Looking for Some Good Beta Readers

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Hi all,

If you’re a fan of my books, you know then that every story is a labor of love, and that in the end it’s not all my work, but the work of various other people – my editor, cover artist, illustrators, etc. I’m looking for two or three people to join my team as beta readers. What does that mean? I’m looking for people willing to read my novel, Iron Tribune (and even later novels if you’d like!) and find mistakes, confusing points, problems, or even good things! This is your chance to provide input before anyone, even my editor, gets a crack at it.

One man cannot hold back the waves of ravening poorly worded sentences alone.

One man cannot hold back the waves of ravening poorly worded sentences alone.

Specifically, I’d need you to…

1.) Read the current transcript of Iron Tribune and identify flaws, errors, etc.

2.) Send me these errors by the end of February (for the 1st round) and March (for the 2nd round) so I can fix them!

3.) That’s it!

What do you get? Well, besides a signed copy of the final book plus a digital copy, if you don’t have either Brass Legionnaire or Copper Centurion, I’ll send you a copy of whatever you’re missing for free (Signed if it’s a paperback copy).

So a pretty good deal. Plus, you’ll get credit in the acknowledgements, a long range high five, even a super big thank you.

So how to apply? Send me a message through the contact me option in the menu above or leave me a message below. For a few nights work you get some fun freebies, and I’d be very glad to return the favor if you’re looking for a beta reader yourself!

My Hour a Day Project

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Greetings! Happy 2015 (Said exactly one month late!

No excuses this go around: Life got in the way. Now onto the point of this article!

The Hour a Day Project

Typing

My hands are not this neatly manicured. Nor should they be.

This is an idea I’ve heard before/thought of before. Everyone knows that, if you do something for long enough, it becomes a habit. One thing that I’ve taken the time to start this year is my “Hour a Day” Project. Each day (night really, since I have school during the day) I take a full hour to write. It doesn’t matter what, it doesn’t matter how, but I take a full hour to write. And lo and behold, it works. I’ve written nearly 6,000 words in the last week, reached 50,000 words in the novel, and established (finally) a date for book editing. All that, in one week. This is big for me.

In about an hour, I can reach about 1,200 words. That isn’t my absolute best pace, and it certainly isn’t always my best writing. But I am writing. And the more I write, the better I get, and the better the story flows.

But simply, I’m happier now that I have a focused time to get it done. No distractions. I even use my old laptop (that has incredibly slow internet) to help eliminate distractions. Whatever works, right?

But wait, there’s more! The hour a day project works well for ANYTHING. Another one of my hobbies, building models and painting them (and yes, some are Roman – hahah), works perfectly with this plan. Eventually, I plan on adding working out to my list. Then that’s three hours a night, plus dinner, watching some TV, and planning for school for the next day. A way to keep myself busy, but change things often enough to not get bored. So far, I can handle doing two pretty well. What about three? I’ll let you know!

Two new chapters done!

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post briefly to let people know that a.) I’m alive and b.) I’m still typing. I finished up an entire chapter featuring everyone’s favorite bad guy/assassin/mechawolf thief. Now I’m typing up the end of a chapter introducing the newly handicapped but no less iron-willed Octavia.

By the way, the winner of the poster contest from my last couple of posts was Mrs. Judy Stone! Congrats! Your posters will be in the mail by Friday. Woo! Enjoy!

Input Needed: To mix chapters or not to mix chapters…

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I’m looking for some input on Iron Tribune. Currently, I have the story written in two parts. The first one is almost done, and consists of events in the eastern part of the empire and focuses around Constantine, Julius, and Alexandros. The second part focuses on events in Rome and focuses on Octavia, Corbus, and Marciena, plus one more surprise character. The events happen concurrently in the story, but I wanted to split them up. But right now I’m unsure about continuing this. The events in Rome do impact the events in the east, but mostly at the end. I’d love to hear the community’s thoughts on this matter. Would you rather have the story lines written together, or finish one before starting the other in the same book?

If he had a watch, he'd be making sure to stay on schedule

If he had a watch, he’d be making sure to stay on schedule

SteamLit Extravaganza #2 – Copper Centurion 75% off Today Only

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Readers Rejoice!

All the Amazing Steampunk Novels Below are Only $0.99 Today, and Today Only!

I Mean seriously, really, truly, 99 cents on sale!

Are you looking for your next read? Why not try a steampunk adventure, thriller, mystery or romance? We have them all here and all on sale today only. Buy one or buy them all for months worth of reading material! Throughout the day you can drop by and chat with the authors about everything from your most pressing steampunk questions to author influences and tips on writing.

Featured Writers and Novels –

>>S.C. Barrus – “Discovering Aberration” and “The Gin Thief: Episode 1″
>>Jonathon Burgess – “Chasing the Lantern”
>>Wendy Calahan – Aetheric Artifacts bundle (which includes “The Gilded Gun”, “The Chronos Clock”, “The Daemon Device“, and “The Enigma Engine”)
>>James Calbraith – “The Year of the Dragon, 1-4″
>>Pauline Creeden – “Chronicles of Steele: Raven”
>>Ren Cummins – “Steel & Sky”
>>Rebecca Diem – “The Stowaway Debutante (Tales of the Captain Duke #1)”
>>Karen Kincy – “Shadows of Asphodel” and “Storms of Lazarus”
>>Mark Lingane – “Tesla Evolution” series including “Tesla”, “Decay”, and “Faraday”
>>Ava Morgan – “The Armored Doctor”
>>Daniel Ottalini – “Copper Centurion”
>>Travis Sivart – “Aetheric Elements: The Rise of a Steampunk Reality”
>>Ichabod Temperance – 5 books including “A Matter of Temperance”, “A World of InTemperance”, “For the Love of Temperance”, “A Study in Temperance”, “In a Latitude of Temperance”
>>Steve Turnbull – “Murder Out of the Blue”
>>Jack Wallen – “Klockwerk Kabaret”

We’re also having a day long author chat, featuring authors from a wide variety of steampunk genres. There’s something for everyone. Click here to join and chat away!

