1. The subtitle of the book series is "The Terran Fleet Command Saga." What's a "saga?" Will the series be a trilogy?
Honestly, I'm not sure how long it will be ... at least four books initially. Yes, I know there are authors out there who develop sweeping story arcs spanning ten or more books before they ever even start writing, but that's definitely not me. I do have a general idea of where I want the story to go, but I tend to write "by the seat of my pants" for the most part, and the story takes on a life of its own during the writing process. So while I don't have a definite number of books in mind, I think that "part 1" of the story will likely wrap up in book 4. I don't think the story will end there by a long shot, however, and I expect to continue writing stories in the "TFC universe" after book 4.
2. Why end each book in the middle of the story?
First and foremost, the story is far too long for a single, standalone book (see question 3). The points at which the ongoing story gets divided into books are due primarily to the speed with which I can write, edit, and publish. So far, at least, 80k - 90k words is about as much as I can do in six months. I spend approximately two full months of that time on the editing process -- using a professional editor as well as multiple beta readers in an effort to deliver as close to an error-free product as possible (although reaching the goal of 100% error-free will probably never happen, see question 4). 85k words seems like a reasonable target for this type of book at this price point. Many popular self-published authors are now charging significantly more for books that are only slightly longer, but I plan to keep my new books in the $3.99 - $4.99 range and decrease their price as new books are added to the series.
3. The books are too short ... why can't they be longer?
The short answer (no pun intended) is that they really aren't that short. Like many authors' first books, TFS Ingenuity (at just under 70k words) was a little shorter than subsequent books in the series, but TFS Theseus, TFS Navajo, and all future books in the TFC saga will be in the 80k-95k word range. I also think the style the books are written in tends to make for a "quick read." While 120k+ word tomes are not uncommon in the science fiction/fantasy genre, 80k-95k compares pretty favorably to many popular works of fiction. Here are a few examples (length comparisons only, I am in no way comparing the quality of my work to that of these legendary authors):
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone – 77,325 words
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – 84,799 words
TFS Theseus - 84,920 words
TFS Fugitive - 90,538 words
TFS Navajo - 94,994 words
The Hobbit - 95,022 words
As I mentioned above, the TFC saga books are as long as I can make them without a significantly longer delay between books -- which tends to make readers more likely to lose interest in a series. Finally, from a business standpoint, publishing any less often just isn't financially viable. There are certainly plenty of folks who write because they enjoy the creative process, which is great, but those of us trying to make a living by writing books must strive for a balance between providing a good value for our readers while earning enough to allow us to write that next book.
4. I found an error/typo. How can I let you know?
Producing error-free books is always my goal, but I also recognize that it's one that's largely unattainable. I find typos in just about every book I read -- even those written by tier-one authors and published many years ago by the largest publishing houses. These authors have tremendous resources at their disposal that we self-published authors cannot hope to duplicate, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that an occasional error will sneak through the most thorough editing process. Because of the way I write, my first drafts tend to be pretty "clean" (which is probably one of the reasons I write more slowly than some authors). I typically spend about a month editing my first draft, then send it out for professional editing followed shortly thereafter by a cadre of beta readers. The entire process takes about two months and generally results in a very clean manuscript. Unfortunately, achieving perfection is one of those things where the law of diminishing returns applies! At some point, you have to call it "good enough" and hit the publish button.
Having said all that, I'm always interested in correcting typos or other problems my readers find. If you would like to help, please take a look at your book's copyright page and see if there is a version number listed (if not, you probably have version 1.0). Then, just shoot me an e-mail with this information and any specific errors you found at email@example.com.
Typically, I publish an update or two shortly after the initial release and will continue to update the books going forward if anything else comes up. If you have an older version and would like an update, you can go to your "Manage My Kindle" page (http://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage) and click the "Update Available" button next to the book's title.
5. How can I keep track of progress on your current work and be notified of new releases?
Here are a few options:
1. You can subscribe to my newsletter at http://authortoriharris.com/newsletter/ for updates. I don't send out very many of these each year, but I do tend to publish a couple of updates leading up to a new book release.
2. You can also "follow" me and find out about new releases through Amazon. Just go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/author_suggestions, search for "Tori Harris," and click "+ Follow" under my name. This should generate a notification e-mail when a new book comes out.
3. You can keep an eye on http://authortoriharris.com/updates/, where I regularly update my best guess for the next release date.
6. Will the books ever be published on other platforms (Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iBooks, etc.)?
I hope so, yes. Right now, however, enrollment in Amazon's KDP Select program requires authors to keep their works exclusive to Amazon. Amazon owns 67% of the market, and their Kindle Unlimited program is a significant source of revenue for self-published authors (but only if they enroll their books in KDP Select). I suspect that, once my books have been out for a while, there will be a natural transition process that will include the other major e-book outlets.
Have a question you'd like to see answered here? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.