A lot of people have read the second fiction book I ever wrote, titled Socialpunk. It was supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, mimicking The Hunger Games, which is one of my favorite dystopians ever, only with a different type of science fiction twist that was basically the internet in physical form. Cool idea, huh?
The ebook sat free in the Amazon Kindle store for nearly two years and collected 93 reviews during that time. Most of them range from fair to good, and a solid portion of the people who reviewed it really loved it, which I continue to be so incredibly grateful for.
I was supposed to write the sequel awhile ago, and even completed about one-third of the draft before realizing that it just wasn’t time to tell that particular story. (Something I’ve learned since—never announce release dates until the book is done, especially as a new author, because you really don’t always know what you’re doing. I’ve seen a number of first-time authors fall into this trap, myself included!)
Sometime last year, I started writing novellas and novella-sized serial installments, and decided to revisit Socialpunk and the subsequent story. I realized that Socialpunk is told so much like a serial, it’s basically a serial posing as a novel! So I decided to see what would happen if I turned the first novel into three serial parts. And it worked!
Here’s what the series looks like now: The original series was broken up into three books—Socialpunk, Socialmob, and Socialhood. (By the way, Socialpunk = awesome name. Socialmob and Socialhood… not so much. Those names have been killed, thankfully!) The new series will be broken up into 9 (smaller) books and three bundles of three. So:
- Socialpunk = Socialpunk #1, #2, #3
- Socialmob = Socialpunk #4, #5, #6
- Socialhood = Socialpunk #7, #8, #9
And then the three bundles will be:
- Socialpunk #1-3
- Socialpunk #4-6
- Socialpunk #7-9
It’s essentially still a trilogy, just broken up a little differently. The difference makes the project so much better. Why? Well, allow me to explain (from here on out, when I refer to book 1, book 2, etc. I’m referring to the NEW versions, not the originals):
1. Socialpunk is cliffhanger city.
I wrote it that way on purpose, but wow, it can be a little exhausting to plow through. The imagery is awesome, yet a bit overwhelming, like sitting in the front row of Lord of the Rings 3-D at the movie theater. Breaking up the book into three pieces, slowing down a few of the scenes (I did a lot of this), and giving each book a distinct theme that the reader can latch onto makes it sooooo much easier and more pleasurable to read overall.
2. Socialpunk doesn’t have to end when the trilogy ends.
Don’t freak out—the original premise and mystery of the first book will be solved by the end of book 9, just as it would have been if it were a trilogy. However, there are so many cool aspects of this world to explore, and so much more I want to say about the characters. Turning the series into serials means that I could write a followup serial within the same world. Very cool!
3. More content.
I’ll be the first to admit that Socialpunk isn’t exactly a masterpiece. It was only my second novel ever (and my first one, Silver Smoke, I completely trashed and started over with Waters Dark and Deep). In reading back through this one, there was no need to trash it completely, however, there was some need to rewrite a few sections and add more detail and explanation. I chalk it up to being a significantly better writer than years ago when I first wrote it.
So, each of the three sections were around 80-100 pages each; now they are about 120-140 pages each. That’s a 30% increase for each book!
For those of you who loved the original, I think you’ll appreciate the additions. There are no new scenes in the first two books (though there may be a few in the third one—still trying to decide). The stuff I’ve added just explains some of the cool pieces of the world and the technology, as well as providing a bit more character development. Imagine watching your favorite movie with 11 extra minutes of never-before-seen footage! It’s still what you loved about the original, just BETTER.
To those of you who bought the original book: do not fear. Kindle allows you to receive updates of new ebook versions of your past purchases. When I upload the new bundled version of these three, you will automatically receive the latest edition. I think this is true of other platforms as well. And if you don’t, simply email me and I will send you a new copy!
4. More perspective.
So… about that third book. There were problems with the the original version because (spoiler) Nahum sort of disappears in the middle of it. He was kind of an important character. I know what’s happened to him, and I planned to explain it in the original sequel, but it still makes the original book incredibly awkward, as a lot of reviewers noticed and pointed out!
What’s the issue? Well, it all comes down to Ima’s perspective. She doesn’t know what’s happening to Nahum, so the reader doesn’t know either. And I couldn’t do 36 chapters plus 3 random ones told from a totally different character’s perspective without things staying in that awkward spot.
Enter solution. Book three of the serials is told from two perspectives, Ima’s and Nahum’s, while the first two are told from just Ima’s. This way, we can mostly stay with Ima, but see what happens to Nahum, which is actually kind of important to his next character arc. Ima’s content will stay largely the same (with some shuffling and combining of chapters) while Nahum’s content will be all new, and (hopefully) enhancingly interesting for the reader.
5. Smaller books means sooner books + easier for you to finish books.
I hate long books. Maybe it’s just my old age, but I like to finish things. I like to finish things I read and I like to finish things I write. And I can write 140 pages very quickly compared to 400 pages. This is a win-win for everyone.
If you love novels, read the bundles, because they are essentially the right length and cover the same amount as the original story would have!
I was charging $8.99-$12.99 per ebook before, and now the bundles will be $6.99, $9.99, $9.99. Basically the price of a regular ebook. This is a good thing!
Okay, great. But when does this come out?
I am currently cleaning up book 3 and have half of book 4 drafted, and half of book 5 drafted. Once book 3 is done, I’ll publish the first three individually and as a bundle. Depending on reception, I hope to have book 4 out shortly after (within another month or two), with the rest to follow at a reasonable pace.
The best way to hear the latest updates about this new direction for Socialpunk will be to read the blog. In my last post, I talked about #NakedNoveling, and how I’ll be updating and sharing behind-the-scenes on all of my projects on a daily-ish basis. So stay tuned!
Lastly, here’s a teaser: tomorrow evening I’ll be posting the rewritten version of one of the fan-favorite chapters. It’s the chapter that is most often mentioned in the reviews, that people loved, loved, loved. This chapter is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever written, because it deals with technology that is so hard to wrap your head around, it’s almost magical. In the rewrites, I’ve explained so much more and made it way better than the original. I’m excited for you to read the new version!
If you haven’t read the original story yet, you can probably read this teaser without getting too spoiled… though it does take place in the second book, so you may want to hold off if you’re sensitive to spoilers.
If you have any questions about the new version of Socialpunk, please let me know in the comments. I’m happy to answer any questions you have!