Category Archives: Cheap Book Deal

Slicing the Pie (Chapters and Breaking Down your Book)


Although I am pretty sure someone might have tried it, reading an entire book without chapters (or at least something to break apart the text) after a story is at least thirty thousand words might  be maddening to read.  This is why we have chapters and other ways to break up the text for normal length or greater novels, but the methods people use to decide how long a chapter is varies not just amongst authors, but even different books from the same author.  Like every other conscious decision by an author, deciding how to break up your chapters is one more way to give distinction to your book, and highlight various aspects that constitute your novel.

Past blogs have discussed how to group your chapters, such as by characters, by location, or by event.  Except in the case of the event this still does not control when you close a chapter.  Authors typically choose different things to end chapters such as trying to tell a series of short stories (so the chapters need small beginnings, middle, and ends), building up to specific events or revelations, needing to always end on cliffhangers, wanting a resolution of some kind at the end of every chapter, or just a single scene imparting one specific piece of knowledge to the reader.   There are also more esoteric ways to do it such as each chapter being a length of time (like a day, or even a week or month, think like what 24 did for TV), a specific word count, or some other framing device (like a story that each chapter switches to another one when a new protagonist is met so that the narrative has a constantly changing narrator).

Just like slicing a pizza can affect the dining experience, which of the above (or combination of them) you choose sets a certain tone for the book.  Most authors use only a few of the above per novel, otherwise chapter endings can feel random and inconsistent.  They may vary it up for specific reasons occasionally (such as suddenly doing a series of page long chapters when trying to build tension by showing a series of short scenes) but they will generally have some sort of structure that the reader can expect.  The biggest combination writers often use is having chapters that are similar in length, and then use one of the other above ideas (scenes, small stories, cliffhangers, specific events, etc) as a framework besides just length.

When originally writing the next book in the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy, Rise From the Sun Below, I had “determined” that I was going to make most chapters roughly 5000 words.  Like the last book that would help me know roughly how big the book would be and keep me on course for getting it done in a timely manner if I could do at least one chapter a week.  In reality what it started doing was making me want to artificially pad the word count (a tendency that authors often have in the beginning of their careers anyway) and draw out scenes past their normal termination point.  Most of the time in my chapters for this book I am doing two to three scenes a chapter, and each one points to a bigger theme or revelation. I am combining several of the above techniques, and since many of the chapters fit within swashbuckling genre, they often end in a cliffhanger.  I finally decided sticking to those guidelines, as opposed to a specific word count were better for the health of the novel.

Reaching for a word count of any kind is dangerous for anything but a college paper.  It encourages people to use more words to explain simple concepts, and sets the bar higher for when people try more professional avenues of writing such as journalism or novels.  Both of those mediums prefer high word economy and are almost diametrically opposite to what school papers encourage.  Therefore although similar chapter size might help with familiarity, it is better to set a general range for you chapters then a true uniform size.  Even with that advice,  I recommend erring on the side of shorter chapters if you have already relayed all the information you need to do in a chapter.  Few people want a pie with eight inch crust because you ran out of the actual cheese and toppings.

In other news, the final day of the #RoadToWorldcon is today, and there are still the following novels you can get FREE today:

FIRST CHOSEN – (Fantasy) by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG/

•                                       ONCE WE WERE LIKE WOLVES by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Wolves-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B006OSSF7C/

•                                       ARMS OF THE STORM by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Arms-Storm-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B008P8DE0C

•                                       HALLOWEEN JACK AND THE DEVIL’S GATE by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Jack-Devils-Gate-ebook/dp/B005XJ0V7A/

•                                       ELEGY (Fantasy) by Christopher Kellen

http://www.amazon.com/Elegy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B005ESFMMY/

•                                       THE HERO ALWAYS WINS – (Fantasy) by Robert Eaton

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hero-Always-Wins-ebook/dp/B005CMGZAU/

•                                       THE FALL OF HOUSE NEMENI by M.D. Kenning

http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S

•                                       MANDATORY PARADISE by M.D. Kenning

http://www.amazon.com/Mandatory-Paradise-ebook/dp/B008XM6ST4/

•                                       KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by Stephen E. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Living-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B004YR54LU/

•                                       KNIGHT TERRORS by Stephen E. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Terrors-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B0069SJIHI


Short Stories: Doing More with Less


Personally, giant Epics have often been my favorite novels to read.  The form allows a level of depth (into the characters and their histories) and breadth (amount of characters and span of events) that other forms do now allow.  Another favorite form of mine, however, is the short story.  I personally find them harder to write, as they do not allow as much time or character span as a giant epic.  What they do excel in is giving a fantastic window into a character and normally one event or a small series of events.  This smaller focus often can create more powerful scenes and dialogue than the larger form, for every word must be razor focused to do its job correctly.

