Posts Tagged With: self-publishing

Where I’ll be: Gen Con 50

If you’re coming to Gen Con 50 next month (it’s only about 3 weeks away as of this posting!), you may be asking yourself: How do I find Hans and his wonderful books*?

I’m easy to find at Gen Con. Sure, I joke a lot about how I always seem to be in the bathroom or on a food run when people come by to see me, but the majority of my time when the Dealer Hall is open is spent at my table on Author’s Avenue. Gen Con has a lovely interactive map of the Dealer Hall this year, and my table, AD, is clearly shown (with a label, even!).

I’m fairly close to where I was last year, just closer to a high-traffic area. That should be good for sales. You’ll know you’ve found the right table if you see a tall banner of a swanky-looking minotaur.

Pancras isn’t hard to miss. He thinks you should buy the conclusion to the Scars of the Sundering trilogy, Salvation, while you’re there. After all, if you don’t, you won’t find out his ultimate fate, nor that of the drak twins, Kale & Delilah.

Of course, if you haven’t read the previous book, Lament will be available, too. And if you’ve read none of Scars of the Sundering (*gasp*), well, all three will be available for a special price if you purchase the trilogy.

I’ll also have a con-exclusive short story, “Burble’s Big Day.” Conventions and my personal appearances are the only place you’ll be able to purchase this illustrated book suitable for ages 8 and up. It makes an excellent gift for young readers you want to introduce to fantasy.

* You may not be asking yourself that, but maybe you should. 😀

Categories: conventions | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scars of the Sundering, book 2: Lament – Now Available for Pre-Order!

After much pain and heartache, the second novel in my Scars of the Sundering series, Lament, is now available for pre-order for Kindle.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00040]“The quality of our legacy is measured in the lives we touch.”

Pancras and the drak twins reach Muncifer. The judgment of Archmage Vilkan Icebreaker was swift: Pancras is sent to the far side of the continent and Delilah remains the Arcane University. His penance takes him toward the far north, and is made only somewhat better by the companionship of The Golden Slayer and the fiendling Qaliah. Along the way, events drive Pancras to rekindle his faith in Aita.

Bound to the Arcane University, Delilah works to escape, while her brother uncovers an ancient Munciferian secret that will change the very nature of magic as they know it and shake the foundation upon which the Arcane University was built.

Pre-orders will be delivered on August 1st. The print version will be released at Gen Con (August 4th) and but if you can’t wait, is available on right now!


Categories: Calliome | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

ConQuesT 47

Are you going to ConQuesT 47 in Kansas City, MO over Memorial Day weekend (May 27 – 29)? I will be there all three days selling & signing my novels and short stories. But that’s not all! I will also be on three panels on Saturday.

Success vs Accomplishment SAT 11 AM
A philosophical, and hopefully informational, discussion about what it
means to make it as a writer or an artist. What are your goals? How do you
measure yourself? What do you need to do next? How do you get there?

Dealing with Writer’s Block and Other Hurdles SAT 2 PM
With every book I write, I find there are more than a few periods of
internal conflict where the story is trying to break free but doesn’t
quite make it to my keyboard. Writer’s block is something many struggle
with. Join me as we discuss what works for me, for other writers, and for

Independent Publishing 101 SAT 4 PM
A nuts-and-bolts primer in how to run a business as a 21st-century
creative entrepreneur — there’s more to independent publishing than just

You won’t get these topics at the Gen Con Writer’s Symposium! At least, not from me. You also won’t hear what I have to say about these subjects here, at least, not before ConQuesT.

… mostly because I’m not sure what I’m going to say yet. I’ll try to make it profound and useful. I hope to see you there!

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2014 In Review

I kind of slacked off on blog updates for the last 6 weeks or so. I had intended to update once-a-week through NaNoWriMo, but clearly, that didn’t happen. What did happen was I got involved in writing my manuscript an felt that any time I spent writing something else was time when I wasn’t working on my novel.

Ironically, I’m still working on that novel. I ended NaNoWriMo somewhere in the mid-70K range, so it was a successful event. I’ve been plugging away through December and am currently sitting at just over 109,000 words. The first book in the series had a 110,000+ word first draft, so I’m not surprised. I hope to finish this one up here in the next couple of weeks, then take a few weeks or month off to work on some other projects. The first book, Malediction, will undoubtedly need revisions during that time (and I’ve been tweaking it as required while I work on book 2, Lament. I anticipate work on book 3, Redemption (or Revelation, still haven’t decided), to begin near the end of February or early March.

Sales for 2014 were pretty sluggish. Granted, I wasn’t doing much to market anything. Royalties from my Seven Galaxies story in Sojourn turned out to be my biggest consistent money maker in 2014, so I have high hopes for the revenue from having two stories in paid anthologies. My sales at signings and conventions were pretty good, though. My Gen Con sales more than paid for my inventory costs this year, and I think, the costs of the table. It didn’t pay for the hotel though, but since I was going to go to Gen Con anyway and stay downtown in a hotel, that would have been an expense regardless of whether or not I sold any books.

