Friday, July 29, 2016

Exploratory Writing: Ken Gets A Warning

"Is the patient awake?"

Ken opened his eyes and turned his head to the door. "Yes, nurse, I am."

A smiling nurse, middle-aged, entered the room with a package in hand. "A man stopped by while you were asleep. He wanted to give this to you, but didn't want to disturb you."

"I didn't think that the hospital was in the habit of acting like a hotel." Ken let out a chuckle.

The nurse brought the plain-wrapped package to his bed and put it on the table. "Security found nothing out of line, so we held it at the desk for you. There's even a little gift card."

Ken marked the dimensions of the package: two inches tall, one foot across, six inches wide. Security here is incompetent. This package alone is a warning. I need to get out of here immediately. he thought, and then he opened the simple card:

Who knows what lurks in the hearts of men?

Ken saw nothing else on the card. The answer is the contents of this package. he figured.

"Lunch will be ready in an hour." the nurse said, "I'll be back then."

Ken waited for the nurse to leave, closing the door behind her. He looked about a moment, seeing no obvious cameras, before he carefully took apart the plain paper wrapping the package. Then he opened the cardboard box underneath, which revealed a very thin layer of film. Tearing that away revealed the contents: a brand new CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow, along with three full magazines and a concealed-carry holster. Attached, on a Post-It note, read: "They're coming. Get out, now! If you make it, get in touch." - SDL

"The Shadow knows!" indeed. Ken thought as he quickly put the kit together, Scrubs will do until I get out of here.

Ken swung himself out and on to his feet. He wobbled a bit, and then grabbed a sash from a robe to use as a baldrick. He looked into the mirror in the bathroom, saw that he looked like he'd been a blanket party guest of honor, and sighed. It will have to do. Holster at his chest, and a pouch on his hip to hold the spares, Ken was as ready as he could get.

Bring it. Ken thought as he drew the Shadow and racked the slide, I'm ready for Round 2.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Writer's Development: What I'm Reading Now

I've finally started making use of my tablet as an e-reader. Thanks to contests and giveaways, I've got a good starting pile of virtual books to go parallel with the pile of print books. Here's what I've read or am reading recently:

  • SJWs Always Lie
  • The Last Witchking
  • Gorilla Mindset
  • Spacehounds of IPC
  • The Republic of Thieves
  • Jibaro Death
  • The Blue Sphinx
  • Rules For Radicals

I also received CTRL-ATL-Revolt, Rabbit in the Road, and The Dusk Harbinger. They're on the pile now and I'll get to them in due time. Reviews of each book will be forthcoming.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Admin: Release Schedule Coming

The moving of house by my family is about complete. My seasonable obligations are about complete. I am now able to take the time to review what I have in development, decide what to do about each manuscript, and thereby prepare a release schedule for this year and into next year. I will announce what that is in a few weeks.

In addition to the fiction manuscripts I have in the works, I will announce one non-fiction project. Full announcement to come presently.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Your Book Launches Are Your Problem, And Your Opportunity

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, each author is a publishing house unto himself now. For those not in the dying traditional publishing world, this is literally so. It is virtually so regardless of how you play the game, because publishers and agents can only do so much so you might as well operate like the true indie authors.

That means making publishing decisions for yourself. One of them is what format you will publish in, and when you do it: e-pub, print, and audiobook. You should do all three, but you need not do all of them at once. Furthermore, I say that you should not do so. You stand a better chance of overall success by treating each format's release as a separate book launch event, allowing each previous event to push the new one and each new one to promote the previous ones.

What I'm going to do is go with a specific launch order: ebook, print, audiobook. I may break the print section down further by hardcover and paperback, once that becomes something I can bother doing. The reason for the order is this: any errors in the ebook can be corrected and pushed forward free of charge, and the corrected files then be used to for the print book version, which will be the basis for the audiobook VO script.

Now, exactly which thing gets put out when I don't know yet. That I'll announce in a few weeks.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Convention Scene is Useless

This weekend I'm attending the big local fan convention in the Minneapolis area, CONvergence. Plenty of authors attend, and one is often one of the Guests of Honor. Authors shill their stuff, sign copies, sit on panels about stuff and things, and talk shop in the bar. Many decide to do a lot of cons, making this a core element of their other-than-actually-writing career, and thus see their peers often.

This is part of the dying paradigm, and I have no intention of making this transition because superior alternatives to each element already exists.

From the safety and comfort of my home, damn near everything that the convention scene offers is easily replicated and in a form that is both decentralized (by comparison) and under my control:

  • Panels and Interviews: Google Hangout, alone, handles this; private Discord servers, Soundcloud for podcasts, etc. are also worthwhile.
  • Tables: Amazon author page, and a few others for niches Amazon doesn't handle.
  • Signings: Purchase personalized copies.
  • The Bar: Go to the fucking liquor store (or order in), and have friends over.

Far cheaper to set up and keep running. Far more likely to produce significant returns, and sooner, at the cost of more personal involvement on the business side of being a professional writer- but in this new publishing paradigm you have to do that anyway, so you might as well get on it and master that shit early.