My favorite form of reading short stories is anthologies.  Whether it is a linked literary theme, a shared world, or something even more random reading multiple short stories at the same time seems to enhance them. You can compare and contrast how different stories handle the same theme.  If all done by the same writer even if there are no obvious links you can see how the writer highlights different characters or concepts in a variety of ways. Anthologies allow context to be given to stories without forcing them to be part of some larger linked story.

The best part of the short story is the author is not tempted to put anything even slightly extraneous in there.  As a reader is perusing the story they know that everything noted upon has some reason to be there.  It is like viewing art made with small tight brush strokes that focus on a small area.   Word economy actually becomes an art form, and it’s also almost impossible for a reader to lose interest unless it’s very poorly written or does not connect with the reader at all.  Backstory must be kept to a sheer minimum and if it’s does not affect the immediate main plot or actions occurring, it is not there.  Much like what timing is to comedy pacing is to short stories.  It must be honed to perfection in order for it to operate as it should.

The tools authors use to create good short stories include keeping external descriptions to a minimum, using terse wording to paint an idea of the world the characters habit.  Exposition is also kept to a minimum, and only occurs in dialogue or very truncated monologues.  Every word spoken in a dialogue sheds light on either the characters or situation.  Repetition to reinforce them is obviously not suggested in short stories, but actions and ideas that reinforce a theme can occur instead.

I personally love the various George RR Martin edited short stories and have used those anthologies to widen my knowledge of authors.  On the smaller press and e publishing scale I am recommending Frances Pauli http://francespauli.com/ who if you go to her blog site http://francespauli.blogspot.com/ today and comment in her comments, she will give you a coupon for her anthology to be free (this is for smash words, so it is cross platform readable! ) I am not going to lie, free anthologies are some of my favorites, and a real fantastic way of knowing what an author can be like.

Today is the second day of the Genre Underground Road to WorldCon.  Stay tuned tomorrow for information on some free books associated with us!

Poll:

I prefer reading:

A)Giant Epics large enough to Kill Spiders

B) “Average” length books of 70-100 k words

C)Short Stories

World Info:

Today’s Info Tidbit is from Mandatory Paradise

Although scrolls and even a few books exist on Nimoa, in most cases the written word is not trusted.  People have been raised to believe the outside world before the Cataclysm lied, often.  They think the written word was a form of propaganda, and that people believe whatever they read was true, without thinking critically of it.  Citizens of Nimoa are taught they need to memorize information and think critically of anything they are told.  This is why their classes are primarily oral in nature, and most homework involves interacting with servants, parents, or other adults to help them memorize or learn information.

This distrust of the written word is so strong that even many teachers do not like it, with the exception of a few.  It is thought anything important enough to keep concrete in memory will be done by the Bureaucrats and the Library Mind.  Since the Senators have full access to the Library Mind they will keep all information “honest.”  At least, that is what is said.


More Like Tornado of Change (and talking heads)


I’m going to have to declare the Winds of Change Promotion a success, at least so far.  A E Marling spent a lot of time sitting at number One in the Kindle Free Epic fantasy list, M Todd Gallowglas sat around #2  or #3 for Dark Fantasy (and also #3 and #4 for another book of his and around that on the Fantasy Series list), Christopher Kellen was around #7 and #8 for Epic Fantasy, and I was up to #14 for Epic Fantasy!  Dave Meek with Stalker Squadron was at #30 for Action Adventure and # 5 for Sci-fi High Tech and we all went below the #1000 mark in the general free kindle store!  Needless to say good stuff.

