Will there be more Artifact Hunters?

Occasionally a reader asks if there will be another instalment and it is an incredibly difficult question for me to answer. I love these characters and they have long, convoluted adventures in my head that I wish I could continue putting on paper. I love that readers care as much about Cara and Nate as I do. I wish I could have you all live in my basement and feed you continuing adventures. But apparently that’s not legal.

As hard as it is to say, the answer has to be “NO” and it’s not because I don’t want to or because I’ve run out of ideas. The answer is because of simple economics. While it seems cold and callous to discuss money, but there are two simple truths when it comes to books…

Writing is an art.

Publishing is a business.

Here’s the dirty fact I have to work around – it costs money to publish a book. At a minimum there is cover art and
editing, and maybe paperback formatting. Now since I don’t have a publisher behind me to pick up those costs and since I’m not independently wealthy (publishing is my part time job), I need to count my pennies and a book has to (at a minimum) earn back what it cost to produce. Let’s not even consider a little something for the months it took me to write the book. I do that for free. Imagine if your boss said: “hey, not only am I not going to pay you any more, I expect you to chip in for electricity, your computer and the space you occupy.” Let’s be honest, how long would you keep working, if you had to do it for nothing?

The publishing business is crowded, there is a downward pressure on book prices and unfortunately, some readers expect more for less. I’ve had emails complaining about a 99 cent book and asking for a free copy. And don’t even get me started on people who buy a book, load it to pirate sites and then return for a refund. Interesting factoid, did you know that on a 99 cent book, Amazon takes 70% and the author gets 29.7 cents, less tax. On a lower priced book an author has to move a significant quantity just to make a modest amount of money to put toward their costs. Now this probably all comes across as griping and it’s not intended that way. I love being a writer and that will always be a part of me regardless of what happens. I’m just trying to explain the cold hard facts that go into deciding whether to continue a series or not.

The reality is that while I could continue the Artifact Hunters, I would be losing money to do so. Same with the Serenity House series and Obsidian Eyes, the numbers simply don’t make more books viable. Now there are a number of things that could happen:

  • I find sufficient new readers to boost sales and allow the series to continue. I have tried. I have advertised but it’s not picking up enough new readers.
  • I win the lottery and carry on writing without worrying about cost. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’ll keep buying a ticket! 🙂
  • I figure out why people either don’t pick up book 1 or why they don’t carry on to book 2. I am trying to figure that one out, but no solutions are leaping out at me and even if I pinpoint the problem, it would probably mean a fundamental re-write.
  • I stop publishing altogether, return to an accounting job and maybe at some point in the future if I have sufficient funds set aside, I could continue those series.
  • I move on and try something new.

Now I’m not saying there will never be another book in either the Artifact Hunters, Serenity House, or Obsidian Eyes because I don’t know what is around the corner. If I am fortunate enough to be in the position where money isn’t a factor, then YES, I will return to those characters. But while I need to earn a part time income from my writing, I need to keep an eye on the bottom line. That means making some tough choices.

I’ve chosen to move on and try a new series, a slightly different genre and hopefully widen my reach and number of readers. Long term, that might allow me to continue much loved books. I don’t know, sometimes you just have to step onto a new path and see where it goes, I hope you will join me on a new journey.

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10 Comments on "Will there be more Artifact Hunters?"

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M R
Guest

This is so sad. I’ve love this series and its characters. I really appreciate the explanation, depressing as it is. Some people are simply reprehensible. Complaining about paying 99 cents for a great read is unbelievable, as is basically stealing your stuff! I suppose there will always be deadbeats. Don’t even get me started on some publishing practices (I’m a librarian). I do hope things pick up. But please, please, please don’t return to that accounting job! You’re far too talented a writer for that.

Dolores M
Guest

Just finished the fourth book and disappointed but understand realty. I am 84 and hope in the not dtoo distant future things will lookup. I will try one of your other series!

Bonnie T
Guest

This is sad. I especially was hoping for more of Obsidian Eyes I love the quiet romance of it. While I am positive you have researched a lot on self publishing. Lindsey Buroker wrote an interesting post on what she discovered self publishing here: http://lindsayburoker.com/amazon-kindle-sales/my-self-publishing-thoughts-after-50000-ebook-sales/
and it might be interesting to read. It is such a cut throat business out there now that self publishing is “easier” but hoping beyond hope that things turn out the best for you to see a return of some of my favorite characters of yours.

Bob Z
Guest

I’m sorry that circumstances have led to the end of this series. I hope things change so that you can at least keep writing if not return to this series at some point.

Yvonne Carder
Guest
Ms. Exley, I’m saddened to read this, but I totally understand the economics. I discovered your first novel back in November on Book Bub, fell in love with this series and bought up the others as I devoured the books. I really appreciate your writing and am looking forward to checking out your other series as well. As a fellow writer, I am very new to the industry and learning as much as I can. If you haven’t found The Creative Penn yet, I highly recommend it as Joanna Penn has become my mentor on the publishing industry. She talks… Read more »
Shelley
Guest

This is so sad. I just discovered this series and absolutely fell in love with it. The characters are strong but passionate. I read your entire series in a matter of four days. And now I’m left with so many unresolved questions….the pregnancy, Liking and Nate!, what’s in the box, etc.. So many unresolved questions that leave me unsettled, I feel as though I’ve opened a Christmas present, but I am not allowed to play with it.

amber
Guest

I found this series by chance looking for something new and different to read. I love your characters and am sad to read that for the forsee able future there will be no more. I wish you luck on your continued journey as a fabulous writer and hope that down the road you are able to revisit this series.

Penny H
Guest

I understand your explanation but just wanted to say I loved your artifact hunter books – I really cared what happened to the characters. I hope you continue to write – you have a lovely talent.

Christine
Guest

Ms. Exley,
I bought book one of the Artifact Hunters in paperback a few weeks ago on Amazon. After finishing it, I bought the next three books in the series. I read a lot and have a difficult time finding new, unique stories to read.
I hope a New York publisher picks you up. (They would be crazy not to) so I may enjoy Book 5. I really enjoy your voice.
With Kind Regards,
Christine

AnitaE
Admin

Thank you so much! I can only hope a big publisher shows any interest. I have an idea for book 5 and I might burst if I don’t find a way to write it ;)

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