Short Story Series: The Border, Part 1

Part One of the Border, the beginning of a short story set in the late Roman Empire.


So while I wait for the kickstarter, cover art, editing, and everything else to fall into place, I found myself inspired by some miniatures that I’ve been working on. This story doesn’t fall into the world of the Steam Empire Chronicles, but maybe I can blend it in later (depending on the response).

Let me know what you think below! All commentary is welcome.  Continue reading “Short Story Series: The Border, Part 1”

March Update – Iron Tribune and Kickstarter

Kickstarter Preview/Ideas and an Update on Iron Tribune


Hi all,

As I sit here in my office relaxing as my beta readers dismantle Iron Tribune (Hopefully for the best!), I’m also planning Steel Praetorian. So far, I’ve planned out the first four chapters. Chapter one will be included in Iron Tribune, but I won’t even let my beta readers see that 🙂

Here’s my estimated timeline for Iron Tribune to be published.

  • End of March – Beta Readers return Iron Tribune
  • April 20th – Iron Tribune goes to the editor(!)
  • May 1st – Kickstarter campaign for additional illustrations begins. Kickstarter ends by mid-late May
  • (Sometime in May, based on how long editing takes, formatting should begin)
  • Sometime in June, send out all rewards, post Iron Tribune to Amazon, Etc

Here’s what I’m thinking for Kickstarter Funding Levels

  • $1 – Big Thank You + Name in Acknowledgements
  • $10 – Digital Copy of Iron Tribune and one of my two novellas
  • $20 – Digital Copy of all novels + novellas
  • $30 – Signed Print Copy of Iron Tribune (Plus all the above)
  • $50 – Signed Print Copies of all three novels
  • $100 – Create a Character (Create a character in Steel Praetorian, including how he/she dies)

I think the funding goal would be $500. What do you all think of this? I suppose I could bump it up a bit to include shipping, or I could have ‘rest of the world’ backers up their shipping as well. Totally would like some feedback please!

Iron Tribune Finished!

Iron Tribune is finally ready for the beta readers!


Just a heads up for everyone – Iron Tribune is finished! Well, I’m finished with it. I’m making a few last tweaks, then sending it out to the beta readers over the weekend. Yippie! Then it’s right to work on Steel Praetorian. No stopping for novellas this time around!

Not Gone, Just Busy!

Take part in a poll to determine my next Illustration! Propaganda, most wanted poster, or something new!


Hi all,

Just wanted to tell everyone that I’ve been busy, not gone! I’m a quarter or so into Iron Tribune, and I and really moving fast now. I’m also looking at hiring a graphic designer to do another propaganda poster for the series, or perhaps a most wanted poster. I’ve attached a poll to see what you’d like to see! Write additional ideas in the comments as well!

Remember, what you vote for will affect my choice! And while you’re at it, have you read Antioch Burns yet? Or better yet, left me a review? Go ahead and do both today! You can check out my latest novella on kindle, nook, or any other ebook reader. Back to writing now, ciao!

Possible Blurbs for Antioch Burns

Two Blurbs for Antioch Burns with some teaser bits!


Hi everyone,

Antioch Burns will probably be uploaded sometime this next week! I’m so excited! Last thing on my plate is the website and webstore blurbs. Take a look at the two options below and let me know what you think!

Continue reading “Possible Blurbs for Antioch Burns”

What is your novel worth?

For my self-published friends: What exactly is your book worth?


Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of postings/tweets/facebook messages, I’ve been stuck without my main computer! It died about two weeks ago and I’m still in limbo with it. I could replace the hard drive, but at this point, It may make more sense to simply get a new computer. Not sure yet.

Anywho, onto my main post.

As self-published authors, we are always facing the latest push to devalue our work. The average pricing for an ebook dropped roughly 50% this last year, according to a recent study. (I’ll find the source, but heard it on the radio!) So even the main stream publishers are facing pressure to reduce the price of their work. Understandably, there is pressure on self-published authors to get our work in ‘under the wire’ so to speak, at a reduced price, because hey, everyone likes a deal, right?

Consider what goes into making a book: Time + Money + Effort = Finished Product. You spend hours writing, revising, fixing a novel. Then you probably spend money sending it to someone else to be edited, revised, tweaked. You spend money on getting good cover art because, hey, people DO judge a book by it’s cover. You put in effort to promote, to network, to do all the legwork yourself or with only a few volunteers.

Face it: You, the self-published (or small-published) author works incredibly hard for your money. Why should you not ask people to pay for your work? And not just a pittance either. $0.99? for a full length novel?

If you spent $1,000 crafting your novel, and you sell it for 99 cents, using Amazon’s algorithm (i.e – 35% of each sale is yours), you would have to sell 2800 copies of your novel just to break even. Before any advertising & such. I once heard a quote somewhere that said the vast majority of self-published authors never sell more than 50 books.

Sell your novel for 1.99, you make 66 cents each book – you’ve cut the number of books needed to break even down to 1500. Already you’re doing a lot better. Up it to $2.99, and now you’re making 70% of each sale, 2.09 – now you only need to sell 478 novels sold.