So what to expect in the future because of this?  More promotions of course, but more general interactivity as well.  I have positive feedback oorm the Interview with M Todd Gallowglas, so I can tell you that won’t be the last.  The books are all still 99 cents today and tomorrow, so if you did not pick any up, there is the time to complete your collection! Hre is the link to my page http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341334069&sr=1-1&keywords=nemeni and look in the product description for the otehr great titles!

As for other Tornados of change between this promotion and work being swamped I have not been able to move much on the book recently.  I hope to rectify that this week and get caught up on the new book.  It’s hard learning to balance actually getting the book done, all the rest of what I need to do in my normal life, and all the long term important things for securing my career with writing, but it is looking up.

Also I am mapping out my long term plan better, to keep something always available on Kindle Direct.  I may get the next novel done 3 months after I get my epic published, but I frankly might not so I have back up plans.  A novella may be released after the epic, and like the epic it is already mainly written but just needs to go through editors.  However since the novella is a smaller and cheaper work, it seems weird to me to do a complex cover like the current one I have.

That leads to today’s blog poll.

If I release a novella what should I do cover wise:

1)Keep it the same grade of quality or more so than the current one and what you plan for the epic.

2)It’s a novella.  It should still be professional, but it can be simple and not require tons of graphics or art.

3)It’s just a novella.  Slap a name on it, and don’t bother wasting any money at all on the cover.

As for info on the sequel:

I’m writing a flashback right now to when a massive amount of power was announced it would be transferred. This is a pretty big scene and most of what takes place in book one occurs because of this scene.  Obviously that makes it important, but right now it’s coming out as just talking heads.  I have written about before that I like to just throw in a cliffhanger or action if I feel like the pace is slowing, but that would be incongruous with what I am currently writing.

Another scene I did a few weeks ago that was similar I could use dramatic irony and inter character tension to punch it up, but that would not fit here either.  Anyone got any advice on how to punch up necessary talking head scenes?  At this point all I can think of is cutting down the dialogue to the most efficient dialogue possible even when out of character to shorten the scene as much as possible, but that does not totally fit.  Without physical action, character tension, or dramatic irony I lose alot of my tools to keep things flowing well.

Another idea I had was instead of doing what feels more like natural back and forth dialogue between the main character and who he is imparting information to I could just have him do a quick info dump, not give people a chance to react, and change scene.  Then I could show the necessary reactions of other characters in other scenes that have other events occur, and let things move on.  Any thoughts?


Interview with M. Todd Gallowglas


Today’s blog will be a little different than normal.  I have an interview with one of the other Genre Underground authors, M. Todd Galloglas (here is a link to the first book in his Tears of Rage story http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341078615&sr=1-1&keywords=m+todd+gallowglas which will be on sale during the Winds of Change promotion!) Let me know how you feel on interviews, and if you would like more from the other talented authors of the Genre Underground.

And now … the interview!

1)Tell us more of your background, how you started in Indie Publishing. Was there any specific events or occurrences that pushed you towards Indie Publishing?

I actually resisted the indie book thing for a couple of years. I was in a writers group, and one of the guys in the group mentioned this new online publishing thing. The dream of a “real” publishing deal had been beaten into my head by all the traditionalists, especially as I regularly attended conventions and conferences in my quest for that publication deal. This may have been in 2007/2008 – maybe earlier.

Flash forward a couple of years. I have a degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing. The plan was for me to go into teaching English while waiting for that elusive “book deal.” That plan wasn’t working out so well. The teaching thing wasn’t panning out in the current economy, and I was back to storytelling at Renaissance Faires to help pay the bills. Within a few days of each other, my wife and several friends send me links to a couple articles about some person names Amanda Hawking and how many ebooks she was selling.

One of my performer buddies had this story he’d written that he shared with me about zombies invading a Renaissance Faire. The story was pretty entertaining and funny, but the writing had some issues. We talked about fixing it up, putting it on Amazon, promoting it at our shows, and sit back and watch what happened. We sold over a hundred copies that first month. Not a lot at $.99 a copy, especially splitting it, but enough for each of us to eat a decent dinner together at a fair after the royalty check came in from Amazon.