Now, when I talk about revenues, I’m talking about numbers on the order of $25 a QUARTER as being my largest source. Obviously, I’m not pulling in enough money to quit my day job yet. Still, reviews have been good overall, so people who don’t like my stories obviously don’t care enough to leave negative reviews (the worst review I have is on Goodreads, and it is a 2-star, no-text review of The Foundation of Drak-Anor compilation I sold at Gen Con; the reviews of the individual novels in that omnibus average above 4.6 out of 5). I would like more reviews though. They really do help motivate me to keep writing.

For 2015, I’m looking forward to completing the Scars of the Sundering trilogy. I have already engaged an artist to do the covers for me, as well as a cartographer to update the map. Book 1 is in the editing stage, Book 2’s first draft is probably 10-15K words from being finished, and I have a lot of ideas for Book 3. I plan to write a short story for the as-yet-unannounced Sojourn 3 anthology, as well as, another Zack Jackson novel (Zack Jackson and the Secret of Venus). I’ve also been developing an urban fantasy setting (think along the lines of Hellboy/Dresden Files/Anita Blake before they focused solely on paranormal erotica) and a series of children’s fantasy picture books. I don’t know if anything will come of those last two in 2015, but development will certainly continue. There will be a few surprises at my public appearances, too.

One other thing that will happen in the first quarter of 2015 is another interview series with the authors of the stories featured in the second Sojourn anthology. Depending on how many I get, there will be 1-2 posted a week. It’s a larger book with more authors than the first anthology. If you haven’t checked out the Sojourn anthologies yet, you can get them from Amazon and other book stores.

Have a great 2015!

Categories: Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra now available for all e-readers!

Zack Jackson Book 03 front cover smallZack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra is now available in three additional stores: Smashwords, Kobo, and DriveThruFiction. This means if you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the third Zack Jackson novel for your e-reader now, too! It also means that it should have moved through the distribution network and be available for order in most bookstores. If you’ve been waiting for Zack to be available on platforms other than Kindle, your ship has come in!

Categories: Publishing, Writing, Zack Jackson | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

New art and new fantasy novels!

Pancras the Putrid, First Wizard of Drak-Anor (Art by Lily Yang)

Pancras the Putrid, First Wizard of Drak-Anor
(Art by Lily Yang)

While I was at Gen Con, I met an impressive young artist, Lily Yang. Her portfolio impressed me so much, I decided to commission her to do the covers for my next three fantasy novels. I’m currently working on the first of three books that continues the story of Pancras and the drak twins, Kale and Delilah from my previous fantasy duology, The Foundation of Drak-Anor. I also commissioned her to do some character art for me that I can use in promotional materials. You can see the first such commission to the right.

The new trilogy is tentatively titled: The Necromancer’s Tale and will consist of three volumes: Malediction, Lament, and Salvation. The titles are still works-in-progress and may change as I continue writing.

Gen Con was successful for me and I sold through all but two or three of the remaining copies of The Foundation of Drak-Anor Gen Con-exclusive hardcover omnibus. Once these hardcovers are gone, I do not plan to produce more of them, although the individual books, Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs will still be available in paperback and for e-readers.

I also have an announcement to make regarding the third book in the Zack Jackson series, but I will save that for a separate post.

Categories: Calliome, Fantasy, Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gen Con Wrap-up – An Author’s Perspective

If you’re looking for a gamer’s perspective, see here.

While I am only semi-recovered from Gen Con, I think I can be coherent enough to tell you all about it. Let me get something out of the way first. This is my reaction to the amount of books I sold while sitting at my little table on Author’s Avenue in the Dealer Hall:

So yeah, it was a successful con for me. I met with a lot of new readers and sold books to both people I knew and complete strangers. I truly hope everyone who bought one of my books enjoys it. I made some contacts with people who might try to get the Zack Jackson series in elementary school science classes (making an effort to use real science in those books is paying off) and I spoke with a representative from the local library system.

I did not sell out of my Gen Con-exclusive limited edition omnibus of The Foundation of Drak-Anor; I sold just over half of them. I’ll hang onto the rest of the until next Gen Con, but I won’t be printing anymore because I stand by my assertion that it was a LIMITED EDITION. I printed 50 copies and 50 copies there shall be.

Now that the convention is over, it’s time to get back to work on my next book. I have a short story called “Forgotten Dreams” that is going to be in an anthology. “Forgotten Dreams” takes place in a new science fantasy setting I call “The Seven Galaxies.” I’ll reveal more when the anthology is officially announced and more things are locked in; we’re all still in the editing & peer review phase of our stories. My next book, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, is called Scars of the Sundering. It is a fantasy novel taking place on the World of Calliome (which you may remember from Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs), but we’ve moved further south, to the once-prosperous mining town of Curton. It is now five (five, five plus…still working that out) years beyond the events in Iron Fist of the Oroqs and we’ll see that a magical world like Calliome cannot be sundered and then healed without a few problems occurring in the deep places of the world. You’ll see what’s become of Tasha Galperin, though the novel focuses on a wayward transmuter and enchanter named Vasco Dragonblade from Maritropa and on the Constable of Curton, Knight-Commander of the Royal Order of the Shield, Aveline Durant, a woman whose family immigrated south from the coastal port of Vlorey to settle among the miners and mudders of Curton in a more prosperous time.

