Our Pain, Your Gain

After the success of last month’s Fathers Day sale, it appears my publisher has elected to keep Perigee and Farside at the discounted price of $3.99 for an indefinite time. Even better, today is Amazon Prime Day which kinda makes it like shopping at WalMart – you go in for one or two things and come out with a cart full stuff you just had to have.

The key word here is indefinite. All good things must come to an end, but I have no idea when that might be. So if you’re filling up that shopping cart anyway then you might as well pick up a couple of great books cheap.


Big News

I’m now publishing with Baen. They’ve picked up Perigee and Farside, which are being republished under their imprint this week. More news to follow as I work on future titles with them. You might have noticed the blog has been on life support the last few months, needless to say I’ve been rather distracted and it hasn’t all been publishing deals. If y’all keep coming back for updates on the new titles, I’ll promise to start putting up actual content again.


Preorder FARSIDE Now!

FARSIDEx2700BYes, I’m finally confident enough that it’s ready to throw a date out there: Oct. 1st. A surge of pre-orders on Amazon obviously helps sales after release day, so please consider hitting that button.

Not sure what you’re getting? Check out the preview link above.

I plan to keep it exclusive to the Zon for the first three months, then put it out on the other distributors (Apple, B&N, Kobo, Google Play). Sales have been pretty dismal with those outlets in the past, but now that I’ll have more than one book out there it’ll be interesting to see if that changes.

The End In Sight

FARSIDEx2700BI can now say that whole “Second Novel Curse” thing is for realz, ya’ll. It defies explanation – for if I could that would mean that I understood it and could thus avoid the whole problem – but one would think after all of the work that goes into finishing a first novel, it would be no big deal to finish the second one…right?



Silly human. Don’t you realize that your brain immediately purges itself at the end of the creative process, leaving you a state of near-helplessness not experienced since your infancy (but without the wet diapers and boobies)?

Other writers warned me that the first novel seems to arrive almost fully-formed in your mind; your task as an author is to figure out how to tell the story. It’s all there bursting to get out and just waiting on you to prepare the way. The second novel is the reverse: now that you know how to do it, you have to scratch and claw your way to actually finding the story you want to tell in the first place.

There’s a difference between what happens in a story and what the thing’s actually about. I’m not afraid to say that every step in this process has been a struggle for a number of reasons. Some were of my own doing, many were not. Some were due to the fact that I have teenagers at home who needed more attention than I could have given if I’d instead devoted that energy to finishing this book two years ago. I can always write more but those boys will only grow up once. The world already has enough unprincipled yahoos in it, ya’ll don’t want me letting a couple more loose.

Just deciding on the title was a struggle, and in this case one where time was on my side. Back when I thought this would be ready in 2013, the title I’d planned on ended up being used by a much better-known author. While not necessarily subject to copyright, to me it seemed like very bad form to use the same title. Fortunately, enough time has passed that I’m now comfortable with it again.

So yes, the Perigee sequel is actually complete. Not “finished,” mind you, just “complete.” That means I’m in the midst of polishing the manuscript before sending it off for editing and book formatting. This is the fun part, too: things like settling on a title and finalizing cover art are good at providing a much-needed kick in the @$$.

FARSIDE will be available soon for pre-order on Amazon.

What Rhymes with “FREE”?

PERIGEE, that’s what.

Haven’t done this in a while, but this is my last week on Kindle Select before I put it back up on Barnes&Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

It’s been a long time since I tried goosing sales like this as KDP Free days don’t have the Oomph they used to, unless it pushes you into the Top 100. So yeah, let’s do that.

The sequel is very close to being done, or at least it’s past the “vomit draft” stage and is turning into something coherent and readable. If you haven’t read Perigee yet, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. If you know people who might like it, then bring ’em to the party.

Sayonara, Suckas

This will be my last post before heading off into the mountains for a couple of weeks.

Pack? Check.

Boots? Check.

Sunscreen? Check.

Ben-Gay? Nope, not ever.

Forest fires? Check.

Snakebite kit? Check.

Bear repellent? Check.

Since I’m not nearly well-known enough yet to arrange for a guest blogger, I’m afraid this is it until July. But since I’m such a nice guy, Perigee will be on sale for $0.99 until then. If you haven’t read it yet, by all means give it a whirl. You’ll be tested when I get back.

See ya!