I was hooked. I had a bunch of work sitting in my documents folder from school and before. I had a medium where I could get it out to people. With my storytelling show, I had a great platform to launch a book career. And now here I am a year later, international bestseller, forming a group of like-minded indie genre writers, and living the dream.

2) In your current series Tears of Rage you have a very dynamic pantheon. This is not a normal good vs. evil pantheon, but there are many different personalities and alliances. Tell us more about your pantheon, both influences and a few details of the key players for our readers.

I’m not a big fan of good vs. evil. Most religions aren’t like that. People aren’t like that. I had so many false starts and hiccups and such when I started Tears of Rage, that I’m not really sure where I decided that the gods would be getting involved, but once I made that choice, I realized they all had to be something more than good vs evil. If we look back on our own mythology, we see stuff like this all the time. Hera was a nasty bitch, but her husband was a cheating bastard, so it’s kind of understandable. I’d also been reading a bunch of fantasy where the bad gods were the BAD god. EVIIIIIL for the sake of being EVIIIIIIL. *yawn* How terribly uninteresting.

Anyway, I thought, what if I make my protagonists the side that’s stuck between Light and Dark. Grandfather Shadow was born. I came up with a sort of creation myth for him (Which you can read a part of that in the prologue to Once We Were Like Wolves). And the pantheon grew pretty quickly after that.

As for divine movers and shakers in the books, right now, we’ve got Grandfather Shadow who is just been freed from a thousand year prison; Yrgaeshkil, goddess of lies and mother of Daemyns, she’s also married to Old Uncle Night, the god of death; and Kahddria, the goddess of Winds.  Others pop up now and then, but these are the deities that pop up on stage most frequently so far. Four of the five greater gods are still imprisoned, but don’t count on them staying that way for long.

3) Your book flow is rather unique, having various sections with its own chapters in it rather than just a standard three act separation or all the chapters in a row.  Tell us more about how you got the idea for this, and why you prefer this setup for this series?

I’m not the only writer who does this. Steven King uses this technique in some of his books, most notably The Dark Tower series. I like the form. I’m not going to use it for everything I write, but I really enjoy it for the Tears of Rage books. I don’t use it for Halloween Jack and the Devil’s Gate or my upcoming books Spellpunk and Team Red Hand series. But I’m probably going to use something like this for Dead Weight. Wow, did I digress.

I’ve been sitting here thinking of how I got the idea for this and why I prefer it, and really the only thing I can come up with is: I thought it was a cool idea so I tried it. I knew I was taking a risk, especially with the opening sections of First Chosen. That’s not the way most people are used to having stories unfold. I think if I hadn’t read Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson, I wouldn’t have had the guts to do this. In the original draft of Julianna’s storyline, the book opens with Grandfather Shadow being freed from his prison and the events that led up to that I planned to seed in throughout the narrative of the series. It was a strong opening, but didn’t sit right with me. I felt the reader actually needed to go through those events that take place over the course of twenty-one years; however, giving the reader those years in the tradition setup, prologue, chapter one, chapter two, etc… wasn’t going to work. Luckily, it seems to have paid off. I’d urge other writers caution before trying something this experimental. Make sure you understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and be ready for it to fail miserably.

4)Are there any particular real world inspirations for the cultures in the book?  I can detect some Italian influence on some of the mortal names but I was curious if there were other inspirations?

I draw a lot from real-world cultures, and not just Italian. I’ve draw inspiration from all over the world.

The four great Houses of the Kingdom are based very loosely on cultures from Earth, and the political structure is based sort of on the Chinese Game Mah Jongg. I took the importance of numbers from Asian cultures and assigned each of the deities a sacred number, and used that to influence the great House that worshiped that particular god or goddess.

As for names… One of the greatest investments I’ve ever made as a writer was in purchasing a massive baby name book. It has over 30,000 names, categorized by culture. Any time I need a name, I go to that book and flip through it. Can’t recommend enough for other writers get something like that.

5)The language and naming of the gods, what inspired them?

