Tag Archives: self-publishing

Short story 4 is back from the editor!

The fourth short story in my upcoming dark fantasy is back from my editor, the merciless ogre and wielder of the blood pen!

Progress is good.

He excels at BJJ, so I must approach his revisions carefully, at the risk of my ancient joints and bones.

Once finished, that leaves eight remaining before we finalize the anthology for publishing. Updates will follow!

Thanks so much for everyone’s encouragement and asks about the anthology’s progress! I promise, we’re going as quick as we can, while adhering to some fairly demanding quality standards. (I cannot escape neck cranks. Therefore, I must rewrite). Being an Indie, limited resources means fluid timelines. Your patience is much appreciated!

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Crazy Fast Amazon Developments in Canada!

When I started out with Amazon’s KDP service, customer delivery was less than stellar. I had customers on the other side of Canada simply just not get their book because they weren’t home to receive it, and a wait time from click to doorstep of longer than three weeks.

Well, welcome to 2019!

Not only was I grateful to hear a reader had ordered both of my novels for Christmas (Merry Christmas!) on Thursday, but I was amazed when she told me it was delivered Saturday morning!

Seriously.

That’s a huge improvement.

To think that we’ve arrived at a time when the purchase click creates a printed book, ships it, delivers it into the customers hands, records and sends statistics on the sale directly to the author, and instantly deposits their advance, all in under 48 hours, is pretty mind-blowing, even for a jaded old get-off-my-lawner like myself.

Maybe this isn’t news to our American KDP comrades (and maybe even Canadian indies operating through KDP have already grown accustomed to this), but it sure is a rapid advancement in business efficiency for me.

Speaks well for the future of all indies. In a world where new creative product is, I feel, the biggest of future economies, making our products available faster for cheaper, and, I assume, catching us up to speed with the American ‘Zon market practices are the kind of assist we can all benefit from.

Speaking of cheaper, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that both paperbacks of To Drown in Sand and its sequel, To Drown in Ash, are on sale in time for the holidays, in case you’d fancy a copy.

Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment
Scoundrel. Saviour. Sniper..
Get your FREE copy today!

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HUGE News: Sand Audiobook underway!!

I’ve been keeping it under my hat for awhile now, and believe me, it’s been a struggle to keep my mouth shut. (A constant struggle at the best of times).

But I can finally announce that recording for the To Drown in Sand audiobook starts in two weeks!!

My friends over at Iron Wave Studios have announced that they are good to go and will begin production in less than 14 days!

The cast has been picked, the mics are hot, and the crew is ready!

Venturing into the audiobook field is a new world for both me and the Ironworks gang, so there’s lots to learn. I’ll keep all of you blog peeps updated as things unfold (read: catch fire and trip me up as I stumble my way through this new venture).

If you haven’t read it, To Drown in Sand is Book One of my trilogy about a man who goes to a war zone to find peace. His regiment is populated by people from all the different Atlantic Canadian cultures.

Since it’s military sci-fi, those places don’t exist anymore (the earth died; sorry), their accents and cultural nuances are what stand out in their dialogues, and would make for a challenge for any production team.

That, and the signature sound of a rail gun rifle. I am dying to hear THAT.

Almost as much as hearing the people in my head given voice. Surreal.

To Drown In Sand: Book One of the 10th Lunen Regiment Trilogy
Order your copy today! On sale for Christmas!

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‘Uncle’ Alan Moore : “Self-Publish!”

In what many feel is the brave new world of constantly evolving indie economies, several prophets are emerging that I believe are the heralds of change. Alan Moore is one of them. I came upon this article in which Moore rings the bell that tolls for so many of us. That we are early in an industrial revolution that provides the arts with unprecedented opportunity.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/alan-moore-advises-new-writers-to-self-publish-because-1743575906

He’s not wrong. Many of the old guard are breaking rank and pulling back the covers on traditional publishing practices, as I’ve written about here and especially here.

But think of it in terms of the discovery of the new world. Very few in old Europe had any idea what North America was like, or what those who dared venture there had to do, and who to learn from (as in, they all would have DIED without help from the peoples who already lived here and ACTUALLY ALREADY OWNED THE LAND, but I digress), in order to survive. Nor did they care; they had their own concerns.

And I’m not saying Big Publishing is wrong, or that marketed writers are bad. We’d be nowhere without them. Nor am I saying that, given the opportunity, I’d back away from the chance to publish traditionally.

