At the beginning of August I decided that I would no longer sit on the large number of unpublished manuscripts that have accumulated on my hard-drive over the years. As any reader of my blog might note, I have been focused on my career as a video streaming tech entrepreneur for the last six years of my life. I have been of the opinion that it would be best for me to focus on getting Zenither up and running so that I would control a means of distribution of original content, and so could best advertise the creative projects I dream up.
This, unfortunately, has not turned out as well as I had hoped. Zenither has been stuck at a standstill for lack of funding and so I am facing the distinct possibility that it might have been wiser for me to have published the original content I was writing, so that my work might have fostered a community of readers and that might have helped raise more awareness of Zenither. It is entirely possible that it still wouldn’t have amounted to much, but it would have been better than nothing, I suppose.
I have also recognized that if something unexpected were to happen to me, then my unpublished work might go totally unknown and it would be as if I had never created it at all. A lot of my writing will have been forgotten as if it never existed at all when all of my websites come tumbling down off the internet. While my websites are self-sustaining financially and I have left documentation on how to access my web media portfolio in my will, the truth is I have no idea if my heirs will maintain the websites. That thought depresses me and it is something I think about every time I travel across country these days, especially while hauling a large travel trailer behind my truck on icy mountain roads
And so, in the absence of being able to move forward with Zenither, I have decided to revamp my publishing imprint Martell Books website and start releasing new books that will be easier to keep in print indefinitely for the heirs of my estate. So far I have released two titles,
- Pandemonia Chronicles: DAWN Special Edition is a re-release of the original isekai genre fantasy novel, now featuring 32 illustrations and with corrections of typos that existed in the first edition. It is available for $14.99 as a paperback or $2.99 for Kindle — or free, if you have an Amazon Prime account. The 6×9 paperback edition is 424 pages.
- The Book of Chivalric Humanism is a work of philosophy that I have written over the past few decades of my life. The book details the secular virtue based moral framework that I practice as an atheist. It is available for $19.99 as a paperback or $00.99 for Kindle. The 6×9 paperback edition is 396 pages. A free version of the book is also available for download on the Chivalric Humanism website.
I am presently debating what the next project to release will be. I have several Creep World series novellas that could be released after some proof-reading, so it will likely be one of those. I also have several additional non-fiction manuscripts I could complete and release. I would greatly like to release a revised and expanded edition of my Encyclopedia of Legendary Artifacts as well.
Another project I am working on is a book that I am thinking of titling, The Millennial Gentleman’s Handbook: A Young Man’s Guide to a Life of Prosperity and Fortune. This book is an expansion of the MillennialGentleman.com blog I have been writing over the past year. The manuscript is currently around 66,300 words so it’s largely there, and I am expanding on it every now and then. The book is written as a boy’s etiquette book, written in the style of a mirror for princes. I am writing it because I am bothered by some of the advice that is being given by various gurus in the manosphere, which seems to be largely centered around dating advice, the quality of which may vary widely. What I think is really lacking is guidance for young men on how to navigate the highly competitive society that first world countries have become. I believe that forms of hedonism and moral relativism are misleading generations of men into making bad choices in life. This is one of the themes I touch upon in The Book of Chivalric Humanism but The Millennial Gentleman’s Handbook is meant to be more of a practical life advice guide than necessarily a book of philosophy. At any rate I am resolved to complete it before the end of the year. I am also of the mind that a companion book for girls should be written too, although I think it would be wise to find a female writing partner to work on that project. I shall have to search one out after I publish the first.
Aside from this, I have a number of other unpublished creative works. Years ago I had a webcomic called Deathfist Ninja GKaiser, which I sought to revive as a web TV series but could not secure the funding. I had the script for the first episode illustrated into a comic book format to make it easier to promote while fundraising, but as you may expect the effort was not fruitful. I am considering publishing the comic as a standalone work since the artwork is done and it’s just sort of sitting there on my hard-drive. There are really not enough pages of the first issue to constitute a graphic novel, which is apparently the only format I can self-publish on Amazon Kdp as it does not have an option for comic books. There are other services I can use to publish the comic on but I’m not particularly interested in managing a bunch of special accounts for publishing across the internet…..so I might hold off on releasing the comic until I commission several more of the episode scripts, and then collect them all into a single graphic novel volume. I’m still thinking it over.
I also have a project that has been burning in my mind for years. Dargon Quest is a videogame project that I completed but did not release publicly because I really didn’t like the quality of it. I ran a crowdfunding campaign for some completion funds (artwork) years ago, but only released the game as a download for backers. Unfortunately I over-promised on the game as it was built in an earlier version of RPG Maker and when the new version, MV was announced the publisher of the tool claimed that MV would allow you to port your game to mobile devices easily and list it on the app stores. I ported the game over to MV but the promise to be able to make mobile games with it turned out to be a complete and utter lie, as the games made using MV run like crap on mobile and are too large to upload to the app stores.
So, the Dargon Quest game was never released for mobile devices for this reason, and this has always bothered me. So, pre-covid-19 lockdowns I hired a professional developer to completely reprogram the entire game from scratch and commissioned brand new artwork for a 3D remake, but the project went over-budget. Then the covid-19 lockdowns caused me to need to circle the wagons financially and I had to kill the project. So now I have all these assets and no finished game to release.
Having said all of this, I am seriously considering releasing the original RPG Maker MV version onto Steam for download at like $0.99 or whatever the absolute lowest price to list a game on Steam is, just so that people can experience the game. If I decide to do it, I will release the game before the end of the year or the start of next year.
Also on the subject of games, I am considering releasing the tabletop roleplaying game system Radiant Fantasia, which I developed while writing Pandemonia Chronicles: DAWN. I had a website in the past where I released an alpha playtest build of the rules and it didn’t attract much attention, but now that the isekai genre has become so popular outside of Japan, maybe it’ll catch some interest. The main obstacle to releasing the game is the amount of artwork that needs to be created for the monster / npc book, as I do have the artwork for the player handbook already. Artwork for the Radiant Fantasia game was actually re-purposed for the Dargon Quest video game, so I do have a lot of it, just not enough at present. Lately, I have been considering re-purposing some of the artwork for publishing coloring books, as those seem to be a very popular category on Amazon these days, so perhaps I can justify the expense of commissioning additional artwork for Radiant Fantasia‘s monster manual by also using the illustrations to release fantasy monster coloring books, or something. It’s probably something I am going to do, as I have very little confidence that a tabletop game from an unknown publisher such as myself is going to be very profitable. I’m doing it mostly because it’s something I spent a lot of time on and I want other people to be able to experience it.
I suppose it’s vanity publishing to release a game that you think nobody will buy and I am fine with that.
That’s pretty much it. I have some non-fiction manuscripts about topics ranging from my theories on game design to advice for building a tech company, and so on, but most of these are not in a state that is ready for publication. I add to them periodically as I think up sections for them, but they aren’t publishable yet.
If anyone is reading this, thanks for doing so. I hope you enjoy some of the work I have made.