Posts Tagged ‘indie books’

The cover is here! I struggled with a title and a story for a while, but it’s just now starting to materialize. And DIS COVER…

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It communicates the entire book perfectly. Now hopefully I can finish a story that can do it justice.

I have the next ten days free from work (yay vacation!). But now I will be doing another kind of work – working like a madman to finish my book and hopefully go through a round or two of edits before December gets started.

Wish me luck!

Alright, I’m very excited about this cover. Amazing work once again from Luke Atkinson.

WLC-Revelations-Coverv2

Alex and friends return to a Wasteland in turmoil. The Raiders are scattered, the Exiles hunted, and the feuding Vegas gangs plot one another’s destruction. Makara, head of the New Angels, has the difficult task of convincing disparate groups to work together before Emperor Augustus and his legions arrive.

But while humanity fights amongst itself, the Great Blight prepares its final onslaught – and at the center of it all, there is a secret that could spell the end of the invasion. It is a revelation only Alex can discover…and it might cost him everything.

Coming October 1

For the first time in a while, I’m going to write a post. I used to do this more often, but I have just been letting general busyness get to me, I guess. I think that is a good thing, overall. With my new job, I have much more time to write, and it’s really showing. I began my new manuscript two Mondays ago (Aug. 5th) and it is already nearing 19,000 words. At this rate, the first draft might even be done by the end of the month – and hopefully from there, will be published anywhere e-books are sold by the end of September (and hopefully, a paperback will be available as well).

So far, I’m very pleased with how things are going. I think I’m reaching a point where all this hard work is starting to pay off. Don’t get me wrong; it was paying off from the very beginning. People are finding my writing, and (generally) enjoying it. I’m finding new readers, slowly. It’s encouraging, especially in that I do very little to promote my work outside of the occasional Goodreads giveaway (to which people enthusiastically respond, just from the sheer premise of the book and the cover art). It’s encouraging to see people going onto the next in the series. It tells me I’m doing at least something right.

I honestly couldn’t be happier (except, maybe, if I became, in the words of Forrest Gump, a “gazillionarie”). To me, it’s always been about the writing. Writing is what I believe I’m best at, and it’s what I have the most fun doing – which is why it’s amazing to see anyone read and enjoy my work. I’ve always known that if I wanted to reach the stars, my best chance of getting there was honing my craft and becoming the best writer I could possibly be. What I write isn’t the most intellectual stuff, but my goal is to write a fast-paced story that is hard to put down, something that hopefully has good characters that readers can grow to love (and hate) over the series. Basically, the kind of stuff I like to read, mostly in science fiction and fantasy realms (though I do read outside of those genres as well).

It’s always a work in progress, and I’m always learning. It takes a while to get where you’re going, especially when where you’re going is always changing. I expect that as I keep writing, my goals will always be shifting. I will always be aiming higher, to craft a better story and to reach more readers. I’d always intended to self publish the Wasteland Chronicles, owing to the novella format. In the end, it was the right decision. Self-publishing allows me to write, edit, and reach my readers faster than any other means.

It’s a lot of fun, and if you had told me a year ago that by this point I’d have three more books published, I’d want to find a time machine. Last year around this time, I was pretty depressed because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I wasn’t writing (at least, not as much as I am now). I dreamed of getting to a point where I was writing and managing my books on a daily basis. On August 13th last year, I was working a depressing job and struggling to cobble together the first, short draft of what was to be called “The Wasteland Journals.” A couple weeks ago, I found a really old manuscript of that draft and thought it had been written by a retarded fish.

I have come a long way. And the progress I’m making now makes me look forward and dream to where I’ll be a year from now. A year from now, The Wasteland Chronicles will have long been done. I might be working on a second series by that point (perhaps set in the same universe). I might begin work on the epic fantasy series I’ve always wanted to write as a kid. I will likely have eight or nine + books published. By the end of this year alone, I will have at least two more published, and hopefully, with the time my new job affords, maybe even more.

I feel like nothing can stop me, for the first time in my life. I’m not my own worst enemy anymore. I’m finally doing what I want to do, and it feels great.

Hey guys! Letting you all know that Evolution is now out! It can be found on Amazon at this link.

I had a lot of fun writing this one. It may be the best one yet. In the back of the book, it even has a glossary that defines many of the terms found within the Wasteland universe (fancy, huh?).

And just because it’s so awesome, I’m going to post the cover again.

WLC-Evolution

It’s about that time again, folks! Book 3 of The Wasteland Chronicles, Evolution, is pretty much done, barring a few minor details. Here is the very awesome cover done by the series artist, Luke Atkinson! And yes, those are dragons!

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Expect the book to drop on 8/8/2013, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo! I am getting PUMPED!