Well, Grandfather Shadow’s language was first. I actually invented it before I started working on Tears of Rage. I’m a huge role-playing game nut. I used to go to this big live action role playing event (no, not the one Jim Butcher does) a couple times a year. In this, every wizard, priest, cleric, magic user, etc… had to have a spell book, with all their spells written in it. If another player got their hands on the spell book, they could steal all of your spells…IF they could read the book. I created Galad’laman, the language of Grandfather Shadow, as a way to keep my spells safe. It was a mix of Gaelic, Finnish, and Tolkienian elvish, though 99% of the elvish influence has been weeded out. I stopped going to those LARP events almost 15 years ago, but I had my notes and such on the language, so when I sat down to write Tears of rage and I was looking for something new and interesting to do with the magic, I opened my old spell book and notes.

Looking back, I wish I’d come up with something different. I have a plethora of gods, half a dozen of them at least have their own languages. The biggest pain in the but I have writing these books is translating the damn and bloody miracles out of English and into whatever language as character is using to speak Miracles. I am so dreading the massive battle at the end of book 4 The Fires of Night.

6)You are releasing the books in a format that seems tailored for ebooks, slightly shorter but in rapid releases. Was this because of the ebook medium, or are there other reasons for this?

I think it’s ironic that people think of my books as shorter. At one point, a novel was classified as any book over forty thousand words in length. First Chosen clocks in at just over 60,000 words, and Once We Were Like Wolves is just over 83,000. Arms of the Storm is currently 123,810. (It’ll be different once I get it back from my beta readers and editors.)  Thirty or forty years ago in publishing, these books would have been on the massive side of books, if publishable at all. Now days, even Arms of the Storm is tiny compared to what some people are publishing in fantasy.

So, that being said, you can thank three men for my publication schedule and the size of my books: Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, and Steven Erikson. These three gentlemen are likely the kings of the door-stopper fantasies (though Brandon Sanderson is catching up), and I’ve been following each ones’ huge fantasy epic since pretty much day one. I was a couple of books behind when I got to Ericson’s Gardens of the Moon, but I caught up quickly. When it came time to put out Tears of Rage, I had fourteen hundred pages of a manuscript I called Once We Were Like Wolves, the first chronicle of Tears of Rage. Quite a mouthful, even if just reading in. Oh, AND, I wasn’t even finished with that story. Which with my “I’m going to get a traditional publishing deal” mindset, I felt was okay. After all, those other three guys did it.

By the time I decided to go indie, I realized something: only one of those three guys is putting out books on a regular basis. The other two are taking years and years, sometime even a decade between when we see some of our favorite characters. As a reader, that really ticked me off. Erikson managed to put out all ten of his door stoppers in 11 years, 10 months, 14 days. That’s pretty impressive, considering half of them are over 350,000 words. And I’ve never heard anyone really complain, “When’s that next Steven Erikson book coming out?” At least not seriously. I wanted to be that kind of writer. The one problem is that I can’t do a Steven Erikson level of production, at least not yet. So, my readers get my Tears of Rage books in smaller doses, but they get them a little more regularly. For the Halloween Jack books, they have to wait for October to roll around again.

7)Tell us more about the Genre Underground, both what inspired you to start this, and where you see it heading.

Wow. That’s quite a doozie of a question. I’ll do my best to answer it.

I’ve been a member of several Indie writer groups. While they had some people writing fantasy and science fiction, no one in those organizations was really active in the fan community. I’ve been going to conventions and such since I was eighteen. I’ve grown up as a fan of genre literature. As I writer, I write the books I wish someone else would write so I could read them. With these other Indie writer promotion groups, while I learned a lot about marketing and such, I felt they really didn’t understand the community I’m trying to reach as a writer, mostly because they didn’t grow up in it the same way I did. I also felt they were a bit too much of “if you have a pulse, you should buy my book.” Growing up in the community, I understand that’s not how fantasy and science fiction really work. Not everyone is going to groove on my stuff. I’m okay with that. I’m not a big Terry Pratchett, China Miéville, or Robert Heilein fan, but tell that to anyone who is a fan of any of those three, and the reactions are usually awesome. On the other side of the coin, I’ve seen Terry Pratchett almost cause a riot one year at the World Science Fiction convention when he announced, “I don’t like Tolkien and think he’s overrated.” So, with all that experience under my belt, I’m building the Genre Underground, trying to keep the readers firmly in my head, because I’m a reader, I write for readers, and I really want to make those people who are allowing me the privilege of living my dream the focus of my movement.

