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Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

Is purple your favorite color?

Will Wight

No it is not. Purple is not my favorite color. That was a good guess though. If you actually keep submitting questions like that we'll go through all the colors and we'll eventually narrow it down. Process of elimination.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

How would Lindon fare in Naruto?

Will Wight

I don't even know how Naruto would fare in Naruto these days. This is another Will rant. I know you know this, I know you're asking Naruto questions because it sets me off, but like, what the heck is the power scale now? I don't even know. Like, you have Naruto making a hole in the moon and now he gets outfought by a cyborg who can just do hand to hand martial arts. Like, what the heck? He just got kicked in the face. How in the world can he be kicked? This is like Goku losing a lifting competition to a human being. I don't get it. I can't go any further. Legit, that's the shortest I've ever talked about that topic.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#4 Copy

Marco and Grayson

Is it possible that you can just write about Lindon forever?

Will Wight

You know, I'd love to, I really like writing about Lindon, but the thing is, I just really love writing new stories. I just really like it. Any time I'm writing a story and I'm thinking about "Hmm. But what else could I be writing?" So I might come back to Lindon in the future, I certainly could see myself continuing to write stories from Lindon's perspective, but I think it's important that Cradle has an ending to the story and I really want to be able to tell other stories.

Jan to Jun 2020 ()
#5 Copy

hachkc

[Uncrowned's Ending] definitely felt abrupt but WW likes to keep books a certain length. WW has stated why he feels he needs to keep books a certain length; a business decision. I guess the good news is he's working on it now and should in theory be out by EOY. Given his self imposed constraints, it was either a shorter tournament or more books.

That said, It didn't sour my opinion of the overall series though. Just gave me an excuse to go read his other books. I started with Cradle, moved to EE and I'm just starting TG so I can keep my fix sated for a bit. Should he turn into a GRR Martin type author and related release schedule, you'll get a different answer. I don't need instant gratification but going more than year between books is a chore.

Will Wight

You’re not wrong, but I feel like I have to clarify: this is about NOT becoming an author who releases only one book every two years.

I like telling stories. I don’t particularly like sitting on one story until it’s perfect, and my favorite thing is coming up with new stories.

So the more books I write, the more stories I get to tell.

Also, readers tend to prefer series that come out regularly and authors that release regularly.

Because of that, rapid releases sell more books, which keeps Amazon’s wheels a-turnin’ and sells even more books.

The sweet spot for release schedule in terms of keeping them regular and not working myself to a sweaty death is about two books per year at roughly 100k words. So that’s what I aim for.

Two books at 100k words = happier me, happier readers, more money to save so that I can write books forever.

It would take more time to write longer books, which would mean fewer stories, fewer readers, and fewer total sales. Not just slower sales; a lower total number of sales.

...I need a shorter way of saying all this, but the bottom line is that my general word count limit is for keeping my release rate up.

If I could write 2-3 200k books a year, I’d love to do that, but if I did that now they wouldn’t be up to my usual standard.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

What's your signature dish?

Will Wight

So I'm gonna let you in on another Will secret here, in addition to Will rants. My preferred foods are basically anything on noodles. I just love noodles. I just love them. I will make all sorts of pasta out of leftovers. I just enjoy it. 

Chat

Will is lazy confirmed.

Will Wight

That is accurate, however I will say that I put a lot of effort into these sometimes because I just love noodles so much. I think probably my ideal meal would be mushrooms, onions, sausage, and some kind of seafood, probably scallops, and a brown sauce on noodles. There's probably sausage or scallops, probably not both. I don't know that I've tried those together cause that doesn't sound great. It sounds alright. I'd probably eat it. But those are my favorite things. I just like those things and I like them on noodles. I also love popcorn. Popcorn is just-I'm a popcorn fiend. I eat way more popcorn than I do Oreos, believe it or not. I like Oreos but I don't cram cookies into my face constantly. I'm not Cookie Monster anymore. That was a dark phase in my life.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#8 Copy

Charles

What is Will Wight's middle name?

Will Wight

You met my parents earlier. My dad's name is William Laurence Wight Junior. My grandfather's name is William Laurence Wight. So my name is also William Laurence Wight, it is William Laurence Wight the third. I think that name is awesome. I think it's super cool, I've always really liked my name. The one thing that I would change if I could go back in time and change my grandfather's name, I would change my middle name to Wallace. Because then not only would I be William Wallace, I would also have the initials WWW, and since I was growing up when the internet was becoming a thing, that just would've been really cool in elementary and middle school. It's a dream of mine, so don't give me a time machine. If you have one, I can't be trusted with it.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#11 Copy

Jonathan

Do you plan on writing a LitRPG style book at any point?

Will Wight

That is something that I've always kind of wanted to do, honestly. I love video games, I love fantasy novels, and I feel like a fantasy novel about video games is my dream, it's the bread and butter. But I don't like LitRPG. I've read a lot of it, I've read all the staples of the genre, I don't like it. It always feels to me like I could go play a videogame right now, why am I reading about someone else playing a video game. So if I were to write a LitRPG style novel I would be writing someone in a real world with a game-like system. But then I go, okay, so I'm gonna take this game-like system and then I'm gonna go within this real world, what would they call these things? What would their terminology be and how would that shape their culture. Then when I pad that out and plan it out I end up with something that doesn't look like a video game at all, it just looks like a fantasy series, so I've removed the LitRPG components. I don't know how to write a LitRPG that is a LitRPG and is something I would enjoy. I just don't know how to do it. I'm just avoiding it for now. Just kinda dodging it. 

