cover. It may or may not be the title. And once I have the sequel written I have to decide if I’m doing a second edition of the first book. A second edition wouldn’t be too different, but the first book already mentions things that didn’t happen in 2018 (because 2018 was, comfortably, The Future when I wrote it) and the events of the book are at this point far too close to Now for comfort. If nothing else, I need to remove specific dates, and probably rewrite the prologue to give the story some breathing room. I don’t think I can tie the events of the story so close to something that happened in 1984, for example; it just makes Gabe too old.

(20-minute break while I research the FAFSA and explain how taxes work for a former student; I avoid using the phrase “this would be easier if I adopted you.”)

Anyway, point is I gotta figure this shit out. And I probably should have reformatted some of my books to get them away from CreateSpace and over to Ingram over the break. And maybe done a new banner, since the one vertical banner I have is Skylights-focused. I should probably have one for at least one more of my books.

Point is, I didn’t spend as much time being Luther over the last couple of weeks as maybe I should have. And now I need to figure some stuff out over the next couple of days. This week shouldn’t be too hard (he said,) so I should have some brainspace left to get things done when I get home from work. And who knows? The next couple of days might be hugely productive.

Just, like I said, I’ve got some decisions to make, and a weight to get off my back.

What have you been putting off lately?

#Saleswanking for 2018 and more

This is going to be a very short post, considering the amount of work that went into it, because Amazon and Square don’t play nice with each other and neither of them makes it especially easy to get these numbers in a format that I like. HOWEVER! I haven’t looked at book sales in a systematic way in a while, so this kinda needed to happen. And, frankly, included some nice surprises.

Note that “Amazon” includes both paid sales and free downloads, and I’ve smushed together both physical and digital copies as well; nearly all of them are digital. The Square sales are sales in person; some of those are going to be free giveaways for one reason or another but all of them involve physical books given or sold to people by me. This is 2018 only:

Eight hundred and fifty-seven books seems like a lot, honestly. The little discrepancy you see with Click from 2018 to the total includes the 14 people who got free copies through Patreon, which is one of the only ways you can get the book (pledge more than $2 a month!) and the 9 on the Square set were sold in person at conventions, which is the other way to get it.

As of right now, my books are starting to drop off of KDP Select, which means I’m about to lose the ability to give them away on Amazon. I am either trying to get all six of them (Click isn’t on Amazon) on the same schedule or about to broaden back out and put my books on other sites again. I haven’t decided. As of January 2nd, everything will be off KDP select, so I’ve got a few more days to think about it.

The overall numbers really surprised me. I didn’t think I’d moved this many books.

So, basically, if you include the occasional sale that isn’t captured here (Barnes and Noble, Apple, non-convention personal sales that I didn’t bother recording in Square,) I’m probably at right around five thousand books sold or downloaded since I started doing this.

Which, on the one hand, is a larger number than I thought it was going to be, and on the other hand, if I look at actual money earned from this … yeesh. I’m not going to share that because Amazon accepts currencies from all over the world and I’m not about to start digging through my tax returns, but suffice it to say that I’ve absolutely lost money at playing author since 2014. Cons and hotel rooms and book printings and all that cost money, and again, a lot of those Amazon numbers are from giveaways, not sales.

The totals for in-person sales, which are included in the above– this is just a summation of the “Square” lines:

Which, again, this isn’t nothing. Every one of these represents an actual human standing in front of me who bought books from me. Am I J.K. Rowling? Hell no. But this is a lot larger of a number than zero, which is what it would have been when I started doing this.

I should probably set some hard and fast goals for 2019. Not yet; I need to absorb these numbers first. But maybe that post is coming. Tomorrow, the 10 best books of the year.

STATION IDENTIFICATION: Infinitefreetime.com

I’m Luther Siler.  I’m an author.  Welcome to my blog, infinitefreetime.com.

I’ve written several books you might be interested in, ranging from short story collections to near-future science fiction to fantasy space opera to nonfiction, all available as ebooks or in print from Amazon.  Autographed books can be ordered straight from me as well.

I can be found in several different places on the Internet.  Here are the important ones:

  • Support me on Patreon!  Just a dollar a month gets you access to exclusive stories, early access to new books as they come out, and more!  $2 or more a month gets you access to CLICK, an entire exclusive book!
  • You can follow me on Twitter, @nfinitefreetime, here or just click the “follow” button on the right side of the page.  Warning: Twitter is where Politics Luther hangs out, and Politics Luther is usually angry and profane.  I generally follow back if I can tell you’re a human being.
  • My author page on Goodreads is here. I accept any and all friend requests.
  • My official Author page on Amazon is located here.
  • Feel free to Like the (sadly underutilized) Luther Siler Facebook page here.  It’s mostly used as a reblogger for posts.
  • And, of course, you’re already at infinitefreetime.com, my blog.  You can click here to be taken to a random post.

