Monthly Archives: May 2012

That Self-Pub Stigma

I’ve been writing for most of my life at this point. No one in my family can remember a time when I didn’t have a notebook and pen in hand, scribbling down my latest world.

For the longest time, I wrote for myself. I didn’t intend for it to really go anywhere, I just knew that I liked to create worlds and the stories that went with them.

That changed a few years ago when I became serious about getting published. This was before ebooks even existed, so I sent off my queries to agents and got back the standard form letter rejections.

I looked into vanity presses but the fact that you needed thousands of dollars up front put me off from that rather quickly.

As I got a little older and gained more responsibilities, my writing dropped off. A couple of years ago I wrote a novella that I posted on fictionpress.org. To my surprise, I got a lot of positive feedback from it. So I decided to give publishing another go.

I pulled the novella off of fictionpress and rewrote it. I added in new a new character arc and refined the writing a bit. But as I was preparing to send it off to agents I heard about the boom that ebooks had become and learned tthat self-publishing was a viable option that wasn’t going to cost thousands of dollars up front. I submitted my novel to a couple of small ebook publishers and got some solid feedback from several of the. That novel would need to be rewritten before I was ready for primetime.

But this time I wasn’t dissuaded. I had just stumbled upon a solid idea for a novel and I went to worn developing what wwould eventually turn onto The Cerberus Rebellion.

Now, the reason that I told you all of that was to give you a background for my point.

My brother texted me the other day and asked what I was planning tl sell my book for. I told him my planned price point and how much it would net me in royalties per unit.

When he asked me who I was going to work with for promotion and distribution, I told him that I was going to be releasing as an ebook through Amazon initially and that I was on my own for promotion. That brought up the question of what it would take to get my novel on bookshelves and I told him that first a major publisher would have to make an offer and that I would have to accept it.

He asked “Why wouldn’t you?” That lead to a conversation about how the publishing world has changed and how I would likely be making a fair amount of money by the time anyone noticed me.

I think that it was just revealing how many people don’t realize that the publishing world has shifted and a lot of people still look down on those who self-publish as of we aren’t really published authors.

One Universe – Endless Opportunities

This post was originally going to highlight how my current working universe started as a random short story tapped out on my phone and converted itself first into a “historical fiction” type book and then into a Gunpowder Fantasy.

Instead, I thought I would talk about how a single universe can be a wealth of opportunities for multiple story lines and independent series.

I was reading A Way with Worlds post on cultures, and it came to me that building out a detailed world is not only important for immersing your readers in your world, but can spawn new ideas. As I was putting down some background information for my supporting short stories when some of the background turned itself into the basis for a whole new series.

Now, writing two separate series in the same universe can be tricky. If you choose to have the two stories work closely together, you have to worry about writing both series simultaneously or risk revealing too much about one storyline.

If you choose to have the two more loosely related, as I intend to do with my Griffins & Gunpowder and Red Dragon’s War series, then you have to focus less on either story revealing too much and more on making sure that any interactions between the two series are consistent between the two.

One of the advantages of this approach,  however, is that your secondary and background world building is already done for you. You also have the ability to make your world more detailed. Where telling about a certain nation would be an info-dump in Series 1, in Series 2 you can go into great detail as part of the story.

What do you think about writing more than one series in a shared universe? What other challenges or advantages do you think would come with the territory?

Cover Progress

So this afternoon I received the fully shaded with background copy of my cover for The Cerberus Rebellion.

All that is left to do is have the image colored and add the typography.

Greyscale

Greyscale image of The Cerberus Rebellion

I’m going to have the uniforms black with red accents. The flag will also be black with the Cerberus in red.

So, what do you think?

Blurb, Round 2

So after so work, here is the 3rd draft of my Logline/Blurb.

Logline:     One hundred years of peace and prosperity.     War changes everything.

Blurb:

On the world of Zaria, Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.

A war on the other side of the world has awakened the nation of Ansgar from its century long slumber. Before the armies of Ansgar are able to sail to war, a rebellion threatens to tear the nation apart.

One paranoid king determined to keep control. Two brothers, each with their own agenda. One maverick rebel, leading a fight to freedom.

In a war, little is held back; in a revolution, nothing is safe.

Finding the Time…

…to write.

This post is inspired by a posy I saw on Kindleboards in the Writer’s Cafe.

I’m a workaholic, I will readily admit that. While I like the income from two jobs, it’s a terribly wearing thing to do and leaves little time for family-time and less time for writing.

My ultimate goal in my quest to finish my novels and publish them is to be able to afford to quit my day job. I know that it’s a longshot and that it may take some time to accomplish my goal, I feel that what I’m working on is unique and compelling enough to eventually carry me into that realm.

But first, I have to find the time to write and edit.

My wife and I recently made a rule: while our 15 month old son is awake, we only use technology when it is absolutely necessary. With the exception of Sundays. This cuts out around 2-3 hours on weeknights but I’m okay with that as I’m not particularly productive between day job and night job anyways.

So I cram all of my work into Friday and Saturday nights after 10, except when we rent a movie, and all day Sundays.

During the week I’ll use my smartphone to type up plot ideas or character arcs, so some of the back end stuff doesn’t require my attention during my designated writing periods. It’s still difficult to cram all of that work into such small periods, but I’m a workaholic, I can do it!

So when do you find time to write?