Sep 7 • 3M

"Probability Amplitudes" is growing

There will be more than six stories...

 
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Brian Scott Pauls
Living in a science fiction universe...
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Eight months have passed since I’ve provided an update about Probability Amplitudes. It will be my first science fiction collection.

Several stories planned for the volume remain in the alpha-reading process.

I intended to produce a manuscript of around 40,000 words. This would have required a half-dozen stories.

Well, I’ve done some research using data from Alex Newton’s valuable resource, K-lytics. Alex collects Kindle ebook data from Amazon, and parses it six ways from Sunday. This allows authors to see where their ebooks might fall in the Kindle landscape. It turns out the average length of a Kindle sf anthology is between 400-500 pages. This equates to approximately 120,000 words—three times the length I had expected!

So I’m looking at a much larger project than first envisioned. But the increased length seems advisable to make my collection competitive.

I will provide the ebook version of Probability Amplitudes for free to subscribers. But I would like to sell it to those who don’t want to subscribe, or who prefer to read paperbacks or hardbacks. I would also like to sell my book at a reasonable price. I will need to deliver a word count comparable to other collections on the market.

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The good news is I continue to write, so such a sizable word count is within reach. I currently have over 77,000 words of first draft ready for editing, with over 42,000 words left to go. I’m well over half-way there (take that, Bon Jovi!)

I expect to include autobiographical background details for each story. These will describe decades of undiagnosed mental illness, spiritual terror, and dysfunctional relationships. They will also reveal how treatment allowed me finally to publish my first work at age 49.

Increased length and a personal touch will make for a more engaging collection. But the extra effort will delay the book’s release.

My intention is to produce the highest quality work possible. Rounds of editing (by an experienced editor, not by me) will follow the alpha- and beta-reading. I had intended to publish this coming January. For the longer version I’m planning now, my revised estimate is the end of 2024.

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