Monday, November 10, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Book 3 will only be available on Amazon for now, and I will be limited the other books in the series (Books 1 and 2) to Amazon for the foreseeable future as well. There are several reasons for this, but primarily 99 percent of my readers are on Amazon, and it makes things a lot easier (and cheaper) to only have to maintain in one place for now.
Thanks to all of you.
Edit: The new book is up sooner than I expected, here's the link:
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Hopefully we'll have the audio version available well before Thanksgiving. As this is my first foray into the world of Audiobooks, I have no idea how long the process takes, once the narrative part is done. But Rob assured me it will be out before the holiday.
He really is very talented. Hope I can get him to do the next book as well!
But if I go exclusive to Amazon I can get into some of the unlimited programs, which may help garner more sales. Which is the name of the game after all.
Monday, October 20, 2014
But I really don't have any idea where the hell they came up with that idea. To be honest I think that they didn't read the book at all, or if they did, they read some of the book, and then tossed it and wrote their review. But I've seen this before, and I often wonder if they even really bought the book, or if they did buy it, if they just returned it (so they never really paid for it, but still get the tag saying they did) so they could just write a nasty review that has very little relation to the story.
I used to always give the 5 star reviews a bit of a careful view, because you'd wonder if friends or family wrote them. But these days, I'm starting to wonder about the negative reviews, because I'm starting to see negative reviews on books that have very little relationship to the story. They'll take an aspect of the story, slag it, and then claim that's going on throughout the book. Maybe it's just the latest form of trolling?
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I'm sorry it wasn't available already, but taking the Oregon job pushed the book's completion back a good ten days. I don't have a release date on book four yet, but rest assured that there will be one.
Friday, October 03, 2014
Which do you prefer in a story?
a) 1st Person
b) 3rd Person
c) Doesn't matter.
I ask because while most of my stuff is 1st person, some of the stuff I'm looking at in the future maybe be 3rd person. And I was curious as to how my readers feel about that.
Friday, September 26, 2014
I'm not sure yet how much about the story I want to reveal at this point, though a fair deal will take place on Saladin. Yes there are quite a few hanging threads left from book 2 that will eventually be dealt with, but I won't tell you exactly when. I do think a fair deal of them should be tied up by book 4. In general the overall arc is set, it just comes down to how many words it takes to get through certain story lines in the books.
The gap between book 3 and book 4 will be a larger one, mainly because of the Holidays and some traveling that I will have to do during that period, as well as wanting to spend some time with my family. I've been getting a few requests for another book in the Children of Steel universe, and there already is a bit of plot development sitting around. So I may do that up before book 4 of Portals Of Infinity comes out. But I don't think it will be too long a wait, right now I think March is the latest that book 4 will come out. Half of book 4 is already plotted out, I just need to commit it to paper.
And as I said in the headline, I still need a title for book 3. Sometimes titles are elusive for me and I need to finish the story before I can find it.
Paperback version of book 2 should be available in a little over a week.
The Audio Book version of book one should come out in November, and if the response is good book two will follow that.
And as always, thanks to all of you for buying and reading my stories.
Monday, September 15, 2014
When I'm not laughing out loud at some of the better comments that is :-)
Now I will admit that there are parts of the story that are a bit involved and have some back story to them. Some might be a bit harder than others to decipher because I took the explanation of those things out, either because I thought it wasn't important, or some other reason. Though I did leave the hints about them in. I did see one person ask about why Will was chosen, and how that should have been made clearer, and that there should have been a lot more about that process and how maybe someone better than Will should (or could?) have been chosen.
From the author point of view (hey! that's me!) I wanted Will to be only slightly above average, and that comes from him having gone to college and gotten a degree. I wasn't looking for the bad ass special forces guy who can over power you with the strength of his scowl, or the super martial artist ninja type who can devastate whole towns with his amazing triganjinsuperspinjumpstrikekick, or even the super intellectual who not only knows all the answers, but drives around in a big blue box.
Getting more to the point, it is made clear (well at least I thought it was clear!) in several spots that the ability to jump through portals is rare, very rare, and perhaps inherited? Also at one point in Book One it is mentioned that he was run through a number of 'tests' before being 'chosen' for the particular job he ends up with. And that at least two previous people who were also tested didn't fair very well. Now as to what those tests were, I actually have a list of all the tests he was subjected to throughout the course of the story, there are nine of them. I won't post them here because I think they contain a bit too many spoilers for both present and future books in the series, however I suspect that one day they most likely will come up.
Remember what Stephanie says to Will near the end of Book One when they're out of earshot of their respective bosses. The Job isn't about being the best person, it's about being the right person.