Tearing Down Walls

About dadgum time something like this happened.

We are well into a complete remaking of the relationship between reader and author, where publishers are not really necessary. The types of services they provide certainly are, but their lock on distribution is long gone. Writers will always need editors, proofreaders, cover artists, and book designers…but we no longer have to become indentured servants to do so.

Who knows if ITW and SFWA will follow suit, but their insistence on “recognized commercial publishers” wore out my patience a long time ago. Traditionally-published authors have told me that most books under the old model might sell only 1,500 copies. That made sense considering how long it might stay out on the shelves at Barnes & Noble…it used to be 6 to 8 weeks, now that’s been whittled down to 2 or 3 weeks. If that’s your primary sales channel, your last name had better be Rowling or Clancy. If not, then don’t quit your day job. But in the Age of Zon, shelf life is virtually unlimited. Perigee has sold 3,000+ copies so far, so what’s the new threshold of success? Should it be pure volume, or sales over a given period?

The resolution allows for self-published books as professional credit toward membership, as long as three important criteria are met. Self-published books presented by authors applying to join the Union must contain an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), must demonstrate commercial intent, and must be peer reviewed before being forwarded to the membership committee of the Union for approval based on existing criteria.

To be fair, I get the “peer review” part. Some people will slap a cheesy cover over whatever words they’ve vomited onto a Word doc and manage to con people into buying it by plugging a few sock-puppet 5-star reviews on it. So yeah, there has to be some measure of quality control. But this whole notion of requiring authors to be in the trad-publishing Cool Kids Club seems pretty outdated and more than a little insulting as time goes on. What about guys like Boyd Morrison? He had respectable sales as an independent and was picked up by a major publisher only to get dumped before his contract was up. So he’s back in the indie world, and hopefully doing better for it.

Why should anyone care, though? I’ve asked myself that – and I suppose my only interest is in the opportunity to commiserate with other writers whom I might never encounter otherwise.

It could be fun. Or not. Maybe they’re all just a bunch of wiener-heads.

Hurry…Act Now!

So yeah, I’m putting Perigee back in Amazon’s Kindle Select program and will be running a brief $0.99 sale for Mother’s Day. So any of you Muthas who haven’t read it no longer have an excuse: it’s cheap, and if you’re an Amazon Prime member it’s even cheaper. That is, free in the Kindle Owners Lending Library. And we all like free.

I’ll even make it easy for you! Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Perigee-ebook/dp/B006PNL48I


Sneak Previews

Can you say “Insta-lanche”?

Dr. Helen Smith (wife of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds) recently started a new social hub for like-minded libertarian-ish people, called simply Helen’s Page, and yesterday I posted a notice that Perigee was on sale for 99 cents. Professor Reynolds then gave it a brief plug on Instapundit, and BOOM went the dynamite!

As of right now, it’s #12 on Amazon’s technothriller list and rapidly closing on Tom Clancy’s six. Of course, that won’t really mean anything until I’m making Clancy-level bank and can buy my own personal baseball team. Anybody know a good Hollywood agent? Yeah, I know: oxymoron. But for now it’s awesome just to see it on the same browser page as Jack Ryan’s creator.

Some readers have inquired about the sequel, titled I Have No Freaking Idea What To Call This Book. Or if that doesn’t work, maybe something simple, catchy, that nicely bookends the two novels.

Like, I dunno, Apogee. Yeah, that’s the ticket! All shall gaze in wonder and despair at my luminous, unrestrained genius! ‘Cause I’m a writer, beeches.

I first posted a preview last year, back when I was still toying with “Terminal Velocity” as a title. So for you newbies, please allow me to make it easy for you. For my old readers: hang on, more is on the way. I do appreciate every single one of you, and in all seriousness give thanks to God every time more copies are downloaded through the wonder of Amazon.

In the future, I’ll collect these sneak peeks under the new “Book Previews” category. Enjoy! Continue reading “Sneak Previews”

Here Goes Nothing

Perigee is now entered in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Not much anyone can do at this point other than pray, cross your fingers, and wish me luck. I’d been planning to pursue an Amazon Publishing contract for the sequel (which I’m pretty well settled on titling “Apogee” – go figure) but this raises the stakes a bit.

Of course, the original is still for sale so just head on over to the cover thumbnail and mash that there button.

Please? Ammo’s getting expensive these days…