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Title: Till Undeath Do Us Part

Genre: Zombie/Novella

Author: Anthony Camber

TLDR version: A fast-paced, snappy, gripping zombie novella set in Cambridge, England, with a gay main character (though it can be enjoyed by any audience). It contains two story arcs, one focusing on escape, the other on love. The writing is engaging; Camber is talented.

My thoughts: In the zombie genre you get a lot of the same. As such, I’m always looking for something different.

Till Undeath Do Us Part gave me that and more. This fast-paced novella has a lot of things that set it apart – primarily, the same-sex relationship of the main character, Olly, to his boyfriend, Josh, both Cambridge rowers, and the dual story nature of the novella.

The story starts with action from the get-go, when Olly discovers that his boyfriend Josh’s experiments with pheromones have gone awry, zombifying students. Suddenly, Olly is on a mission to escape – not just the students, but his now undead boyfriend.

The dialogue is snappy, witty, and funny in true British form. Camber is definitely a skilled storyteller and I was sucked in after the first few pages. There are two story arcs that switch intermittently. This would normally annoy me, but Camber pulls it off well.

The main story arc follows Olly and his attempt to escape. The other story is a series of flashbacks that details the development of Olly and Josh’s relationship. The escape story is the more interesting, at first, but the love story picks up about halfway into the novella. At the very end, Camber’s intent becomes clear when past and present fuse to provide an amazing conclusion.

Any fan of zombie literature likes good action scenes – this book definitely has them and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I also liked the descriptions of Cambridge. It’s a place I’ve never been, and it was good to see it through the eyes of someone who lives there. Camber describes the place with familiarity, even giving local nicknames to some of the sites. I got the sense of what life might be like for a Cambridge student.

Till Undeath Do Us Part can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates a good zombie story. It is a quick read, and it offers enough that is different for veterans (and non-veterans) of the zombie genre to be hooked. My only regret is that, for the length, it’s a bit pricey when compared to the competition. That said, I don’t think you’d go wrong spending the money for this well-told story.

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About this book:

Title: Portal Aracne I (Reversion)

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror

Author: J. Thorn

My thoughts:

This is my first indie book review on this blog, and this is something I hope I can do from time to time (on a once or twice a week basis). There are a lot of hidden gems out there that don’t get discovered. Trust me, there’s a lot that’s bad as well, but sometimes you find something that’s really cheap yet good.

Portal Arcane really is that. I should preface this by saying that this isn’t for everyone.  It has a slower pace, but I still found myself getting sucked in. The beginning is dark and somber, starting in a dark forest with dozens of ropes hanging from trees. We follow Samuel, the amnesiac protagonist, as he goes on a quest to discover who he was – and where he is – and why he’s being hunted.

The writing is clear, and there is always the hint of danger looming – it makes for a very dark, spooky vibe, where the fear is more in the anticipation of danger than the actual danger itself (though that danger is always there, like a cloud).

Portal Arcane  was a short read, or at least it felt that way to me. As you go through the story, Samuel discovers bits of his past through flashbacks, very Lost-like. I am not a fan of flashbacks, as I think they ruin the pacing of a story, but here they worked rather well. The mood is dark, and it’s a bit esoteric – but at the same time, I found myself really getting into this story. For an indie book, the errors were very low – so if that sort of thing annoys you, fear not, grammarians.

My main critique is while the dimensional concept of the book is fascinating, it is never fully explained. Perhaps this is intentional, and perhaps it is answered in a sequel.

I’d recommend it for anyone who’s a fan of gloomy stuff, where the fear is more in the impending doom than the monster in the closet. I never really found Portal Arcane scary, but it also takes a lot to creep me out – this book’s dark flavor comes from its psychological, relentless nature.

Also, the ending – the ending was amazing. Maybe not the perfect tie-up, as it leaves unanswered questions (which may or may not be answered in the sequels), but it does well enough. It’s only $.99, and probably should go for a little more, to be honest, because it’s worth it.

I’ve been posting (spamming, more like) about it often on Facebook and a bit on Twitter, but here are the numbers (as of 10:12 p.m., so there’s still a few hours left on the giveaway).

U.S. Downloads: 1768

U.K. Downloads: 96

Germany: 8

France: 3

Canada: 9

Brazil: 1

Total Downloads: 1885

This might sound a bit weird, but I was expecting a little more. A few blogs posted about it…nowhere as many as I thought. Then again, the download numbers might have been a bit lower without that promo, but for the most part it seemed the readers found the book on their own. By late afternoon yesterday, Night of the Necromancer was already in the top 10 in both free paranormal and free horror.

Then again, who am I to complain? 1,885 is a large number of people to have your writing in their hands. I bet a lot of people don’t get as high on the lists as Night of the Necromancer got.

ImageThis was the only screenshot I took, and it was taken probably late morning of Saturday 1/26/2013. As you can see, this is Night of the Necromancer at #15 on the free horror column.