I will try to update this blog more often, but despite my success at Gen Con, I still feel like I don’t have a whole lot to say about my craft that isn’t already being said by folks more experienced than me.

Categories: Calliome, Scars of the Sundering | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

2012 in Review & Looking Ahead

2012 was quite a year, wasn’t it? Aside from personal life events, I managed to publish Iron Fist of the Oroqs and Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos, despite being somewhat late on both of them. I’d like to say “this is the year my books really took off,” but I’m satisfied with having given away over 700 books between Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs during the two Kindle-exclusive promo periods I ran. That’s a lot more people than I know personally, so hopefully, word will start to spread about my novels. I’m just happy people I don’t know are reading my books. I hope they’re enjoying them.

I have several goals for next year:

  • Publish Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy
  • Publish Scars of the Sundering
  • Re-release Wings of Twilight on Smashwords
  • Release Iron Fist of the Oroqs & Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos on Smashwords
  • Release all my novels through Kobo Writing Life
  • Release all my novels through Drive-Thru Fiction (Wings of Twilight was previously offered there with distribution assistance from Rite Publishing)
  • Write the first draft of Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra
  • Get a good start on the first draft of the next World of Calliome novel

You’ll notice I didn’t mention the iBook store for platforms on which I plan to release my books. I would like to, but all of my research thus far indicates that you have to use Apple’s software and it’s only available for Mac OS PCs. Well, I’m using a Windows 7 machine, and I don’t plan to purchase a Mac anytime soon. I think Smashword’s expanded distribution eventually reaches iBooks, so maybe I don’t have to worry about that, but they take a cut of my royalties. I’ll have to look into it further.

2013 is going to be busy. Here’s hoping I can keep to my schedule and get into a rhythm that will let me release two books a year (late spring & late fall)!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Decision to Self-Publish

Self-publishing, particularly in the electronic format, is experiencing a surge of sorts right now. There are still a lot of people out there who feel if you’re not being published by one of the “Big Six”, then you’re not really legitimate; they feel self-publishing, especially if you self-publish into print is pure vanity and instantly brand your product as unadulterated crap.


That’s not to say that there isn’t crap being self-published. But there’s also crap being published by the Big Six. Ever read a novel full of typos, grammatical errors, continuity errors, plot holes, and just plain, poor writing? Yeah, I have too. I’ve paid money for books like that. Money that went to one of the Big Six. The wildfire-like proliferation of e-readers has rendered the old-school publishing formula obsolete. Traditional publishing is now facing a crisis like that the RIAA faced when the music industry went digital. It’s unfortunate they didn’t take any lessons from that debacle.

I sent a few manuscripts to various publishers and agents (agents are the Gatekeepers of the publishing industry; I’m not sure who the Keymasters are). Like Peter Venkmen the first time he encountered Zuul, I was rejected. But since I don’t want to instigate an apocalypse of Biblical proportions (cats and dogs living together!), I didn’t knock on the door again and claim to be a friend of the Keymaster. Instead, I decided to take some advice and looked into self-publishing.

Yeah, it’s a lot of work. Sure, I could just put my project up there right now as an e-book, but then I’d just be adding to the crap. I’m paying someone to create cover art. I’m paying someone to draw maps. I’m paying for character portraits so I can promote my book on this website. I plan on paying someone to edit it (my lovely wife does a good job, but I’d like a second set of unbiased eyes). Heck, I might even bribe my friends with beer and pizza for some honest critiques. All this means that I will likely not even break even on Wings of Twilight for a couple of years, if ever.

I can live with that.

If my work is good, someone will read it and (hopefully) tell their friends about it. Then they’ll read it and if they like it, they’ll tell their friends. If it’s crap, it’ll fail (rightly so!). I’ve got two other manuscripts ready for heavy-duty editing. One is a superhero story set in the near future, the other is a middle-grade sci-fi story. I plan on having both of those available (editors, willing) by 2012. I’m also working on a sequel to Wings of Twilight, and I have a steampunk horror western in the works, too. I figure by 2013, I could have up to 4-5 books available electronically and in print. I don’t have to wait on any publisher’s schedule in New York to get my work out there.

Fortunately, I have a day job so I can earn money to finance all this. It is my hope that someday my writing will be self-sustaining. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. But I’ll never know unless I try. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit on the sidelines while this digital revolution takes place, though. I’m getting in while I can. I don’t really have anything to lose.

Categories: Publishing | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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