I'm not saying the genres bad, it's just not for me. It doesn't resonate with me, I know sometimes people crap on the genre or whatever, I think there's definitely some good LitRPG. Obviously there's a lot of people interested in it. I think even there are some stories I have read that I think are good stories, they're just not my thing. I don't get it. I haven't cracked the code. I don't have it.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#12 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

Did you use the method of writing that you did for Wintersteel with this one?

Will Wight

I've actually gotten questions like that several times, because I described my writing process for Wintersteel and then of course Wintersteel is a really good book if I do say so myself. I don't, but other people do so I'm glad. I think Wintersteel came out really well and so people want to know, did you use the same writing process? The answer is, I never use the same writing process twice. I try to iterate every time. I really do try to, every time I write a book I try to build on and improve on what I did last time.

The focus is on not wasting time, and what I mean by that is not truly really wasting it. Truly doing something that does not lead to progress in the manuscript. Anything that I do that is lateral progress or is inefficient or is something where I was spinning my wheels trying to decide if this character's design should be red or blue, that's not helping. Anything that I do that adds to the story and is really developing the story I try to keep. The idea behind that is, prior to Wintersteel I had been writing a lot of wasted words. So I'd write 30 to 50 thousand words that wouldn't end up in the manuscript because I would be going off on a tangent and then realize "Well, that doesn't make any sense." So then I'd cut it and then I'd have to come back and start over or I'd have to write another part or whatever. [I'm] trying to stop that. I've gotten better at that every time so I think probably Dreadgod was my most efficient one so far in Cradle. So it's an evolved version of that. It's all steps on the same journey, I guess you might say.

YA Buzz Book Club Q&A ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

I have a quick questions about your childhood (inaudible).  Did you always want to be a writer, or did you want to be something else when you were younger?

Will Wight

I… it’s hard to say, right?  ‘Cause on the one hand, I have always, always, always been into reading.  I was into reading, I was into books, that was my whole thing.  I just read books all the time.  I got into trouble constantly for reading books.  My parents would have to come into my room and make sure I wasn’t reading books under the covers.  So books were always something I was really interested in.  But I didn’t necessarily… what I remember is in middle school, really starting to think, “People write these.  Maybe I could write these.” 

I was in the national spelling bee as a kid, so in 7th and 8th grade I earned my way to the national spelling bee.  So, I was really good at spelling and grammar and words and just English in general, so I was just always good at that.  I generally, I just write clean first drafts; a lot of writers don’t but I generally do.  So, I knew I had that skill set, then in middle school I started thinking maybe I wanted to write some books.  And I wrote a few little stories, for class and stuff like that, and I liked that, but it was embarrassing, and I didn’t want anyone to read it.  And then in high school, that’s when I really started saying, “Yeah, I want to be a writer,” but I didn’t… I was just really scared of letting anyone read anything I’d written.  That was just something, I didn’t want anyone to read it, because I knew it was bad.  So, it wasn’t until college that I was really faced with the reality of, I have got to actually write something if I want to do this for a living. 

So, what I was doing until then, even in high school, is I was mowing lawns.  I started, initially I borrowed my dad’s lawn mower and I went door to door in my neighborhood and looked for lawn mowing jobs, and then I ended up borrowing money and buying a better lawn mower, so I ended up having a real lawn mowing business that I paid for college with.  So, I didn’t take out any loans for college.  I mowed my way through college; cut some grass.  And so, I was doing that for money, and just to support myself.  I didn’t have any passion about lawn mowing (I don’t know who does really) so that was just hard work to get myself through college.  So, the whole time I became, I just learned on my own more and more about writing and what it takes to become a writer.  And then in college that’s what they talked about, and the more I learned, I thought yeah, this is what I want.  I’m passionate about stories and I’m passionate about words.  That’s where I want to be. 

So, I kinda just sorta… slipped into it I guess?  It wasn’t, it was always my area of giftedness and it was always my area of interest, but it’s not like as kid I was like, “I’m definitely going to write a book.”  I was still just very scared to show anybody anything I had written, so I could always not quite picture giving it, handing a manuscript to somebody and seeing “read this” because I knew it was going to suck because I wrote, so of course it’s going to suck.  So that was always my feeling, until eventually I did take the plunge, and write some stuff for school.  So that was my journey.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#14 Copy

Questioner

Would you recommend eating alligator?

Will Wight

Yes I would. Fried gator tail is delicious. What I would not recommend is going out and eating an alligator. Like if you were to go out there and find an alligator and just try to eat it, I would not recommend that. You would not have a good time, don't do that. But alligator as a meat? Absolutely.