If you truly think your work is only worth 99 cents, then sell it for that amount. Sometimes people ask me why my novella isn’t 99 cents. Because I don’t think it is worth that. Will I reduce the price in the future? Maybe. It is a short novella. But true fans will buy your work, regardless of whether it is 99 cents or 1.99 or 2.99. A true fan will not ignore your work because it costs a dollar more. Then it is simply someone who is out looking for 99 cent books, not someone looking for you.

So what is the point of this? Readers believe that everything should be cheap or free. But quality has a price. If you want readers to come to you because of the quality of your work, price it accordingly.

Thanks for letting me rant 🙂

Here’s what some other people have said…

 

Five Ways to Become a Better Self-Published Author

Five Ways to become a better Self-Published Author


Hi all,
Before I published Brass Legionnaire, I stumbled across many a website stating that you had to do this or you had to do that as a writer, author, self-publisher, etc etc etc. I think the best one I’ve found has to be here, as the sheer hilarity and slightly mocking tone both annoy you and make you realize that yes, you do need to do those things.

But that post is merely about being a better writer. I think it takes a special type of person to be a self-published writer/author. So I threw together a list on how to become a better self-published author – as always, take with a grain of salt. I’m not the best, but I certainly have some hard won experience on it by now.

Continue reading “Five Ways to Become a Better Self-Published Author”

For those who want to see it…

Copper Centurion is now available in Print! eBook files to come May 1st!


Copper Centurionis now available in Print! DSCN5945
Yippie! Don’t forget the ebook is coming May 1st! Be ready for it! I’m so excited to share all the hard work with you, my loyal readers, fans, and friends.

Oh, and did I mention that both the Goodreads Book winners packages and thank you notes for kickstarter friends should be going out in the next few days? Pictures will be posted soon! In the meantime, here is a picture of me at EPICon!

Big smile (I had just won the best Action-Adventure novel award!)

Carpe Diem Friends! Only 12 more days!

 

EPICon Day 3

An overview of Day 3 of EPICon and the top mistakes authors make when trying to get published.


Howdy all,
This will be my second posting about EPICon 2013 in Vancouver, Washington. Day three came early and dreary, as the near constant grey skies and overcast weather constantly seemed to try and intrude upon our learning adventure.

Day three focused on self-publishing and traditional publishing strategies. It also included an awesome eFiesta! Readers’ luncheon and Book Fair. Then the awards banquet that evening. So a very busy day!

As far as the self-publishing strategies and tips/tricks, I got a lot of very useful information from Ms. Kate Richards of Wizards in Publishing. She shared how critical it was that self-published authors find peer groups in their local areas to review and critique their work. As a self-published author, I can say that this is so critical for us. Self-published books get a bad name because there are people who don’t bother to make their book look, and read, well…professional. Critique groups and a healthy amount of beta readers can make any novel sound and flow better, before and after it is written. A good editor and a good cover artist are also important. And with editing, 99& of the time you get what you pay for. A cheap edit will frequently be a bad edit. Several writers at the convention shared horror stories about bad edits.

But Daniel, you cry, I don’t want to go broke with my editing! – That is where good critique groups and beta readers come in. They will help eliminate many of the more common issues before sending it to an editor. You shouldn’t need the most expensive editor out there, but someone who has experience (preferably with your genre) and an interest in your novel. Also look into contests that give critiques out as they can be exceptionally valuable too!

By the way, there was also an editors/publisher panel where people asked questions and shared tidbits about each publishing house and their submissions policy. They all agreed that the biggest mistake people make when submitting a book is to a.) not follow guidelines and b.) Not follow guidelines by sending it to the wrong person or not sending their book at all!

Alright, more later! Have a great day! (My spring break starts today!) If you’re on spring break also and looking for a good read, check out my Award Winning novel! (I can say that now, still makes me smile with happiness!) for Kindle, Nook, or any of the other major platforms. Enjoy!

 

What is Kickstarter?

What is Kickstarter, and how does it work?


Hi all,

Hopefully by now, you’ve had a chance to check out my latest Kickstarter project and hopefully support me in my bid to publish Copper Centurion, the 2nd book of the Steam Empire Chronicles. I had quite a few people ask me in the last few days exactly what Kickstarter was! So prepare for a whirlwind tour of Kickstarter Nation.

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative and awesome projects. This means that people looking to get a start in creating or producing something will find a home among the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who support projects on kickstarter.

From the Kickstarter Website –

Everything on Kickstarter must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.

So what is the catch? Two actually. The first catch is that each project must be funded fully or beyond. So if you ask for $500 dollars, and only get $499, you get no money, zip, zilch, nadda. Which is good and bad. It doesn’t leave ‘partial’ projects hanging in limbo as creators try to secure other fundraising sources. The second catch is that each project creator must build reward tiers for each level of sponsorship. Pledge ten dollars to my project? You get a copy of both Brass Legionnaire and Copper Centurion ebooks. So in return for your money upfront, I give you a copy of what I’m working on (or have already finished). The rewards go up as the money goes up. I’ve seen people offer major characters in video games as rewards, names for product lines, given producer credit on albums, etc. Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 9.49.21 PM

The only limits are pretty obvious – no weapons, no bribing (money for money or coupons for money) along with other banned substances. Kickstarter has more information, but really, be creative! My favorite tiers are the two highest because the rewards are the coolest! If you pledge $100, you get to create and name a character in Iron Tribune, my next full-length novel, and you can even choose his/her death. