Book of Dreams revisited, writing un-retirement

So, in 2021, I unpublished all of my books and stopped writing. There were a few reasons for this. Maybe there’s a post in that. Bottom line though is that I’ve been trying to get back out of that and write again. And as I do that and try to figure out what to write, I’m trying to figure out what to do with the 17 books I’ve published since 2000. I have 1073852 words and 3649 pages in purgatory right now, and probably the same amount in never-published projects.

I’m slowly trying to work through this. In reading a few of my old books and thinking about it, one bit of low-hanging fruit is 2018’s Book of Dreams. When I gave it a quick read, it was 99.9% solid for me. I didn’t find it particularly problematic for me, especially when it comes to persona and general flow or structure of the book. I love the cover, done by Casey Babb. And when I read through the whole thing, I found maybe a dozen bone-headed typos or little nits that could be fixed in three keystrokes, but no major issues.

I mentioned this in my original announcement for the book:

I think this book is slightly less “Konrath” than my last few books. It’s not as manic or as fast-paced. NyQuil and Mariah Carey are not mentioned. It still has the same kind of humor; it just doesn’t lean on the persona as much, if that makes any sense.

I think that’s the key. And the fact that it’s all dreams is a big point for me. I write down my dreams a lot, whenever I can remember them, and I always find great stuff in them. I’ve snuck dream journals into a lot of zines and small collection books, and I use them as parts of ideas for stories.

Anyway, the book is live here. It’s in print and kindle. If you already have the 2018 version, there is no need to get this. The only thing that has changed are a few stealth edits, and a “, 2023” on the copyright page. Same ISBN, same page length. The price is slightly higher for print. $9.99 is not the end of the world. I’m done trying to competitively price my books at 7 cents more than the print cost. Publishing is dead and I don’t care if it sells. That’s not why I do this.

I need to go through the rest of the books. I really wanted to do some special edition of Rumored because I love that book, and then I was reading through it last October on vacation and thought, “oh shit, that’s getting me cancelled” about 19 times in the first 20 pages. I don’t know what to do about that. (I’m not asking for advice. I’m never asking for advice.)  Dealer Wins is out because it’s 100% obsolete, and was largely filler in the first place.   The Necrokonicon (aka “the glossary book”) is more of the same. Memory Hunter – nobody got the joke, and I wrote my most structured book ever and people bitched about the lack of structure, so that one is dead.

I have a sequel to Summer Rain in my head that would probably mean a quick edit to the original and both of them going out at once, but that sequel has been languishing for years. I also have a sequel to Atmospheres in its fourth draft, which is roughly twice as long. I would love to fix the cover of the first one, do a new layout, add some bonus material, and release it at the same time. That’s a plan, but an uphill battle. The sequel needs maybe a year of full-time work, and I’m not working on it right now.

I reread He and thought it was horrible. It has incredibly inconsistent and cringey writing, and nobody got the concept (which came from a Hubert Selby book.) All the “little” collection books (Ranch, Help…Thunderbird, etc.) have good and bad stuff. Maybe a bunch of that could be rolled into one omnibus. Maybe not. Maybe I should be writing new material instead.

Failure Cascade is probably the next-closest to being republishable. I like the cover, and I gave it a re-read and it was decent. I think almost nobody read this book, and it died right out of the gate. I’ll need to read it again with a thing of sticky flags and see what it will take to get it in shape.

I’m reluctant to write about exactly why I quit writing, but maybe I need to get that off my chest soon.