I do feel, though, pretty strongly, that there are few better ways to learn about both writing and publishing and business than to have to build your own canoe and make your own maps…uh, the canoes being books, and the maps being publishing them. I must work on my metaphors.

Getting lost, failing, losing your tools, learning from those kind enough to help, starving…all of those classic, fun trials.

Persistence. Determination. Curiosity. Humility. Those things that keep people going.

Nevermind that if your work didn’t stand up to quality, your would die back then. Little has changed, figuratively speaking.

But what I am saying is that there is a place for all of us, enabled by digital economies and the tools at our disposal. And it is certainly worth knowing that the economies of empire, whatever wilderness your operating in, has its own troubles.

One would never make it far by comparing successes to conglomerates who have already succeeded. Where’s the growth in that?

So, thank you, Uncle Alan, for the encouraging words. I believe you, sir, are particularly clairvoyant in your insight. May very well be quoted someday with a simple shrug and a nod, as a matter of obvious history.




The Dog
A walk in the dark invites an inescapable terror.

A horror short story in the spirit of Cthulhuian nightmares.
Get your copy today for only $0.99 USD!

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Publishing Industry Nightmares.

In the ongoing discussion about whether indie publishing is tenable, or even a thing, a lot of ugly business emerges. Most of it is discovered after some careful digging through sites like J.A. Konrath‘s and others in the field who have exposed life in the publishing tower’s secrets. Every year, it seems more of Big Publishing’s practices are exposed, and more and more, they remind me of Big Oil and other “Bigs” who are desperately struggling to understand life in this digital age, and failing.

I strongly believe that we are just as immersed in a technological revolution, that has really just started, by the way, as society was during the Industrial Revolution. Fists are being banged onto desks refusing to acknowledge new ways. Furious millionaires are determined to choke every last dollar from dying industries and practices before they draw their last breath. Men who rose to power with typewriters and letters in the mail scoff at those who dare to publish without them, and do their level best to crush their progress.

Don’t believe me? Read through Konrath. or read this:

https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2017/09/an-insiders-view-of-publishing-business.html?fbclid=IwAR1ltemVunMfjPrdJFe4_nvoayR-bm-KzCNZcNhlHdjV2MoQ1Py5EGO7UWg&m=1

I’ve written in the past about developments in the publishing field in the midst of all this; I find it fascinating to study. I also continue to describe my own journey through and around the barrage that is modern publishing. Note that I do separate that from writing; I don’t believe the two are necessarily connected, and for most people, shouldn’t be. (Same as self-publishing and indie-publishing are not necessarily the same thing).

Erica Verillo‘s not wrong. The chaos she describes is pretty plain to see; just look at your average bookstore chain’s shelves over a year and you’ll see it too.

I firmly believe the future is micro-economic. Small, cottage producers of content that grow organically to be sniffed at by Big Industry, prompting the creators of that content to decide to sell their wares to the machine, or not. And new, pioneering companies like Engen who take their drive and dreams and carve out a chunk using the current technology and craft relationships with their local writers who would never get a chance elsewhere. That is the future, friends.

This is not a new concept. See Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu, and every other small project that eventually became a marketing powerhouse.

And how did they do that?

Quality.

It always starts with quality.

I’m not saying I’m one of those. But I am saying I’m writing to write, small and in the dark every morning, shaping my stories, grooming them for the world that technology has finally made possible.

I’ve gone from coil-ring notebook, longhand writing to typing on paper, to blogging with clickable links, to printed copies in my hand and my amazon store of published novels and short stories.

And we are just getting started. But the journey, the process of this evolution, is really fascinating and worthy of recording. I really do see it as one of the greatest advancements of the arts in generations.

There was nothing like this for H.P. Lovecraft, or Charles Dickens, or Stephen King. Imagine if there had been! I’ve discussed such in The Write Podcast.

Society is quickly growing exhausted of reboots, and throwaway conclusions of stories because the writers had more lucrative things to do, and the endless mining of old material. They are starving for fresh stories, new worlds, and original ideas. There has never been a better time to have an idea. Everything you need to present it is literally at your fingertips.

And that’s me talking; the darkest, most jaded person I know. So, you know,…possibly relevant.







Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment
Saviour. Sniper. Survivor.
Download the FREE story of one of The 10th Lunen Regiment’s most notorious characters today!


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“Okay, writahs! Novembah is here!”

NaNoWriMo is upon us! Now is the time to dive into that work you’ve been planning all year.