Thanks for reading!

Prostetnic hi-res cropped

In which I ask the hivemind

I need some more conventions, y’all.  Right now I think the next con I’m actually signed up to attend is the next Indy Pop Con in June.  I’m registered for Kokomo-Con again.  And … I think that’s it?  I’ve had a little bit of a run of being turned down by juried cons (I tried to get into both ConFusion in Detroit this January and a February comic convention) and I’ve decided to not apply to the Fort Wayne PopCon in between Christmas and New Year’s, mostly because … well, it’s between Christmas and New Year’s, and it’s a first-year con, and that strikes me as vaguely insane.  I hope they’re successful, don’t get me wrong, and if they are I’ll be there next year, but they’re charging PopCon prices for what I’m pretty certain isn’t gonna be close to PopCon attendance and right now it’s not worth the risk.  

Plus, well, check the posts at the end of December around here for any of the last six years.  The weather tends to not lend itself to long road trips.

So.  Anyway.  If you happen to know of any science fiction conventions, comic book shows, or genre/author events in the next six months within, say, a three- or four- hour drive of northern Indiana, let me know.  I’m looking at one in Louisville over Easter weekend, too, but it’s over Easter, which has its own set of complications to it.  


I’ve finished a story over at Patreon, called The Caretaker, and I’m really fond of it.  The story is posted in five parts and in first-draft form (I literally wrote it straight into the Patreon website; it’s not copy-pasted) and it will be posted again in .mobi and .epub form once it’s cleaned up a touch, but I like it and I think you will too.  Just $1 a month gets you access to a bunch of microfictions and three or four short stories, and $2 a month gets you an entire exclusive novel.  Next Patron is #15!  That’s a great number!  Join us!


Two weeks to winter break, y’all.  There will be Christmas shopping this weekend.  I can do this.  

In which I read locally

It’s kinda always the same booth picture, at this point; only the number of books I have on display changes.  I decided not to bring Searching for Malumba with me for this one, because despite the fact that every kid mentioned in the book is college-aged now (and I don’t use anyone’s real name) I still feel like keeping it from spreading too far out in the town I live and work in isn’t necessarily a bad thing.   And I sold more than enough books to make a nice little profit on 3 hours of sitting in my free booth.

I can stand to do more free author events, frankly.

 An interesting fact: after a couple of years of doing sci-fi and comic book cons, my last two events have both been specifically author events, and at both of them I’ve had more titles available than anyone in the room.  It was especially apparent at this one– there was no one else there who I saw who had more than three, and most people there had only one or two books. The really weird part to me was the number of people who, upon being told that my first book came out in 2014, expressed surprise at how I’d been able to write so fast as to have all those books out already.

And it’s like, damn, folks, I am slow.  I regularly go weeks without writing a word of fiction, because for whatever reason shit has to be straight in my head before it gets set down on paper.  How long have I been saying that the Skylights sequel is my next book, for God’s sake?  Hell, how many entire other books have I written while telling people that the Skylights sequel was next?  And yet I’m sitting there with twice as many books in front of me as anyone in the room, and I’m visibly one of the younger authors there, too.

Things I need to do before my next show:  I need some sort of thick cardstock-printed price placards to put in each of the front-facing books, preferably with some sort of “Like Lovecraft?  You’ll love Balremesh!” or “Like Scalzi? You’ll love Skylights!” text on them.  I also need a new banner or two, preferably something that folds down into its own stand, because my Skylights banner is starting to lean in a way that I don’t understand and can’t fix.   And my front-of-table banner (not used at this show) can probably stand to be updated, too.  No one knows what Prostetnic Publications is anyway so I need something other than just the logo.  I’m gonna have a lot to do over winter break, I think.  

I’ve got some time to worry about it, because right now I’m not signed up for anything else until next summer.  I tried to get into ConFusion, which is in January in Detroit, which was a communication clusterfuck so bad that by the time they told me I hadn’t passed the jury stage of things I didn’t even want to go any longer, and I found out about the Northwest Indiana Comic-Con, which is a one-day thing in February, but they were closed by the time I got to them too.  So if you hear about anything in the next couple of months, let me know, ‘k?  I don’t wanna wait six months until my next show.  


I’ve picked up three new Patrons over the last week or so, and just added a $100 goal to the site.  I’m getting close enough to the $50/month target that I can sorta see it from where we are, so I feel like a little more pushing and we might hit that, especially since I seem to be on a bit of a roll lately.  Remember, anyone pledging more than $2/month gets a new novel immediately, and I’m adding new content all the time– I’ve been working on a new short story over there, The Caretaker, that I ought to be finishing this weekend sometime.  It’s becoming a better deal all the time!  Join us!