Monday, August 31, 2015

*sigh* Looks Like Lost Souls is a flop. Edit (Maybe not?)

Well, apparently no one likes 'Lost Souls', while I did get a few positive emails, I haven't gotten a single review on Amazon. So sales, which started off okay, have dropped significantly. It's still getting some reads in KU, but again, with no reviews after a week, people aren't going to give it a shot.

I might finish the next book I wrote for that 'world' as it is already half done, remember I wrote these mostly for myself, for fun, but it's on the back burner now, so it'll be a while. My beta readers all thought it was a great story and would do well, but I guess not. I wonder if I should just pull it and release it under a pen name? Maybe people don't expect that kind of story from me?

I don't know, but if it doesn't pick up a lot of reviews by Tuesday, and if sales don't come up, it's dead.

But this shows how important reviews are, if you like a book, and you don't review it, don't expect the author to write another one like it. Because reviews sell books, and without reviews, we won't write those stories

Edit: Apparently the KU borrows on it (which I normally don't pay attention to, because under the old system those weren't worth much to me) are continuing to go up. So while I may not get many sales, I may get borrows. Strange, never had more borrows on a book than sales, but this is getting about 10 times as many. So it may NOT be a flop after all.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wow, this is a first

If Amazon pays out the same for the KU program as they did last month (about a half penny per page read), I will possibly make more money from page reads than from actual sales!

That has never happened before. The old system favored short stories, so of course it quickly got scammed by a lot of people, and folks like me, who write novels were getting screwed (along with Amazon - who did something before us novel writers all left). Now all the scammers/gamers are screaming about it being 'unfair', and suddenly people who write books that people actually read all the way through are making money.

I have never written my books to try and game the KU system, I just try to write things that people will read and enjoy. My target has always been books sold, not KU borrows. And for the first time I'm getting almost as much money for a KU borrow, as for a sale.

This is a very pleasant surprise.

Just what's been going on...

I've been busy this week with a few things. A lot of it has been centered around the new book 'Lost Souls', I've been doing some promoting of it, as well as converting it to paperback. I need to do book 5 of POI, which is the latest, I may do that this weekend.

I've also been dealing with some issues on the new book, which as usual is still untitled. One day I'll be better about titles, I'm sure. This will be the first book that deals with William's sister Nikki in the POI universe. There are going to be some changes going forward, either with the book six in the series, or the book afterward. To you, the reader, hopefully you won't really see anything different, but I want to restructure a few things so that people can pick up any future book in the series, and read it without having to go back to book one, unless they want to.

Now, there will be some books that are a bit more tightly linked of course, so you may have to go back one book, but I want to make it easier on those people who are new to the stories. The difficult part of this will be in titling the books. I think I'll have to add a list of the books in chronological order in the flyleaf, or after the copyright page once I start doing that, so people will know where they are in the series chronologically.

Also, as I write books about other characters in this universe, I'll need a way to communicate timeline order, not just when they were written, but when they take place. The current book I'm working on actually starts at the halfway point of POI book 3, and there is some crossover. But not much. And that's only because I have the start of Nikki's story, which we saw a little of in book 3 of POI.

As for writing Nikki, she's going to be a lot more of a tomboy than other female characters I've written before, so it will be a little bit tricky to try and get the right mix of feminine and more 'butch' like behavior. I'm am modeling her after someone (and I will never say who!) that I think captures that kind of behavior. (Well, actually two someones).

I'm also going to redo my main website, sometime in the next week or two, and I'll be putting up some primitive maps of the two main worlds in POI, I really need a simple wysiwyg html editor, I'm tired of coding html in vi. I may just do it in word (because I own a copy of word), yeah I know it's full of bloat, but it's easy. And all the 'free' wysiwyg html editors I've seen to date are complete pains in the butt to use.

So, that's it for tonight, and if you haven't checked it out, please check out a few pages in Lost Souls and let me know what you think here. It's a lot different than the POI series, and yeah, a bit of a romance in some aspects. I grew up in a day and age where writers diverged all over the map, and I'd like to do the same occasionally. Keeps things fresh.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lost Souls Print version now available

For those of you who may be interested, the print version is now available!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lost Souls is now available on Amazon!

My latest novel, Lost Souls, is now available on Amazon at:

Please check it out! No, it's not a Portals of Infinity story, this is more of a high fantasy type tale, in a world full of mythical beings and creatures, like Elves, and Dwarves, and Shreans.

Wait? What are Shreans you ask? Well, maybe you should read the book! :-)
Or at least check out the free sample!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lost Souls, Cover is done

Well, here is the cover for the new book, Lost Souls. The text is still out at the editor, so I can't commit to a publishing date other than 'soon'.

This is a new story and a new Genre for me, as this is a YA Fantasy, an it introduces the Shrean race. As I've mentioned before, I have a few of these stories that I wrote more for my own pleasure than anyone else's, but when they came up in conversation, a few folks asked to see them, and they liked them, so here they are.

I'm not sure when the next one of these will come out, but this one is a standalone. The next one is about totally different characters and is even more YA than this one, as the characters in it are teenagers, but it is the same fantasy world, just a different place in it.

I just hope people like it as much as my niece did!