By gross income measures, all writers are probably bums.

I’m not the biggest NaNoWriMo’er. Intensive spurts are not my style. I’m more of a disciplinary, brick-on-the-wall-every- day sort of writer.

My view, every day, at 5 a.m. Yeh. Diagnosis imminent.

But I do love the blizzard of activity that hits the writing community every day-after-we-toss-the-costumes day, especially in the indie world.

In that spirit, I’ll be posting All The Memes to keep the bear poked. And I’ll be posting a host of playlists that hopefully will keep your fingers flying on the keyboard for hours on end. I find nothing eats time like a few hours of ambiance sounds tailored to your character’s environment.

(NEXT TIME: Sci-Fi Sounds and Scores!)




Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment by [Laybolt, B.C.]
Sniper. Scoundrel. Saviour.
Click on the image to get the FREE short story about one of the 10th Regiment’s most notorious characters!

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From Notebook to Word Doc

Sunday mornings are Note Transcription day. All the week’s thoughts, scenes, moments, and catchy dialogue bits have to go somewhere to be seeded and start germinating.

And my trusty old desktop (completely disconnected from the internet) is the perfect planter box.

All part of the manic scramble to catch my brain leaks. Sunday mornings used to be one of Emma’s favourite times, because the typing always lasted longer. She’s still with me. Just in a small jar.

#notmorbid. Remembered.

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Great News! KDP FINALLY reveals your historical sales!

Not sure if you noticed (the savvy among you probably have), but KDP quietly rolled out their new reports format!

I’ve wondered since I started with Kindle Direct Publishing why they could not plot out the master sales list for the titles Indies publish. Not only would it make for great nostalgia during those cold, isolated months of dead sales, and drive writers forward after seeing that, yes, there once was a day when you were knocking it out of the park (regardless of numbers; in this day and age, all readers are precious readers, in my opinion), but it’s important to be able to look back and see what you’ve accomplished in total.

At least, my accountant thinks it is.

Well, wonder no more!

screencap new archived database KDP

KDP’s new Historical Report gives you every single sale monthly since you started publishing, and every single KOLL page read. This enables you to accurately track total sales, identify trends, and total your copies sold and free titles distributed since the dawn of KDP-time.

The new format also sets up by sales period, and lists all royalties earned by country in total, which immediately gives you your best selling countries. The report still offers the month-to-date tables, but now provides a payments and pre-orders tab, all  in one header.

Slick, easy to use, and all in one place.

A huge development for Indie writers everywhere!

Stop looking at my short blue poles. I was busy writing.

Go check our your new KDP report page! What do you think of it?

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The Writer’s Madness (or, #ScrewSnowstorms).

Yesterday, we got whomped here in Nova Scotia with our first real winter storm this year.

In a classic moment of sheer lunacy, I broke one of my own rules yesterday: “Do NOT go out into the storm”.

But when you’re a writer, and your manuscripts are ready, it got me. Like one of my kids were stranded out there.

Luckily, I headed out into the snow before the worst hit, and made it to Staples (which is like heaven or Disneyland or church to me at this point, apparently) to pick up the last Edit Manuscripts for to Drown in Ash. During the drive I laughed at how my wife would script my obituary, should the worst happen.

manuscript-and-storm-chips

 

Even managed to drop of one of the copies off to Kalip of the Raised Eyebrow, one of my toughest Beta Readers, who clearly thought I was nuts to deliver a manuscript in a snowstorm. But his place was on my way home.

So, not nuts.

Now begins the copy review and edit meetings before sending it to my typist and beginning the cover work with my fabulous graphics guy, Dylan Edwards. After that, we submit, order the galley copy, final read, hit ‘publish’, and release.

What a difference between this process and what we went through for Ash’s predecessor, To Drown in Sand. It’s great to have a system. I love systems.

As payment for my sheer madness, my wife demanded I obtain Storm Chips, which are a real thing now. Especially when your husband is a Mad Writer.

Happy Shovel Day!

 

 

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Cthulhuian Canine Horror on Kobo!

I adore Kobo.

The interface is clean. Its links with Indigo are seamless, and the austerity of both the Indigo pages and the Writer’s Life sites are refreshingly anti-clutter.

Also, Kobo likes free stuff. They avoid the tendency to control what their writers do with the pricing of their products.

Downside? They take a bit longer to publish things. But, as I get older, I find that things that happen really, really fast are not always the best things.

