365 days of “terms of enlistment”.

One year ago today, I put TERMS OF ENLISTMENT up on the Kindle Store and Smashwords and announced its availability on my blog, just in case a few of you wanted to spend a handful of quarters on some new Space Kablooie reading material for your Kindles and Nooks and what-not. And then things kind of took off from there. What a wild and crazy year it has been.

To recap, I self-published TERMS in March of 2013. It sold an amazing number of copies in March, and then a downright crazy number of copies in April. I was offered representation by a killer agent in April (the awesome Evan Gregory with the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, who is not actually a killer AS FAR AS I KNOW), and then signed a two-book deal with 47North for both TERMS and its sequel, LINES OF DEPARTURE. The rest of the year kept me busy with finishing LINES, editing both novels to hammer them into their final shape as 47North books, attending Readercon in July, and reveling in the marvelousness of this new “full-time writing for a living” business.

Turns out 2014 won’t be any less busy. I’m at work on the third book in what is now the “Frontlines” military SF series, and I may be able to share some more news about that soon. Once I am finished with that novel, I’m planning to serve up a new novella in the Frontlines universe for the summer.

If there’s one negative in all this huge pile of awesomeness, it’s that I had to ditch my favored writing method of longhand first drafts for Novel #3. I have an insanely close deadline, and that mean I simply have no time to handwrite and then transcribe. Instead, everything goes straight into Google Docs as soon as I type it.

Twelve months—how radically things can change in the span of just a year sometimes. I feel extremely lucky that I can spend my days making up stuff for a living, and actually manage to fill the fridge and pay the bills with that. Even among writers, that’s a rare privilege.

20 thoughts on “365 days of “terms of enlistment”.

  1. Living the dream, my friend! I hope to be there with you, soon! (figuratively speaking)

    – My best to the munchkins…

  2. Hi Marko, Yup, got the dead tree version and couldn’t put it down. Now I must order the dead tree of your “lines” and so on and so forth. You and Larry are good for my relaxation. Just wish the dead tree versions came out a little quicker.

  3. You are just getting started, imagine what the future holds. Your books are great reading and great fun. If you ever make your way to Texas let us know a book signing/pachanga at Mi Tierra in SA would rock!!

  4. Congratulations, Marko, it’s always great to see person succeed in their chosen field. One thing, though … can you please define “insane” in numerical terms? As a self-published author who has sold exactly 60 books in 15 months, I am fascinated as to your numbers. Are they, for example 30,000? Enquiring minds and all that …

    • Also, formatting ate my question. It was supposed to read, “greater than 25,000? Less than 30,000? using the accepted greater than/less than symbol. Like I say, just a ballpark.

      • I’m hesitant to share numbers as they relate to 47North editions, but I can tell you that in the two months when it was a self-published book, TERMS sold about as many copies as the first figure you quoted.

  5. I was pleased and surprised when T of E came up as a “daily deal” on my kindle today. I just kept smiling and thinking “hey I know that guy!”how awesome, I’m very happy for your success.
    -Mrs doubletrouble

    • I saw that deal too, Mrs. Doubletrouble.

      Business question: When your book goes up for cheap on Amazon is that you getting less for the sale, or Amazon taking from their cut?

      I’m glad to pay full price as I finished what you’ve written a while ago, and can’t wait to read the next installment!


    You deserve it. These are fine books. Keep writing. One day I’m sure you’ll have the time to go back to longhand. You’ll just finish a manuscript and hand it off to a minion who will carry it off on a silver platter.

  7. Like what I have read so far. I am curious now that we know how to kill the enemy how that will work out. Glad you are succeeding beyond your wildest dreams.

  8. Yeah, well, I was reading it last night and got engrossed with the Battle of Detroit. Next thing I knew was that it was 2300 and I had to get up at 0530 this morning.

    Been a long time since a book captured my attention like that.

    I play around with writing, but I’m a rank amateur in comparison.

    Good work. I’m looking forward to the next one.

  9. I just wanted to thank you for writing this series. I am current deployed and your writing has been a great way to escape. Please keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more of your work(s).