As for some of the other comments, I guess some people have never been young and in love (or middle aged and in love!) maybe I come from a different generation (or world perhaps? Maybe that was a portal I fell through that day... hmmm) but there are many fun little games one plays with one's lover, they used to call it 'slap and tickle', and if after twenty years you're still playing it, obviously you picked the right person. Of course these little PDA's are different for everyone, people are of course all different and some are more physically demonstrative than others.
But pinching is evil? Really? Guess I was out when that memo was sent around! I wonder if it's still evil if the girl is doing the pinching? Any women out there want to comment? I had some old girlfriends that loved to pinch if you weren't paying attention.
And of course let's not forget that the stories are fantasy and they're written about a man, so yes, we see things from the man's point of view. Something which I feel has become rather rare in recent years. Not that I'm finding fault with the writers who primarily write female protagonists, I like a lot of those writers and their stories too. Why? Because they're fun! They entertain me! They entertain the reader! And that is my goal here as well, to entertain.
My hero isn't perfect and never will be. He sometimes may do bad things or the wrong thing. He will make mistakes probably as well. If he feels those he loves and cares about are threatened he may even get mean and nasty. The laws, customs, and practices in different realities and fantasy settings are not going to be the same as those here. Though perhaps if some people read a little history they might just realize that their complaint was pretty laughable on its face.
So yes, I'm not politically correct, and neither are my stories (though I do try to get those pesky typo's, honest!) My stories aren't meant to advance an agenda, they're meant to be enjoyed by the people who read them. That is my goal. Of course I'm not perfect either, but I do strive to stay on track and meet that prime goal of entertainment. If I can do that, if I can give people hours of entertainment, then I have accomplished the one thing that is important to me: I have made you smile.
Thanks for reading!
Friday, September 05, 2014
Book three is almost half way complete, I'd hoped to be past the halfway point today, but I ended up having to do author stuff other than writing. So I'll probably end up writing over the weekend to catch back up. Book three doesn't have a name yet (or a cover), and right now release is targeted for the end of October. I hope that's not being too ambitious!
Also, Book One is now available in print, from Createspace (https://www.createspace.com/4984522)
It will be be available through Amazon in a few days, it just takes a while for it to filter through the website.
Now it's back to work...
Thursday, August 21, 2014
However, I did make it into the top one hundred for 'Swords & Sorcery' the other day and stayed there for all of the evening, but sadly I fell out during the overnight. Guess not enough insomniacs bought my book.
But I remain hopeful, I've been seeing good sales spikes on the weekends, so I'm hoping I'll make it back into that category, and then who knows? Maybe I can try to make the top one hundred for Fantasy! THAT would be quite an achievement!
And to all of you that have bought my book, thank you! I do appreciate you taking the time to buy and read my work. For those who have taken the time to write a review, I appreciate that very much, as your words do let others know that my work is worth their time and money. The next book (The God Game) is almost ready to go, just need to format it. I got the cover last night and I'm happy with it, Dane at ebooklaunch.com has been very helpful and I like his work.
It will be released on the 10th of September.
Again, thank you all for your time, and I will be setting up a mailing list here very soon.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Well the new book is out! I got it released Sunday morning and so far have been very happy with the results. I had been waiting for the final version of the book cover, which due to an email problem was delayed a few days. Will have to make sure that doesn't happen again.
I know I should have written this post a bit sooner, like probably on the day I released the story, but this week has been pretty hectic. Actually the whole month has been pretty busy. I need to get my ebook artist working on the cover for book 2, which will be released on the tenth of next month, the day before I go off to the air races. I also need to sit down and start writing book 3! I've got it plotted, book 4 has a basic outline as well. My goal is to try and release around every 4 to 5 weeks, but I don't know how easy that schedule will be to keep up with. I suspect that by the time I hit book 4 I may have to slow down a little.
But for now, please read the book, and let me know how much you enjoyed it!
And as always, if you liked it, please please please rate and review it! Without ratings Amazon and the other booksellers will push it to the back of the bus, regardless of sales. Four and Five star ratings are key, and the more of those the book gets, the more Amazon will show it to people who are searching for something to read. Like it or not that is the way Amazon plays the game, and so I am forced to ask for your help. So please, if you liked it, rate it highly and say why (no spoilers!) and again, I thank you for your efforts!
Saturday, June 21, 2014
But I'm face with two problems: The first is that I have no idea what to put on the covers. The second is that I don't really have the money to hire someone to do a cover right now.
Now the second problem will soon be corrected, as I just took an assignment in Lost Wages for the next six or so months. However I'm still really at a loss on the cover angle. I do have a suggestion from one reader for the cover for book two, and I'll probably go with that. But I really need to figure out book one, then of course track down a cover artist to do the cover for me.
I'm hopeful at this point that the new book will be live by the end of July. The name of the series is: Portals Of Infinity. The title for Book I is 'Champion for Hire'.