Oh, the cover:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I hate reviews, by people who don't read the book (or just skimmed)

That, or they either have no reading comprehension, or no memory. I was just reading a review of book one in the POI series and it says 'he decides to become a warrior, and just does it, but without any training'.

Umm, William spends over a year in training, it's mentioned in the book, plus he was studying martial arts for years before the book starts. Which is also mentioned in the book.
It specifically calls out when he starts to study fighting with the staff, when he hires a man to teach him sword fighting, and when he joins a sword fighting display team (and if you think that won't teach you sword fighting, talk to the folks who do it).

I find it weird that people will write a review of a book that they just skimmed, and then claim parts of it that were there, weren't.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My First Novel - How it came about

Someone posted a link to this Living Color song yesterday:
Type -

Actually, two people did. It was in response to someone's post, I think it was on FaceBook, but it might have been on one of the writer's blogs that I follow. I tried to find where it was this morning, but couldn't.

I had to go watch it of course, I haven't seen that video in a very long time, and except for on my own stereo, that song hasn't been played on a radio in an even longer time. For some reason the song 'Cult of Personality', which is not as good, or as deep IMHO, eclipsed 'Type' which was the early hit from the album.

Now this song means a lot to me, for numerous reasons, you see, it was the inspiration for my first novel: Children of Steel. In fact, after hearing the song only a couple of times, I sat down and wrote Children of Steel​, or rather started it. The first draft took me close to a year, and it was re-written several times over the years, and a few things added. If you listen to the song, really listen, you might understand some of the underlying themes and ideas of the book (and that 'universe'), which even the folks on 'my' page at TV Tropes, completely missed. The song really does have a lot to do with the novel, even the music video (which I only saw once back then) had some impact on the story.

That also gives you an idea of how old that novel really is (First draft - 1990). I couldn't sell it, and I tried, so I just gave up on selling on it, and sat on it, for twenty-one years, until I published it as an ebook in 2011 on Amazon. I was both happy and surprised that it sold, as well as by the reviews I got being mostly positive.  So while it may have taken me twenty years, that song is a big part of what launched my writing career. I wrote quite a few short stories and a few other novels before I got published in 2011. I discovered 'furry fandom' in the 90s, something I had no idea even existed, and started writing for one of the bigger fanzines in it, under both my real name, and a pen name.

I would like to take a moment to give my thanks to Gerald Perkins, one of the editors at Yarf! who helped me when I was getting started. I have received almost zero help in my writing career, my sister is probably the only person who has read everything I've written, prior to it being published, and my former gf Lisanne also gave me some pointers on one of the short stories I wrote (odds are if you've read my anthro stories, you've read all of her novels, she's way more famous than me). But Gerald is really the only person that ever made a serious contribution to my actual writing abilities, he taught me a lot, and did it quickly and painlessly. I wish he was still around, because I would love to thank him once again for his help. He helped me a lot with the actual mechanics of writing a story, things like 'sayisms' which are a lot more important than you might realize, as well as the actual mechanics of short stories.

The next biggest influence was probably Orson Scott Card, for his book 'How to write Science Fiction and Fantasy' (I loaned my copy out to someone who never returned it, no idea where it is now). Most of it was worth reading, but the section on the 'MICE' bit is what really helped me straighten out what my problem with writing novels was. I read that book in 1990, and I think I had my 'aha' moment around the same time the song Type captured my imagination, and off I went writing a huge five hundred plus page novel with no prior experience.

So, everything does come from somewhere, and now you know where Children of Steel came from.
Danger Money came from the album by the same name by the band U.K. If you liked that book, listen to that album sometime and you'll get some insights as to what's going on in the background as well.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Book review, for 'Off Leash'

So, I was talking with another author the other day about some sales stuff on a forum, and they put up the link to their book:

Off Leash (Freelance Familiars Book 1)

And I went and read the intro, and liked it, so I bought it. I then spent the next two days reading it in my spare time, and didn't put it down until just about an hour ago. I really liked the story, and not just because the protagonist finds himself turned in to cougar. The writing is very well done, and I found the story compelling. We have someone here who has really been having a very bad time of it for months now, and suddenly everything gets worse. On top of that familiars (of which he is now one) are pretty much treated like slaves, captured and then bought and sold. Something which he really wants no part of at all.

Add to this the circumstances of why he's now a familiar, his extreme stubbornness in the face of his new reality, and his finally growing a bit of a spine, the book and the story are captivating as you wonder if he'll hold to his morals, or not, and if he'll get what he wants (his freedom) or not. And of course, just what he's going to do in either case as he starts to learn more and more about the hidden world of magic that he's now a part of.

This is a really great book, and a great story. I loved it, I think you should all take a look at it as well.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Well that has to be the fastest turnaround ever...

Amazon turned around the processing on Book Five in less than an hour! I'm impressed!

So here is the link to Book Five, the current price is $3.99 (US), I may raise it to 4.99 in two weeks, due to it's size (it's big) so buy it now!

Book Five of Portals of Infinity has been submitted to Amazon

Book Five: Demigods and Deities is currently in processing on Amazon.
So, sometime early tomorrow I should have a link for you, when it goes live.

Until then, here's the cover:

KU readers should have access not long afterwards, I just can't put it into KU until after it's published. Don't know why they don't give me that option at publishing time.