Saturday, April 30, 2016

Another One Down / Number Nine is Done!

And amidst the hoopla for releasing Consequences, I managed to finish the book that wouldn't freakin' end.

The Study, @87,500 words; first draft is finally done.

Two weeks in a tropical paradise, all as part of a sociological study, with a payout of $5,000 at the end. For ten participants, it seemed like the perfect way to earn some money and have a nice vacation at the same time. But anything that seems too good to be true probably is, and this study's organizers have something considerably more sinister in mind. The rules keep changing, the exercises the participants are forced to endure more and more bizarre, until everything falls apart and they find themselves in an impossible situation with no escape and nothing less than their very lives on the line. Five grand seems like pennies when your only desire is to survive....

As an aside, this is the first time I've done a book with a meta-plot. I have a loose idea in mind of how it can connect to other things, and possibly be part of a larger world. I guess I'll have to wait and see how it goes, but at least this story's finished.
I'll update the Bookshelf page sometime in the next few days, and get this one printed out and presented to the wife so I can call it officially done. And after that, on to the next!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Reviews Coming In...

And so far, so good. Here's the proof:

Needless to say, I'm in a good mood! Here's to many more!

Haven't picked up your own copy yet? What are you waiting for? Use the links on this site and grab one today!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Don't Read Too Much Into It

If you actually noticed, I've pulled The Journal of Jeremy Todd from the "Upcoming Releases" section on the site. That DOES NOT mean it was rejected; I still haven't heard anything one way or the other, and know that Sinister Grin is still wading through the submissions they received during their open submission period. There's still hope for it, but since there's no telling when an answer will come, I went ahead and pulled the notification.

Believe me, I can put it back just as easily if something develops, but right now my focus is on getting the word out about Consequences, so I'll deal with other stuff as it comes.

And if I end up self-pubbing whatever's next, once I make that decision (it's going to be a little while, so don't expect anything soon), I'll update the site with that, too.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Learning Experience

It's official: Consequences is now available as a paperback and eBook. You can use the links in the New Releases section or on the Bookshelf page to get it if you're so inclined.

Getting there was... interesting... to say the least. But at least I learned a few things, so the next time I self-publish a book, I'll have a better idea what to do. Here's a few things I figured out.

  • CreateSpace doesn't have any easy way to set up pre-orders or pre-releases. As soon as I approved the proof copy, it was live on their e-store and on Amazon less than an hour later, ready for sale. A full week earlier than I'd intended.
  • It's hard to plan a release date when your Expanded Distribution isn't consistent. When I set up the title in CreateSpace, I selected not only Amazon, but other distributors as well (Barnes and Noble, for example). Almost a week later now, and it still doesn't show up for purchase in any of the expanded channels. It will, eventually, but I have no way to know when that will be. It also doesn't help that CS doesn't update you when it is ready on those other channels, so I just have to keep checking. Not a big deal, just something I wan't expecting.
  • As they say in the Boy Scouts, "be prepared". As soon as I announced a release date, I had requests for signed copies. Since I use a POD distributor, that makes a lead time for any copies I order. Hence, it takes nearly two weeks to get copies in, signed, and out to the people who paid for them. Something else I didn't factor in.
  • In connection to that, some reviewers want print copies instead of digital ones. Since I have to order them, that adds time I could be using to send them out.
  • Listing on Amazon isn't flawless. Supposedly, if you have a paperback and Kindle edition, they'll automatically link up within 24-48 hours. That didn't happen. It wasn't a big deal to get it done, mind you, just something I hadn't considered.
  • Apple takes forever. I used Draft2Digital for submission to B&N nook, Kobo, and iBooks. I set it up for pre-order (which I can do with all digital editions, just not the paperback), and within a couple of days had confirmation that it was up on nook and Kobo. Apple iBooks? Still waiting. And the wait time isn't consistent with them, either, so I have no idea when it'll be up. The hope is that once it goes live at midnight tonight, it'll propagate, but I have no way to know for sure. That's annoying.
  • Have a marketing plan ready BEFORE releasing. Even if it's just where to send review copies, life gets so much easier when you know how to promote it. This time, I waited until it was out to start working on that; I won't be making the same mistake again.
All of this can be attributed to it being my first time doing this, so I'm not freaking out about it. It just means that next time, I'll have a better idea of how to do things, and in what order. And even with the issues, it's finally out there. I have fulfilled my dream of getting a book published. I've held it in my hands, and I won't lie, I giggled as I opened the box it shipped in.

So I'm living proof it can be done. I won't say done successfully, because time will be the one to tell on that one, but I pulled it off. If anyone's curious how it was done, here's what I used:

  • The cover was designed using Creative Commons License images from and, a commercial friendly font, a template from CreateSpace, and GIMP. Oh, and a LOT of time learning how to put it together.
  • Paperback formatting was done in MS Word. There's tutorials all over the net, but the bottom line is: learn to use the Styles bar. It will save your life here.
  • I lucked out and had someone volunteer to do the eBook formatting for me, but it was done using Sigil to build it, and Calibre to convert it to Amazon's preferred format.
  • As you probably figured out, I went through CreateSpace for the paperback printing and distribution, as well as the ISBN registration. It takes some learning, but it's not that bad, and the books have looked awesome so far. Just wish the offered a pre-order option...
  • For Kindle, I went direct through Kindle Direct Publishing. It was a one-page form for the book information, and a second page for pricing and distribution, and that was it. Extremely easy, just make sure you format according to their guidelines.
  • To get everywhere else digitally, I used Draft2Digital. They were also pretty easy to use, though I can't speak to royalty distribution yet. I'll update once I know.
Notice something about that list? It's all freely available. Sure, you can pay at almost every step of the way to get packages and the like, but if you're not afraid to do the work yourself, you can do it at no charge. That said, allocate some money for print proofs, ARCs (Advance Reading Copies), final copies for signing, and some money for postage. Set up a PayPal account to collect payments for signed editions, and it might not be a bad idea to look into pricing for marketing, if you don't know what to do on your own.

Oh, and cross your fingers. Hard work will take you a long way, but it doesn't hurt to have some good breaks along the journey!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Release Date and a Cover Reveal...

Without further ado:

Available as a paperback or an eBook April 19, 2016
Links coming as soon as the sites populate them...