Will's Life ()
#15 Copy

Sean K

Congratz! I just want to say one more time that the Cradle books have been amazing! I even had to buy my friend Unsouled for his birthday! I also bought the Crimson Throne, but I haven't gotten to read it yet as I was finishing up the Nice Dragons Finish Last.

On a side note, how has your total sales growth been growing? I remember you mentioning that you had a huge sales growth on all of your books when you released Unsouled and Soulsmith. Do you normally sell 1k books a month? Which months are the slow month (So I know when you buy friends books!).

Granted, feel free to tell me "STFU, that's my income, I aint tellin you!" I'm just curious more so about the growth of your sales as you keep on adding so many great books as opposed to the sales figure!

Will Wight

I'm always more than happy to talk about my sales numbers. It's hard to find information like that out there from other independent Kindle authors.

Every time I add a new book, everything else gets a small bump in sales (especially previous books in the series). Putting a book on sale tends to do something similar.

I normally sell way more than 1k books a month. 1k would be a slow month. 10k would be a high month (probably a release month), but on average would be somewhere around 5k sales.

Which months are slow months? I'm honestly not sure. I'd have to look through my records, and it's still hard to tell. It depends on when I release, really. Release months are big months, and the sales trend steadily downward over about 4-5 months until the next release.

That fact, combined with the fact that there's a two-month delay between me selling the books and receiving the money, is what makes my income so...swingy. I have to save most of it and predict how much I'll be making for the next few months, otherwise I could find myself in an uncomfortable scenario.

I.e., "I'm not making any income, and even if I released a book tomorrow, I won't be making anything for the next two months."

The amount the books have generated is pretty huge (at least by my standards): almost $600k in three and a half years.

"How could you ever have financial problems?" you may be thinking. "That's way more money than you need!"

It's true, that's way more money than I need. And honestly, I haven't had any financial problems, but only because I've saved and planned ahead.

The problem is, that's gross income. Not profit for Will. So all taxes come out of that--and being a self-employed single guy means I'm paying a ridiculous amount of taxes--and so do all business expenses (all trips to conventions, everything I do to isolate myself and write, any computer equipment required for me to write, all book shipping, covers, editing, ordering hard copies so we have some to give away, and so on and so forth). On top of that, I pay all my insurance, which a salaried position would usually cover, out of pocket.

So bottom line, my PERSONAL takeaway is basically like a 50-60k salary.

Which is still very comfortable for me personally. It's WAY, WAY more than I ever expected to make writing, and I could certainly do with a lot less.

But imagine you're living on a 50k salary, but sometimes your boss says "Eh, you might not get paid for the next two months."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I try to keep up frequent releases.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

What colors are your Magic decks?

Will Wight

In this particular case, I was making a mono green deck, so all green. Usually I guess I would prefer green. I like mid-ranged decks, with creatures on the board interacting with each other, for those of you who understand what that sentence means. So therefore green is my go-to. Although I will say, the one Magic deck I had the most fond memories of is there was a particular meta years and years ago at my Friday night Magic game store where there were a couple of decks. There was a blue-white control deck and then there was a creature deck and then there was just everything else, so it was kind of a rock paper scissors thing. I was getting sick of the meta and it was the last week and the new set was gonna come out, so I made my own deck that was 100 percent nothing but burn spells so it was just spells that did damage. It was red-black and that was all that was in the deck. It would beat the creature deck 100 percent of the time. Every single card in the deck was removal for creatures. It could not possibly beat the control deck ever. When I played against one deck I just surrendered, and when I played against the other one I made them hate themselves. That was the deck I made myself and I was very proud of it and it was really funny. Someone called it the Blackflame deck, that's very accurate.

Jan to Jun 2020 ()
#18 Copy

Belgriest

There's nothing I enjoy more than a series sometimes taking a break to do something fun, or quirky, or clearly "this is for the fans."

It's gotta be measured though. You can't have this sort of thing last a third of the book. I think you're in the extreme, Will. For you, such a moment would be one scene and you'd think about cutting it, while I think for most of us a chapter or two or that would be fine.

I could use a literary example but did you ever watch Naruto? There's a filler episode early on when the gang try to discover what's under Kakashi's mask. Though it certainly didn't drive the plot forward, that was a great episode.

Obviously for you it'd have to have some kind of plot relevance and I think that's fine, but a little "willservice" wouldn't go amiss 8 books in.

Will Wight

I think that’s a great analogy!

Similarly, in One Piece (the manga, not the anime) after each arc they usually visit one random island and go on a standard adventure that only lasts 1-2 chapters and has nothing to do with the plot.

I like those. We get to see the sorts of antics they get up to in their downtime without slowing down a real story arc.

Dreadgod Release Stream ()
#19 Copy

Tyler

Are you excited for the Thousand Year Blood War?

I hope he is referencing the Bleach arc of the same name. If he's asking me-there's a blood war coming and it's gonna last a thousand years, am I excited for it? No. In a literal sense I would not be excited for that. But if he's referencing the Bleach arc that's gonna be animated in October? Yes I am. Based on the trailer it is gonna be animated extremely well. I'm very excited and I love Bleach. Even though this actual arc in the manga was complete nonsense. But, hoping the anime can kind of patch that up and I'm looking forward to seeing it.