 

kobo-the-dog-21

Therefore, I’m thrilled to announce that The Dog, my first cthulhuian short story (and the first of many more) is now live on Kobo. (The Dog went live on November 20th, on Kindle, too. If you’re a ‘Zonian and a fan of gothic horror, here’s the link).

And, as an added bonus for being a fan of That Other Ebook Reader, I’ve thrown in a surprise.

You’ll see it when you get there.

Hope you enjoy it! If you did, please leave a review!

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Of Very Busy Times and Such Things.

I’ve been a negligent Blog writer.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure whom I was writing to, until I checked my stats recently.

Wow. Peeps are reading stuff here.

Little surprises are the best ones.

So; quick update!

This happened:

 

Picture 1

 

It’s my first fantasy title. I just bought the cover from Dylan Edwards over at Rootwoodpress. Needed to get back to cobblestones and sword-blades for a break from the railguns, snarling madmen bent on Triumvirate destruction, and interstellar mists for a bit. Chew the mutton and gulp the mead, as it were. This will be the cover for a short story anthology that is currently underway. The first of which is right now being edited for final draft, and will be a freebie on Amazon and Kobo.

And how’s business, you ask? Well, I haven’t reached my goal of being able to buy a tank of furnace oil yet, but Princess (my wife’s insistence on the nickname, not mine) and I did go for a delicious coffee date using the sole proceeds of my writing income for the first time.

It’s the little things.

Before Juris went live for free, it was crickets. A few sales once in a while, but mostly just little red mountains on my Amazon horizon:

For blog 3

 

 

That has changed substantially:

 

Picture 2

Only one ‘Dead Day’ since release. Every day, someone new reads a title of mine. And lots more little red mountains. That makes me smile into my pillow.

When Juris Lunence hit over 500 downloads in two months across three countries, I nearly screamed from my rooftop. (But, the pitch of my roof is too steep, so I settled for a quiet chuckle on my deck, thus avoiding startling my puppy and kids).

 

Picture 4

 

Then, the sweetest thing happened. My first cosplay fan, Joseph Crosby, designed a replica of Lunen gear, right down to First Squad’s shoulder-pads (Love shoulder-pads), and walked into our local Chapter’s bookstore, with a copy of Sand in hand, as a part of a Halcon Cosplay promotion:

 

Picture 6

 

Can’t really describe how Joe’s very kind gesture and incredible input of time affected me, but warm molasses coating my heart comes close.

And now, the planning for the new Fan Festival is underway (more on that later).

All this during my minor league football coaching season (Go, South Shore Seahawks!), replacing my deck, packing one son off to university, and working my Real Job.

None of which excuses my negligence, but perhaps explains it adequately.

Full lives are the best lives.

Thanks for reading!

Onwards!

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What works with Amazon: An evolving education in Indie publishing.

 

So. I conducted an experiment.

“You gotta have free stuff,” they said. “Folks love free stuff.”

My Indie Pubbing guru J.A. Konrath says it, too. More quality, more titles, more free. And Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt describe it thoroughly, using the concept of Funneling.

The Traditional Publishers still gnash their teeth, flap their tiny arms, and growl that not anyone can do this; that they have special services that guarantee quality and success.

They’re right; they do. But I say anyone can make their own success, if you learn the game, and demand quality of yourself.

Juris Lunence took only about four months to finish from initial draft, to polished, packaged, buffed, price on the windshield, and out on the lot. Plus, it was a lot of fun to write. So overall, not a loss of time in any way. It’s a short story prequel to Book 1 of my Trilogy, To Drown in Sand. 

Kobo went live with Juris Lunence first, and that was intentional. We loaded it to Amazon, didn’t announce it, and read the purchased copy while Kobo chewed on the upload. Since Kobo takes considerably more time to publish a title, we used that to proof the digital copy that went live on Amazon that was still priced at Amazon’s somewhat silly $.99 price. We caught our glitches, re-uploaded to Amazon, and the final copy was live before Kobo hit the market. Then we uploaded the corrected version to Kobo. Kobo’s copy of Juris went up for free (because they do that), and we reported Amazon being undersold by Kobo. The $.99 still appeared on the Amazon copy for first three days, but buyers received it free because of price-matching. At the end of the third day, Juris Lunence looked like this:

 

Juris Free

 

Then, the FB group blitz. My poor followers. Their feeds must look like I’m a megalomaniac. Over 40 groups in one night, then roughly 15 more over the next few evenings. They were kind not to appear on my lawn with rage and torches.