I really need to figure out what I'm going to write next, but I've been sort of focused on the new assignment. However as I'm hoping to have a lot of free time on my hands in the evenings (I don't know anyone in Vegas and I'm not really the gambling type) I'm thinking I should put that to use writing.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
0.009 per word sure sounds cheap, doesn't it?
Well let's see, the current project is probably going to come in at about 120,000 words. 120,000 times 0.009 and we get $1080.00! That's right! A thousand dollars for a book that at most I can sell for $4.99 if I'm lucky. Well let's say I am lucky and it sells just fine at $4.99. Out of that 4.99 I get to keep about $3.50. So all I have to do is sell three hundred and eight copies and after that everything is profit!!!!
Now if you're a big seller and you sell over 1000 copies a week of each title you write, well then that might be money well spent. Except for the fact that if you are halfway decent at grammar, why bother? NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE GRAMMAR IN BOOKS ANYMORE!
I have read stories with Grammar on a 5th grade level and typo's everywhere, that were selling hundreds of copies a day and people were raving about them. Some of those books even came from major publishers. And let's be honest here, you want someone to pay you a thousand dollars to read their book and make editing markups on it? Editing, if you know how to do it is pretty damn easy. I really don't think it's a hundred dollar an hour job, (and that's assuming it takes you ten hours to read 120K words). Somehow I sort of doubt the editors at the major publishing houses get that kind of a rate. Then again they can probably suck down a 120K word book in half a day.
Now covers, yes I can see spending a lot of money on a cover, and I'm going to start getting a few covers redone and spend some cash on doing them. Because covers help sell your book, grammar these days however does not, as long as it's reasonably decent, no one cares. And if the story is really good? People will buy it no matter how bad the grammar.
So if you want to make good money? Become an editor and offer to edit books at a dollar a page, or even 50 cents a page. You will have authors beating a path to your door.
Monday, April 28, 2014
I spent last night compiling data from 2011 thru 2013 for all of my book sales. I have done several of the Amazon Kindle Select giveaways for a few of my titles over the years, at -best- a giveaway will not hurt your sales. However I see no data at all to suggest that giving away a book will help sales of that title, and quite a bit of data that seems to indicate that it will actually -hurt- your sales of that title.
Note that I am not talking about 'loss leaders', which for example would be the first book in a series sold cheaply or for free in order to entice readers to buy the rest of that series.
I also have noticed that in the majority of cases all titles sold the most number of copies in their first year of release. Only in two cases was the peak year the second year of release. It also is apparent that a new release does impact sales of already existing titles in a positive manner, so the old adage to 'keep writing' is a true one.
Every quarter I transpose all of my sales data for each title and sales channel to a spreadsheet, each year I start a new spreadsheet. It's a pain in the butt at times however it does help put things in perspective. My first year's sales were low, I didn't start publishing until April, and did not publish a lot of titles. My second year I saw my sales increase by a factor of ten, but I also published 12 titles that year, mostly novella's and two short story collections. While I published less in 2013 than 2012 I sustained my sales numbers for that year.
From a 'cost benefit' analysis, novellas and novelettes are the best bang for the buck, you can write them in a week (including editing), while a novel takes months to write and you can not sell it for all that much more than a novella/novelettes - say twice the price for ten times the work. I am giving a lot of thought to changing my approach on novels and writing them as a serial, releasing them in 10K to 12K segments. Current research by booksellers tends to indicate that 70 percent of readers -want- series type books.
What I have also found to be very interesting is that the majority of my readers have actually -left- amazon and moved to B&N or Kobo/Smashwords. Currently ~70 percent of my sales are on B&N, ~20 percent is Kobo/Smashwords, and Amazon accounts for only ~10 percent. This may be because I also write PNR novellas (under a pen name) and B&N has a bigger PNR audience after Amazon's 'erotica purge' which did drive quite a few PNR and Romance writers off of Amazon (and their readers by association), but that's another story.
I hope some may find this information to be useful.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Sometimes it's done for 'all the right reasons' or even reasons that 'sounded good at the time', but you the reader know its stupid. Sometimes some of the characters know it's stupid and will point it out (and usually one of the stupider or more self-righteous - I know, there isn't much of a diff there - characters will do it anyways), and occasionally sometimes everyone knows it's stupid, but they do it anyway for moral reasons.
I hate writing 'the stupid' because I'm not stupid and I don't like writing characters that are stupid. But you have to admit that writing the stupid is necessary, because so much of human nature and politics embrace the stupid (especially these days). So I'm always impressed when I'm reading an author and he writes the stupid in a way that makes me want to scream, but you can't too much because you kind of understand why some people won't do certain things. I'm impressed more when the stupid, while bad, isn't as bad as it could have been (and the author leaves little teases to make you think he just might go 'The Stupid squared'). I'm even more impressed when 'The Stupid' is brought in rather boldly, and obviously, and they're all kind of stuck with dealing with the consequences.
