The Dark Earth, Volume 4 Is Here!

DE4coverWe are happy to announce the release of The Dark Earth, Volume 4! As is becoming our usual style, it contains both artwork and a side story. You may not know, but this release was slightly delayed — here’s why!————————–

Raythe sez…

I am sure that some of you will want to kill me after this confession, but let me tell you why you shouldn’t (or at least should consider putting those pitchforks down). The Dark Earth: Legacy Vol. 4 Yaoi Manga, which is now out and available for purchase (yay! Click HERE and get yours) was delayed because of me. Yes, me.

T. Wolv had the artwork done. Dan had already begun to convert the whole book to the all the e-versions, but everything had to wait for me. Specifically, for the short story called Two Paths in the Wood to be completed. I realized that the volume would not be complete without it and that the delay was worth the extra value to you, the buyers, as well as the wholeness of the storyline.

Let me give you a little background on why the short stories have been added to Volumes 2-4 (and all volumes as far as I am concerned that will come out) in the first place. On Amazon and other retailers there is a size limit to the files you may upload. Amazon allows the largest upload, but takes a hefty chunk of money for a “delivery fee” as well as their normal percentage from the cover price.

The other retailers won’t even allow you to upload books half the size of Amazon’s limit. So while we were able to just barely stuff Volume 1 under Amazon’s limit, it wouldn’t work with the other retailers. Those who buy from those retailers have to purchase volume 1 in two parts, which caused incredible confusion in those markets.

Further, we realized that from selling on Amazon, between trying to keep the cost of the book low enough for our buyers, Amazon’s delivery fee and Amazon’s normal percentage off the retail price, we were getting uhm … like hardly anything per book sold. We were almost giving it away. Basically all that work that T. Wolv and myself were putting into the manga was not paying us back at all. As you know, I split royalties with my artists after the costs are paid so half of almost nothing was … well, really nothing.

So what to do?

I made the decision to make the volumes smaller, lower the price, and put in a short story in every one. Text takes up hardly any space and wouldn’t increase the delivery fee too greatly and would allow us to put up books that were all consistent on all the sites. In the beginning, I thought of this ONLY as a way to increase value to the customers. I thought I would put in sexy asides, non-canonical stories, etc.

But it hasn’t ended up that way.

The short stories in Volumes 3 and 4 are canon and are hugely important. So important that I am worried that those who are not buying the manga aren’t getting the full story of The Dark Earth. I’m looking for a solution to this as the stories really fit beautifully with the manga, but not the novel (I edit the novel as I manuscript the mangas so things change).

These stories are what happen off the page of the main novel as they are told from Asher’s POV. The first mega-book of The Dark Earth series is all from Aidan’s POV. What I didn’t expect was how writing as Asher would change my whole understanding of the history between himself and various characters, enrich the fantasy world, and make Asher less of a beautiful hero and more into a flesh and blood … well, Dark Prince. It did the same thing for the other characters, too, and I intend that these stories in the future will do even more.

So that is why Legacy coming out a few weeks later than I had hoped. But I believe that the end result is really worth it and I hope you think so, too.

Thank you as always for your support of myself, T. Wolv and all the artists and people behind the scenes at Raythe Reign.

You can get Volume 4 of The Dark Earth from our shop here.

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