During 2021, as I wrote the Dreamwaker Saga, I kept my reader group updated on my progress. I let them in on little details about the story, the characters, and the pop culture. The story takes place in 1986 so there is a lot of 1970s and 1980s musical references.
I also gave them a running total of my word count. In January 2022, with my Dreamwaker Saga about 80% complete, I stopped the word count updates and opened a word count contest to guess the combined word count of the entire three-book saga. Members of my reader group were the only ones able to make guesses. The winner would receive a signed copy of all three paperbacks. I ran the contest until July 31, 2022, the launch date of Lucid Bodies.
I was humbled by the huge response and thankful I didn't have to choose the winner myself. I let math and a spreadsheet do the heavy lifting for me.
All told, the first draft of the Dreamwaker Saga represented 301,949 words in total across the three books. I'm still amazed that I was able to write that many words in a year. The pandemic focused me.
Guesses ran the gamut, from the lowest of 2,222 (which I think must have been a joke), to the highest of 842,455 (I can only IMAGINE writing that much in a year!) But the top three guesses were so close that I decided last minute to offer two runner-up prizes of a signed book one.
Above, you'll see the three paperbacks signed and ready to be mailed. I posted about it on my Facebook page.
If you would like to take part in future fun stuff, please sign up to my reader group.