I purchased a small bottle of Goldschlager (one of those tiny airplane bottles, I’m not a drinker), my favourite Victory Juice. Parked it next to my laptop on the kitchen table, and waited. I was only going to open it if I hit 10 free downloads.

Then this happened:

photo 1

Those little buggers are hard to open when you’re excited. I had to use my pliers.

3 days later, there wasn’t a bottle big enough to celebrate cracking an Amazon Top Ten list, and the Top 100 in Kindle Books:

photo 2

10 days later, here’s what the 4 months of work did for my Author rankings:

Author Central Stats Sci-Fi and Fantasy Ranking Scince fiction rankings

 

And here’s the total snapshot of Juris Lunence downloads, and what it did for To Drown in Sand (the little red lines at the bottom).

photo 3

 

Did I sell a lot of copies of To Drown in Sand? Not really, at least not yet.

Did I sell more than if I hadn’t written and promoted a free release? Yeh.

Did I climb through the Amazon algorithm and increase my Author ranking? You betcha.

Did I gain new readers, and get over 100,000 new people looking at my title? Yip!

Is Konrath and Truant and Platt right? Absolutely.

The conclusion is pretty much irrefutable, which is rare in this Grand Indie Game.

Free works as long as it’s quality. And anyone can make that happen.

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Of Evolving Covers, Convergence, and How Lucky I Was To Meet Dylan.

Large things start small. Like seeds in the dark. I met Dylan Edwards in Grade Eight. He had hand-drawn comics spilling out of his saxophone case that I handed back to him. Talk about epic moments in time. We were the two biggest nerds consistently from then until we graduated. Nerd legends for our hobbies, interests, and isolation. We were instant brothers, kin in suffering the glacial pressures of growing through adolescence.

We started a comic company in grade nine; and we were the guys play-testing our Zombie Apocalypse role-playing game in study hall during exams. We rolled our eyes and ignored the jibes of the typical detractors through it all, with eyes locked on one another; that precious psychic bond of survival. He went on to become one of the best fathers I’ve ever been privileged to know, and the best friend a man could ever wish for.

He also became an incredible artist. Despite my constant, frantic texts, emails, mistakes, dysfunctional uploads, and endless problems, he remains, as always, stoically patient, and everwise. And waiting for his new cover drafts is better than Christmas. His idea for the cover for my new prequel short story, Juris Lunence, blew me away.

Here’s the first draft:

 

Juris cover 1 draft

 

And the final version:

 

Juris 2nd draft covr

 

Once you’ve read the story, I think you’ll get just how awesome this image really is. At least, it flattens me pretty effectively. Crazy to think how small things like me grabbing a dropped piece of drawing can turn into such things. Reminds me to keep looking for them.

Juris Lunence is available for free on Kobo, and, as soon as enough people tell amazon they are being undersold, free on Kindle as well.

 

~B.

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Just a quick mo’…

Just popping in to provide the means to acquire a professionally edited, reasonably well-written, and ABSOLUTELY FREE  story about a fantastic character.

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/juris-lunence

 

Juris 2nd draft covr

 

There. I’m done. Please return to your awesome day.

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Red Pen-marks are not scars on the soul.

Juris Lunence just went live yesterday. It’s the origin story of one of my favourite characters in To Drown in Sand, mainly because when he stepped on stage in my mind, I had no idea who he was. Then he started doing Very Awesome Things, and became a lynchpin plot figure for the climax of the novel.

Juris marks the first time I’ve gone beyond Beta and self-editing, and it shows. My amazing editor, Chad Horton, graciously offered to edit for me pro bono. His warnings were clear:

“I will be merciless.”

And, thank the Saints, he was.

This is what I got back,over a very nice lunch.

Image

 

Image

Image

Image

 

What surprised me, though, was that no tears fell onto my Fish and Chip dinner.

Instead, I was more excited than ever before. He had magically taken my work, sensed exactly what I was trying to do with it, and pushed me back to tweak the language and structure. I learned so much from rewriting Juris that I shudder to think what it would have become without him.

Yes, there were rewrites and revisions afterwards. Typos caught and created, little mice to chase through the pages. But the PLAN was clear.

 

Image

It wasn’t like before. No doubt-filled story arcs and soul-squashing plot questions. I had a plan; a highway, with signs, little yellow marker-bars, and a destination. And I saw the difference in the end result between this story and other stuff. Not that it wasn’t good writing; I really think it stands up.

