I have been working like mad this week on new things that will be coming soon! I have so much news for you! The most important thing I want to stress is that new editions of all of these books will be coming out soon. Do not panic! The actual text of the stories are not changing, except for two typos I found. What is going on is a reformatting to make them all the same. That is all.
I have been very honest about the fact that this series has been a learning experience for me. When I started out, I wanted to use this serial as a "practice" serial for me to learn how to do this all well. When I started this self-publishing adventure, I knew exactly zero about what I was doing (which is part of the reason I wrote them under a pen name, in case I sucked at this). I had been a writer and designer for years, but I just wrote the pieces or designed the art and handed it all off to someone else to put things together. I didn't know how to format things, how to set up book cover art for printing, I was not even really involved in social media other than Facebook to keep up with my family and friends after I moved away from my home state. I was a total newbie at self-publishing.
I have learned how to do most of the things I need to do to produce the books (and pay people to do the things I can't), and as I learn, things changed over the years. I started out writing these books in a word program and had to go through a lot of steps to get the books formatted correctly to work in the publishing platforms. I have since bought a formatting program (Vellum) which sets up everything for me as I write. I am sure if you read the paperbacks, you noticed a shift in how the layout of the books have looked. Now that I have time, I am going back and reformatting the first few books so that going forward all installments will have the same look.
If you have the ebooks, you will get an alert telling you there are updates you can download. If you have the paperbacks, do not worry, there is nothing in the new editions that you are missing. The stories are the same, the books will now just have the recaps in the front for previous books, the 1859 U.S. Map (which is also on the Members Only page), praise for Stephen Burckhardt books, also by Stephen Burckhardt, there will be a glossary if I have used German or "antiquated" English expressions, etc. All the things that were in part six, Into the West: Last Showdown.
Going forward we are also listing the publisher as Burckhardt Books just so we can keep all Stephen Burckhardt and Dianne Burckhardt books tied together once we get Dianne Burckhardt books going here after this serial is finished.
Also, this week, I am setting up all the books in the Into the West Saga Serial to publish them in hardcover formats. This was basically the catalyst for why I decided to reformat the entire serial to match, because I had to reformat them all anyway to set up the hardcovers. I had tried out the hardcover for part six, Into the West: Last Showdown and they look so good I personally want to have a whole set of them in hardcover, even if no one else ever buys them.
I have already noticed a nice trend since I put the entire Into the West Saga Serial in the Kindle Unlimited program. I believe this will help bring more readers to my serial. I will keep checking with other platforms to see if it will ever be financially beneficial to spread the ebooks out again or not. However, for the foreseeable future, we are sticking with Kindle Unlimited's exclusive program so subscribers can read this serial for free under their subscription.
New Things Coming to Members Only Page
I am getting ready this week to add a lot of fun stuff to the Members Only page. I found a great site that makes puzzles for you. You type in all the information and select the kind of puzzle you want and hit create and you have a puzzle.
There will be crosswords, word search, cryptograms, and more. I also hope to add some more coloring book pages and dot-to-dot. The puzzles will all be tied specifically to one of the books in my serial or to historical information from the era the books are set in. I have the first set for Into the West: The Orphan Train puzzles ready to go and will get them uploaded later this week.
If you have not joined my Members Only page, it is quick and easy to do and 100% FREE! You can quit any time, no strings attached. Just go to the Members Only (<--- click here) page and sign up. You have nothing to lose and a lot of freebies to gain.
If there is anything you think I need to add to this website to make it more user friendly, more engaging, or more entertaining, do not hesitate to drop me a line. I love hearing suggestions.
For now I am going back to work because I only have this week set aside to work on all of these kinds of things. Starting next week, I will be writing the final installment in the Into the West Saga Serial, Into the West: Family Ties! I really want to have this ready for a Christmas release this year. The people of Sharon Springs will be celebrating Christmas in the story and I think this will be a wonderful tie-in.
If you have already read part six, you know things are brewing that could turn Elizabeth and Conner's lives upside down, not to mention the lives of just about everyone in Sharon Springs. The final installment will have a lot of surprises I think will really bring the whole serial to a fantastic end . . . but then, do things ever really end? We will find out.
Keep watching my social media for more updates.
Have a great week, posse!