The Paperback, finally.

Yes, it’s really happening: you will be able to buy my book in a real old-fashioned paperback book (made with paper and everything) on March 31. It will be available at Amazon or directly with Createspace (where the book is printed on demand).

Paperback available for purchase starting March 31, 2015.

Paperback available for purchase starting March 31, 2015.

Once again, I did it all by myself. Cover, layout, everything: all me. And I’m darned proud of it, too.

So for all you out there who have been holding out on me (“Oh, an e-book? When’s the real book coming out?”), you have no excuse now.

You can still buy the e-book, too, of course.

Enjoy, and sorry it took so long. Way too long.

The Rise of Indie Authorship Credibility

great article over at IndieReader continues to drive home the message: readers are smart enough to choose the books they want to read.

Think about all the art out there:

Would you only buy a painting from an art gallery?  Probably not. If you saw someone selling their watercolor paintings at the boardwalk and you really liked it, you’d buy it!

Would you only buy a CD from Best Buy? Of course not. If you see a band play at a local bar and like what you hear, you pick up their home-made album and enjoy it on the way home!

Would you only buy jewelry from a “real” jewelry store or department store? Not if you saw some beautiful hand-made dichroic glass jewelry at  a local festival.

Would you only spend your money on Broadway shows in Manhattan? Chances are, your community theater puts on great shows that are well worth your time and money.

SO…

Why would you only buy a book that was printed by one of the major publishing houses? Why do they get to choose what you can and cannot read?

Send a message to traditional publishing with your wallet: buy indie books. Let the world know authors are finally in control of their work, and that readers are finally free to choose.

Why I’ve Chosen to Indie Publish My Novel

Indie music, Indie video games, Indie publishing. It’s all the rage, haven’t you heard?

I’ve been a nerd/geek for as long as I can remember. Being trendy has never been an aspiration of mine. I’m very independent.

Hence, Independent publishing.

Thanks to Amazon, the ebook revolution is well underway, and now authors have a new and inexpensive way to reach readers, and maybe some can even make a living out of it.

My reasons for choosing to go Indie with By the Light of the Moons are the following:

  1. Royalties: Let’s just get this one out of the way first since it’s a no-brainer. 70% royalty per ebook paid once a month when Indie, vs. 10-15% per book paid 1 or 2 times a year when with a publisher? No contest.
  2. Marketing: Wait, what? Don’t Indies have to market their books themselves? Yes, but so do first-time authors going traditional publishing–and for substantially less money for their effort, too. If I’m going to have to do it anyway, might as well make more money. And do it my way. Which leads me to…
  3. Control: I choose everything. The cover, the title, the blurb, the layout, the ebook formats available, the marketing, and most important the price are all controlled by me. For the perfectionist, this is heaven.
  4. Ownership: If I chose to publish with a traditional publisher, I would have to sell my rights to the book to them. Indie publishers retain their intellectual property.
  5. Speed: Indie publishers can get their books out instantly. Legacy publishing can take 1 to 2 years to print and get in stores.
  6. Sold Forever: Legacy publishing is cruel; if you don’t start selling within a few weeks, your books are pulled off shelves. With ebook indie publishing, everyone shares the same web real estate, and a book is only pulled if I want it to be.
  7. Freedom: For the first time, writers are now able to be the artists they truly are. Think about all the other professions of art: painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, soap makers… you name it, they have the freedom to create, produce, market and sell, all on their own. Sure, it’s hard. But they have the freedom to try, and succeed or fail by their own merit. They’re not held back by the enormous power that publishing companies have to deem which writers are worthy of print. And now, the writers are free, too.

Despite all the above, there is still that little part of me (the one that wants recognition and prestige) that wonders, “Could I have made it the traditional way?”  I don’t know.

But  really,who cares? Why should a person I’ve never met get to decide if my book is “worthy” of print? Let the reading market decide if I’m worthy.

Independence. It is here. It is now. Savor it.

Fantasy Series Fatigue

When I started writing my first novel, a fantasy, two years ago, I realized how little of the genre I had actually read. I see this as both a blessing and a curse. A genre writer’s fans expect certain conventions to be followed, while at the same time they expect to read something new. I have no idea how original my novel’s story is in the world of fantasy, and part of me thinks the less I know about what’s already out there, the better.

That’s only a small part of me, though.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying multiple books about writing, it’s that all writers must read, as much as they can, in their genre as well as other genres. It’s the only way to improve your writing. Writers need to see how their peers work the craft–the good and the bad. I’ve come to believe this is essential. My work improved dramatically just from reading a few new fantasy books.

Clarification: Of course I have read Tolkien’s works. This is fantasy 101, and would have been inexcusable if I hadn’t read it. I also have a lot of experience with fantasy role playing games (dice-based and video games), comic books, and fantasy movies. I’ve also read a few other fantasy books here and there, some of which I will talk about in later posts, because some are overlooked gems. Having said that, how could I possibly expect to call myself a fantasy writer if I hadn’t read A LOT of fantasy works, especially the current ones and the long-time fan favorites?

My “to-read” list is long. I work full time, have a wife and two small children, and write on the side. That doesn’t leave a lot of reading time, so I get through that list slowly. I finally got to the current heavy-hitter, George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series, about 9 months ago. I am now 1/3 through A Dance with Dragons, book five and the series’ latest volume. While I am glad I have read these, I am, in a word, fatigued.

Who wouldn’t be? I’ve read over 3500 pages in one series alone! It is immense: hundreds and hundreds of characters in dozens of locations throughout a highly detailed world. Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of one of the several dozen major characters, and each successive book adds more of them. It’s a lot to keep track of, hence the fatigue. Worse, the series isn’t even finished! Martin has more volumes to go. Who knows when or if he will finish in his lifetime?! Whenever I read book six, how much will I remember of the previous five? I’m complaining a bit, but overall I have found the series to be very satisfying, compelling, and well worth the investment of my time. These are truly great novels. I’m just ready to read something else now.

After finishing A Dance, I’ll read a few single-volume novels. Then the next series I plan to read is Steven Erickson‘s Malazan Book of the Fallen. The good news is I know the series has an ending. The bad news is that it is a ten-volume series totaling almost 11,000 pages. I wonder if I should stagger it with another series, to battle against the fatigue. Anyone else tackle series-reading this way?

Oh, did I mention my first novel is the first of a planned series of four books?