But not as pain-free as having a qualified eye take my work out of the jar that is my head, and look at it through the microscope of the objective reader.

Thus, my new rule.

Get It Edited.

I was editing before, but not in the way that created the separation required. It’s a lesson I’m ecstatic to learn, especially as an Indie.  Call it a corner in the path, I guess.

Nice view from here onward.

 

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What I’ve learned: 4 months post-release.

It all started with an initial wave of increasing sales every month. Upon a Wake of Flame was released as a test in the fall, and Sand was released just before the beginning of December. I watched the KDP sales reports like a maniac. By February, I was closing in on 100 copies sold. Then things slowed, and I realized I had probably run out of friends who bought my writing out of support. I watched this thing return to a state of rational conduct.

But, something silly had happened. I stopped Writing, and started Marketing.

I had let something happen that I had promised not to; I had fallen for it. I had let myself enjoy the film. Suspended my disbelief, and let myself buy in. I’d grown accustomed to the 4 months of increasing sales, and the little rush of beating last month’s numbers.

But, as it inevitably had to, things calmed down, and, in February, To Drown in Sand was raised from its comfortable sit, propped up by its little arms, and set free. No more Facebook sales drives. No more Pinterest jamming. I want to see what it can do; what happens when someone doesn’t just BUY my writing, but READS my writing, and tells someone else about it. So, now, the book is up on its own legs, and is taking its staggering, uncertain steps forward on its own.

Hard to watch. The coffee tables around here have very sharp corners. I’m holding my breath.

Since the beginning of March, sales have continued in the UK, which is great, because word is getting around over there. And that’s a huge surprise. In the US and Canada, each month brings someone new to Alseiry Beach, Shastre, and the Boddies, so I’m more than cool with that.

So here’s what I’ve learned:

An Ebook is NEVER finished.

Endless tweaks. Endless. Each new upload of even the smallest change results in catastrophic changes in page breaks, margin changes, and even accusations of disorganized formatting in reviews. Such things are taken, considered a part of the exercise in education and live formatting, and fixed.

Speaking of which;

If I read my reviews, I pretend I’m someone else. As in, a potential reader. And then I forget about it. Back to the keyboard.

Pinterest is fun; a great, free, promotional tool, and a substantial time-sink.

I spent a LOT of time fishing on Pinterest. Which was fun, but killed my writing time. And, while I did see direct sales from it, I had much more enjoyment discovering new writers like A.J. Wilson, Brian Parker,  Terry C. Simpson, and Holly m. Kothe, and promoting them on my Pinterest boards.

Facebook is a sticky, ego minefield.

Facebook  groups became a bit of a mire; free advertising that resulted in direct sales, but it taught me a lot about the demographics of Indie writers that spend time there. Some people don’t really want advice when they ask for it. They want you to tell them how awesome they are. They want to smack you in the face with their books. IF they’ve really published one. There are a lot of writers who haven’t actually published anything, which shocked me. And a lot who probably shouldn’t have published what they did. A quick glance at a free sample of their writing shows which writers think their story is too precious for an editor, and which editors weren’t real editors, and which writers really, really want their work to be good.

Others, though, are incredible folks who want to accomplish what you want to. They want to be Writers. Find those, and you have comrades.

Overall, no big loss of time. I learned volumes from the exploration. Biggest take-away? Just like my heroes say.

Get back to writing.

It’s true, you know. The only thing that will sell your last book is your next book.

Thus, I dove back into the fray. That awesome, loving, splashy, ridiculous fray. On went the headphones and the Steve Jablonsky music. And man, it was good to go back.

Thus, Juris Lunence was born.

I’ve just finished the latest draft of the new back-story for one of my favourite characters from the 10th Regiment. Even got a new editor to take a look at it, and rip into it with his red pen. (More on that next time).

Great fun was had by all. My awesome graphics designer Dylan Edwards is hard at work on a cover, and the final draft will be ready for release soon.

I don’t have any free stuff. Everyone says “You gotta have free stuff.”

So, we’ll go with that for this release. It’s about 25 pages, but they are 25 Very Good Pages. Juris Lunence was a great deal of fun to write, and will go in the stack that will eventually create a short-story anthology; a complete prequel-set for the 10th Lunen Regiment Trilogy.