As for where do I think the GU is going? We’ll see. I’m already blown away by the interest and support we’re getting. Once we’re on the other side of the Winds of Change promotion, I’ll have a sit down with the other guys I invited into the GU and see how the whole thing went over with the readers and where we all want to go from here. Sure, The Genre Underground is my brain child, but I also don’t want it to become the M Todd Gallowglas show. If it weren’t for A.E. Marling, Christopher Kellen, and R.C. Murphy, the Genre Underground might never have been anything but a dream in my mind. Then we brought Robert Eaton, M.D. Kenning, and Dave Meek into the fold, and we’re getting on toward escape velocity. More writers have expressed interest in joining up. If they bring the same initiative, drive, and dedication to our mission statement, anything is possible.

8)Are there any particular influences on your works in general?  Is it all fantasy fiction, or are there other inspirations at well?

I’ve read lots of Fantasy and a bit of Science Fiction, some Horror. Yes. All of that has influenced me and my writing to the point where my storytelling brain just requires some sense of the fantastic to work. Heck, I don’t even do Science Fiction well.

That being said: Read outside the genres.

I wouldn’t be the writer I am without having read: Hemmingway, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, J.D. Salinger, Jeffry Eugenides, and many others. Everyone should read these writers and more. They should also read stuff they don’t think they’ll like. I learned my biggest lesson on keeping my world internally consistent from being forced to read Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” about a bajillion times while taking those few required lit classes while getting my BA in Creative Writing. The story has a huge gaping inconsistency in it. Took me only three reads to get it, and then I ripped it apart in every class I’ve ever had it in since.

I’ll leave with this challenge: Go read the story. If you read the story and catch the gaping inconsistency in the world Walker tries to create but fails, email me at mgallowglas@gmail.com, and I’ll give you a gift copy of Arms of the Storm book 3 in Tears of Rage before it hits Amazon.

Thanks for having me as a guest. And thanks to everyone who stopped by and who supports all the Genre Underground writers.


Winds of Change!


No I am not referring to the “classic” song by the Scorpions.

Jul y 1st- July 4th a very awesome promotion will take place.  A group of Indie Writers (yup I am one of them) called the Genre Underground have banded together to give quality Indie options of Fantasy, Horror, and Sci fi novels to consumers and during that time many will have free or 99 cent books!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheGenreUnderground this is the group’s facebook page, and they have a more extensive following on goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/topic/list_group/70802-the-genre-underground that I can highly reccommend.  Soon you will be seeing interviews from members of this group here.

The Fall of House Nemeni will be free two of those days, and it will be a NEW revised version with additional line editing from a few people and other changes already talked about in this blog.  Newer books of mine I will have more beta readers/line editors but since that was my first book it definitely benefits from the original help.  Not to mention, I am a big fan of using different medium different ways, and this is one of the great things about e-publishing, issuing corrections digitally.

As for The Winds of Change Event July 1st to 4th here are some highlights for you of things you can expect (and remember these books will be free part of the time and heavily discounted when not:

BROOD OF BONES by AE Marling. High fantasy adventure of dreams and mysteries.

http://www.amazon.com/Brood-of-Bones-ebook/dp/B005QQ3H7G

KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and KNIGHT TERRORS by Stephen E. Moore. High octane comedy and adventure where “B movie” tropes get blasted at Renaissance Faires.

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Living-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B004YR54LU

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Terrors-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B0069SJIHI

ELEGY and LEGACY by Christopher Kellen. Gritty sword and sorcery from the Arbiter’s Codex.

http://www.amazon.com/Elegy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B005ESFMMY

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B0087TQNCU

STALKER SQUADRON by Dave Meek. In the near future, artificially intelligent war planes set out to start a war between the US and China.

http://www.amazon.com/Stalker-Squadron-ebook/dp/B008B0JQVA

FIRST CHOSEN and ONCE WE WERE LIKE WOLVES by M. Todd Gallowglas. Dark epic fantasy of scheming gods and men, in the first two volumes of TEARS OF RAGE.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Wolves-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B006OSSF7C

The link for mine is still http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S

This is a great time to stock up on some fiction, depending upon which genres you like!