Then when you think they're going to bring 'The Stupid' back at the end of the book and do it again, they learn their lesson and make 'the hard choice', which of course is always the easy choice because it means you get to live, and keep on living. Freehold, of the Freehold series by Michael Z. Williamson was definitely one of those books. I enjoyed a lot, and right now it's free on the kindle. I'd say pick it up if you haven't already.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
I myself used to want to be a member, I even applied once. But you see I can't join. Because even though I have sold more books than over half of the members of SFWA, and made more money at writing than probably more than that, I'm not allowed to join. Because I write ebooks and self-publish them. So SFWA is really more like SFWAFPPBMPH (Science Fiction Writers Association For People Published By Major Publishing Houses), which means maybe half of the people selling SF&F are members. But I guess this is to be expected from an organization whose last president was a plagerist (I'm sorry, but his rewrite of H.Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy was plagiarism, you may put lipstick on that pig all you want, but it is still a pig), and which runs people out because of having politically incorrect beliefs, and who ran Jonathan Ross off of the awards ceremony, because people who will never win an award for anything were upset because in their fevered imaginations they believed they were going to not only win, but that they would then be mocked by him when they did. (sorry for the run on there, but I think you get the point).
And the vast majority of those complaining about all of this probably have less than one book in print, if even that.
And then there is the just pure stupid coming out of places like Tor, which if you are to criticize you are suddenly the worse person on earth. Check out Larry Correia, According to Hoyt, or the Mad Genius Club if you want to know more (and no I'm not giving links, use Google, I'm a lazy ass today). I had always thought that the purpose of SWFA was to support writers, help writers, and be like a trade union for writers - you know giving them access to things like health insurance plans and retirement plans, standing up to writers contract rights. I didn't know it was actually an old woman's garden club that spent all of it's time enforcing political beliefs and vilifying anyone who didn't toe the far left political line, as well as just a shill for the publishing houses (who have more control over SFWA than the writers do).
No wonder SciFi is going out of business, its biggest organization is trying to kill it!
As for me, well I'm still working on a new novel, the one I've been working on since the beginning of the year. I took a few weeks off to spin out a couple of cheap trashy romance novels because I need the money and women romance readers are rather generous with their money, so rather than insult them with politically correct diatribes and message stories I just give them what they want. And guess what? They appreciate the gesture enough to give me money.
I wonder if that's why the Romance industry is booming? Because it caters to the readers and not some 'gender neutral non-binary gender' bullshit? Gee, what a concept!
Still not sure what I'll write next after I finish this modern fantasy, part of me is thinking about writing another Romance novel, not just one of the little trashy fun pulp ones, because Romance readers are a more appreciative audience, and also because my sister just gave me a truly wicked idea about were-chihuahuas. I do worry that science fiction will get harder to write and sell because so many of the books winning Hugo's and being promoted as such are utter drek. The people who are writing the good stuff (like Larry C.) are almost creating their own category of literature because it's hard to look at what they write and then place it in the SF&F field, when so much of that field is going down hill. Hell I see more 'speculative fiction' in the Romance field these days than in all of SF&F, and that's just SAD.
But that's what happens when you let the perpetually offended rabid leftists who don't produce anything but shrillness into your organization. If I was a more motivated person I would start the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Guild. It would not EVER say ANYTHING about what the writers wrote, it probably wouldn't even give out awards. But what it would do would be the things that a guild is supposed to do: Use the strength in numbers that the membership gives it to get better medical plans, retirement plans, and legal advice about contracts to the membership. You know, the kinds of things writers can use.
But hey, that's crazy talk, right?
Sunday, January 26, 2014
So what does this mean for me? Well it means that when I finish the current novel (which is in an unrelated world and genre to the current ones), I'm only going to write sequels to 'The Hammer Commission', the Book currently in progress, or more stories in the 'Children of Steel' universe. The ones in the COS universe may not be serials at first, but you will see existing characters and there will be overlap, so technically those will fall into the 'serial' category, and apparently that is what people want.
I have yet -another- story in the works from yes -another- world, it's actually from the first world I ever created and is fantasy. It's also about half finished, but I'm going to shelve that for now. I may come back to it eventually and finish it, or maybe I'll just release the first half and turn it into a serial/series. Of course that would give me 4 simultaneous series going on, but if they were all selling that might be worthwhile. Hard to say. Then of course there is the PNR I write under a pen name. Most of that is sort of serial, but it's a side project that I only work on occasionally. But apparently some people want to see more of that...
So what I really need to do is develop the fortitude and discipline to write 8 hours a day. Then maybe I could keep up.