(I’ll be on this evening from about 7 to 9, but I’ll try to drop by earlier to a2014_EBook_finalist-smsk and answer any really cool questions! I’m even willing to answer questions about Iron Tribunei, ncluding questions about the release date and possible Kickstarter)

Copper Centurion is only on sale on Amazon for Kindle and on Nook from Barnes and Noble (It takes too long to percolate through Smashwords to change up the iStores’ cost for a one day sale). Grab my EPIC eBook 2014 Finalist Novel today!

PLUS EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS ON THIS POST, OR ON FACEBOOK, IS ENTERED INTO A DRAWING FOR ONE OF TWO LIMITED EDITION POSTERS FROM MY SERIES.

So, what are you waiting for!? Get up and get going, this sale won’t last forever!

Novellas and the Self Published Author: Remix Part 2

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[This is a continuation of this article from earlier this year, where I examine the idea of creating novellas to supplement author income.]Legionnaire

In the last post, I discussed more the ‘self-publishing’ component of novellas. To summarize that post.

Pros: Can be done quickly, requires less editing, allows you to expand different parts of a story without having to create a fully fleshed out novel, builds out your world and provides other small, continuous income streams.

Cons: Takes you away from your primary goal of finishing novels, too many or the wrong idea can slow you down, still requires effort and money to self publish, can be a low return on investment.

Continue reading

Steam Lit Giveaway! Going on NOW!

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Quick, easy question:

Do you like steampunk novels of all types? Yes? Well then why haven’t you entered the SteamLit Giveaway?!

Win 16 books valued at over $50 in total value! Three winners will get all the loot, the prizes, the… err… ebooks! Woo!

Go here!

Wait, did you go there? Did you sign up? You should! :-) Because….

…in the next few days there will be a spat of blog posts about awesome events connected to our second Steam Lit Extravaganza! I’m super pumped and this is getting me back into the writing mood! Yippee!

Finally Writing Again


Hi all, and yes, I’m back. Life happened, between my primary job, my weekend job/volunteer activity, and simply surviving the first two months of school have left me worn out. But I’m back, and finally in the mood to write. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with where some parts of the story were going. Or not going. Or something like that. So I skipped a few chapters. I’ll come back at the end, when I see how the story flowed and how I can build upon it/shore up some foundations.

In other news, it appears I’ll be part of another Steampunk Extravaganza! Super pumped for this! Last time I dropped the price on Brass Legionnaire to 99 cents for a few weeks. I’ll have to see what I want to do this time ;-).

1920px-The_Roman_Empire_ca_400_ADIn the meantime, enjoy this ‘rough cut.’ PS If you closely examine the picture above, you’ll be able to find the location of our current scene :-) Continue reading

Navigating Difficult Waters


Sometimes in life, we have those moments. Those ‘my boss just chastised me in front of everyone’ moments. Those ‘my second job is not bringing home much money, and we’ve got a ton of bills due’ moments. Those ‘my significant other just broke up with me for the mailwoman’ moments. We all have them. And you can’t help but feel down. Like, suddenly, you’re not worth it anymore, or what you’ve been doing for years isn’t what you should be doing. Sure, we all put on a good face, smile and nod while we turn on autopilot and navigate our day. And suddenly, you snap out of it, and it’s 8 pm on a Thursday and you can’t remember what you did Monday – Wednesday, much less what you did today.

We all get them. And we all wish we could get that time back. I know I have experienced that, much like my friends, family, coworkers. As a teacher, sometimes you think ‘the first day of school was how long ago?’ and realize you’re into December. As a writer, it can be even worse. You realize you haven’t written in a few days, but in reality, its been two weeks, and you have to reread what you’ve written (and, of course, half of it feels like rubbish).

Some of you may have noticed I’m posting weekly, but just once now. It’s an effort to not only give me something different to due during the week, but also allow me to schedule it and complete it early, so I can do something different. I want to be more productive. That’s my goal for the year. I find that many people turn to complaining to deal with this. I have, in the past. It makes me feel better short term, but not afterwards.

So I’ve taken a look at what does make me go into autopilot – television, computer games, ipad – and what prevents me from rising above my own concerns and fears – listening to other people complain, spending my time socializing in the lounge rather than prepping for class, reading comments about the novels on Amazon, etc. – and attempted to identify counters.

For example, television – I’ve cut back my television watching to just the news in the morning and evening. I even cut down on the number of channels I pay for to help me focus. I am going to the gym, eliminating some hours where I just sat and watched. I’ve tried to pick up more books (the library is awesome!) to help generate ideas and keep me engaged, rather than stuck on the couch. By not having a routine every night, I avoid feeling like every day is Groundhog Day.

TLDR: Sometimes we forget that the brain needs fun activities to keep it engaged. Plan some, do some, take time out of your day to do it. Don’t get caught in routine when you can avoid it.

What do you guys do for fun? Comment below or join me on the facebook page!

Five Ways to Keep Your Self-Publishing Clients Happy & Coming Back for More

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By Daniel Ottalini

You want to have all your bases and operations covered!

You want to have all your bases and operations covered!

Hi all, this is a companion piece to my earlier article on how to make sure that your freelancers/self-publishing helpers do their best for you. But what about the flip side? What can you, as a freelance/small business editor, cover artist, etc., do to make sure that you give your customers what they want, keep them coming back, but also make money and keep your dignity in the process? Continue reading

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