One of the things I am really enjoying that I did not know before getting my book out was how nice a lot of the Indie writing sf/fantasy community is.  I have been given a lot of advice by twitter and email, and it has definitely helped chart the course of what I have done, and a lot of the decent exposure my books has been given has been from that.

Considering that many creative outlets in an independent scene treat sales like a zero sum game (if someone buys from Author X they are somehow taking away from my sales) I feel pretty fortunate that it is not that cased with what I have witnessed so far.  Authors are also willing to give not just advice, but shout outs for other books and initiatives, and this camaraderie is a lot of what I look forward to seeing whenever I am on twitter now.

As for updates:

The sequel to Fall of House Nemeni is at about the 18% mark for the first draft.

The too-be-renamed epic Novel (for now we will codename it Nimoa because that used to be its name) is about 2/3rds the way through the first new revision, but this one is going through a lot of hands.  A few blogs from now I will put up more polls having to do with its new name.

Poll:

Just curious in general, what is your favorite genre? I am putting up side genre’s only not, things like general lit, or things that fit in other categories ( for example, YA tends to be some other genre).

1)Fantasy

2)Sci Fi

3)Horror

4)Thrillers

5)Mysteries

World Tidbit:

Not a lot of time/space for a tidbit about my world this time so I will keep it brief.  The Nemeni House was not always a banker house,  Certain of it’s clockwork gadgets (safes for storing money, gear trackers for finding stolen things, armed clockwork guards) were used by other banking Houses frequently but could only be operated by the Nemeni.  The Nemeni eventually realized it would be smarter to cut out the middle man, and become bankers themselves.  They stole many clients from their former employers, including the House Tanello most of all.  House Tanello never forgave them and it became a feud raging up until the beginning of the first book.


Select Markets and Noble Abilities


There is a promotional move that I am considering but I am kind of torn.  Kindle has a Select program with its independent authors, where you can enroll in that program and get more exposure, and also recieve some compensation when someone checks out your book in the Kindle library from being a Prime member.  This gives your book a much wider exposure which is great for an independent author, as letting the masses know your book even exists is one of the toughest things at the beginning.

However, like all things in life, there is a catch.  If you do this, your book has to be exclusive to Kindle electronically for at least 90 days.  Today I recieved my formatted manuscript for my publisher to Nook, iBookstore, Sony, etc today or this weekend.  The way things are, I would be allowed waiting the 90- days to have it up in that bookstore, but I have several readers who already told me they only use nook (as I used to) and so they will have to wait three more months from when I start until they can read my book.

At this point my question is twofold.  First, will more new people be exposed being the Select program to make up for the loss on all other platforms?  Second, even if this is true (which may be possible) is this something I want to do?  I know if I was still tied only to the nook platform that would annoy me, and maybe even make me care less about the book when it did come out on my platform.

This all ties into today’s poll, a rather simple but important one:

Should I join the Select program and be 90 days exclusive to Kindle?:

1)Yes, the benefits outweigh the negatives.

2)No, the negatives outweigh the benefits.

Pretty simple question, but more important than most of these polls in my mind, since I will make my decision over the weekend.

I finally had my first clarification question about a character and their abilities in Private Mail, and in case others are wondering I wanted to add a caveat that might help in reading.  I want to do it in a way without giving spoilers to those very early in the book so here it is – remember everyone has two parents, and many of them are from different noble houses so there are multiple types of abilities each person might have access too.

Also along those lines, people have asked about noble blood and powers, here are a few (but there are others, and Artists and small guilds have their own abilities too)

1)House Nemeni — power over metals that manifests in making clockwork gadgets that can break the Grand Laws of the Universe, or more mundane clockwork gadgets but do not need to be wound if used by a member of Hosue Nemeni.  They can “call” out to the gadget and it works.

2)House Tanello – power over water, this shows mainly in manipulating and detectingwater over distances, they are experimenting with steam engines

3)Various families of Lontor — amongst other smaller islands, they have power over Wood, and make the much needed cloudwood  that all airships use, and can sculpt it with their bare hands

4)Artists – control and molding of earth and marble and stone

Keep sending questions, and I may have some interesting news next week about another project I am … well we will just wait and see.


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