Here’s a glimpse of the (very) rough draft of one cover concept; Dylan is drafting a few more that I’ll be too excited to contain, and therefore will pop up here for perusal.

Juris Lunece Concept

More updates on its release as things unfold.

Onwards!

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To Hold in Hand Completion.

Everybody does this now. I hate to be everybody. But there’s nothing else like it, and now I get why.

The first unboxing. The birth of the Galley, and the delivery into your hands.

One very, very surreal moment.

Wow.

The hand stops a-tremble when the eyes read the words.

The hand stops a-tremble when the eyes read the words.

600 pages of work. Sitting in your hand.

Now THAT’S why we do this.

Please forgive me while my innards glow.

 hard copy
If you’d like a copy for your very own hand, here’s where you can get one:

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The excitement of release. (Wow…that could sound so wrong).

Well, that was fun. We cringed, we howled. I revised and rewrote, interviewed soldiers and rocket scientists, went back again and again to the keyboard until we all agreed that it was ready.

It’s ready.

It’s done.

The short story prequel to this November’s To Drown in Sand is up and live.

It’s called Upon a Wake of Flame, and it is now up for sale.  The link is here, and on my sidebar.

http://www.amazon.ca/Upon-Flame-Lunen-Regiment-ebook/dp/B00ELP2LOS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376759899&sr=8-1&keywords=upon+a+wake+of+flame

Upon a Wake of Flame was supposed to be a promotional piece that served as a test for the upload and editing process. It evolved into so much more; an invaluable lesson in writing, revision and completion.

And as always, Dylan’s cover and design are incredible.

Upon a Wake of Flame is available on Amazon and Kobo E-Books for $0.99 Canadian. If you enjoy it, please rate it and post a review.

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It Must Be a Sign.

(Or, how to try to market a book that is not yet available).

Ah, Staples. How I do love you so.

My display sign for the Mill Village May the 4th Be With You Comic-Con has arrived, along with 48 postcards for To Drown in Ash, to hand out at our l’il convention.

My mom’s even coming.

So you know it’s gonna be big.

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Neat experiment in marketing there. The blurb, blog address, wiki address and release information are on the back. Plus there’s room for a signature (if anyone there is into that sort of thing).

The poster turned out to look amazing, in my humble opinion. I’m basking a bit.

And my awesome art guy even came up with a hand-stamped pattern indicating the top-secret, intelligence-type military theme for the back.

Snappy.

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Of the Almighty Blurb

After much research and fussing, I took the advice of my graphics designer, the amazingly talented Dylan Edwards. About eight months ago, when we were discussing the blurb for my book, he gave one of his priceless pearls of wisdom to me:

“I don’t think writers should write their own blurbs. They’re too close to their story.”

However, I don’t think he realized what he had said. Because  last week, I took him up on his advice and asked him to write one.

Thankfully, he was able to squeeze time out from his busy work schedule as an animator, film maker, cover designer, all-round creative genius, and father, to put an awesome first draft together.

After some editing (which was hilarious, ME editing HIS work for  a change), we came up with the result below, which thankfully, he thinks will fit on the back cover:

To Drown In Sand – A Novel of the 10th Lunen Regiment
by BC Laybolt

No matter how far you run, your shadow follows.

Centuries ago, they fled the doomed Earth. Their damaged flotilla stumbled on a new star system and colonized the worlds they found there. The ragged remnants of mankind fought the elements and each other to survive. Out of terror and darkness, the Nar Exus Triumvirate was created, enforcing a fragile peace between their planets.

But on the dwarf planet called Shastre, the people’s simple life along the rivers and in the mountains, unconcerned with the politics of the Triumvirate, has backslid into superstition and savagery under the sway of a murderous warlord known only as Ter Ense. The Triumvirate has responded to reports of genocide on Shastre by sending the 10th Lunen Regiment to restore order. But danger dwells deep in the jungles of Shastre. An ancient darkness that predates the flotilla is awake after a long slumber.

To escape his tragic past, a man named Kyris Issep arrives on Shastre as a fresh recruit. He has come to a war zone, seeking peace for his damaged soul. His commanders see him as a weapon they hope to wield against the enemy. His squadmates see him as a bad omen they fear will get them killed. Issep is not sure of the truth himself, only that something in the jungle is calling to him, and he will travel into the heart of darkness to confront it.

Ooh…catchy!

The blurb also fits well into the Wiki for the book.

Another step closer!

© 2013 B.C. Laybolt

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