The question, “is this working in getting my books more exposure?” It’s hard to say at this point, but it does seem to be working, at least in the short run. I can only hope that all these readers like my books enough to tell other people – which is really the point of the whole thing. I’ve been really encouraged by positive reviews on Apocalypse that seemed to come as a result of the promo, and sales have definitely spiked a little bit.

There are always positive reinforcements going on, but right now I’m tired so it’s just hard to focus on them. I just want to say that it is really great to see some results after working hard, and I’m not just talking about the free promo, but the whole “operation build a platform” thing. It’s like I’m trying to push a heavy boulder – but hopefully once I get it started, it will be easier to keep the momentum going. I’m definitely, definitely a lot farther along than I was two months ago – even one week ago. There are at least 4,000 people worldwide who have read my name and have my books – that has to count for something.

In a way, having people read my books, even if they are free, is a victory. It’s a lot of exposure, and a lot of eyes seeing something I created, something I worked very hard on, and in some cases poured my soul into. Trying to put yourself out there is tough, because people are inherently skeptical (as they should be) of an indie author, because there is so much that is bad out there.

I think the coming weeks and next month will tell a more full story, but I’m hoping that this is enough to get a snowball rolling down the hill.

It’s been exhausting, in a way. I’m a little burned out on promoting. It seems for the past two months I’ve done nothing but format, check for typos (not all of which I’ve found), submit to blogs, and plan my free days – among other things I’m sure I’m forgetting. I woke up at 9 this morning, and slept three hours this afternoon, and I’m still tired. I want to get back to the actual writing bit, which is the reason I’m doing this.

I’ve sort of hit a bump with my fantasy novella – I’m having the usual crisis I always seem to have after a first draft, of believing that it’s horrible and stuff. I think maybe it is, but I might be able to fix it. It seems like a huge mountain at this point. I’m outlining book two of The Wasteland Chronicles, but am having trouble finding a way to keep the plot moving until the end.

Those are questions for another time, however. After this, I’m going to take a break from promotion for a little bit. I’ll still post on this blog for sure. I know lately all my posts have been about writing, books, sales, blah, blah, blah, but hopefully I can get away from that for a while. I don’t want to lose the magic of writing and creating a story, which is the reason I do this, anyway.

There’s still some time left on the giveaway, so if you’re reading this, hurry on over to Amazon and get your free copy of Night of the Necromancer.

As always, thanks for your support.

Luke Atkinson and I (mostly Luke) are working very hard  to bring you, dear readers, a physical copy of Apocalypse, which will available directly from Amazon soon!

This should all be set and ready to go within a month’s time (as in…available in a month or less). I’m not sure on costs yet, but I’d expect something in the range of $6.99-9.99 (plus shipping).

Besides being able to have a physical copy in your hands, I’m also excited about doing giveaways! I’ll be doing several first edition SIGNED book giveaways on Goodreads whenever I have the first copies in my hands. Wowza!

It’s a very cool feeling. But the real star of show here is Luke and his absolutely mindblowingly good cover. Check it out:

ImageLeft: Back cover. Right: Front cover: Black middle=spine (too thin for text, alas…it is a novella after all).

I’m very excited about this print copy. I can’t wait until everything in the series is done, so they can all be collected in one giant book, something that I would expect to be anywhere from 120,000 words (on the low end) to 175,000 words on the high end (wowza indeed!).

I’m already starting to outline book two, so hopefully that can be done in no more than two months. Kewl!

Quick blog post, some updates:

1. No more job. Feels kind of weird but whatevs.

2. Potential job? I might be working at Hobby Lobby in their distribution center. Very different from what I did before, but my couple of interviews went well.

3. Almost done with my novella, working series title of Dark Prophecies. I like the title, only there haven’t been any prophecies yet…that might change. Wherein I attempt my first love story, sorta…when all the action doesn’t get in the way.

4. Going to meet up with my Night of the Necromancer co-author, the illustrious Jelani Sims, tomorrow for our blogging blitz. I’m pretty excited about it. Hopefully we can get some reviews.

5. Hoping to do some free giveaways soon for both of my books. Stay tuned.

6. I will be conspiring with Luke Atkinson to design a physical copy of Apocalypse. I’m pretty excited about it. More on that in coming weeks.

7. Operation “Build a Platform” continues. I’m now on Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, and maybe a couple other places. Eventually I’ll start a Facebook fan page, but at this point it doesn’t seem to be too big of a thing. Also thinking of doing a LinkedIn and using Twitter more often. I’m still learning the promotion side of it. It’s pretty exciting, but at the same time, a lot of work.

8. By tomorrow, both of my books will be in their final forms (please God I hope). After that, and after all my platforms are up, nothing will stop me from promoting them.

That’s it for now.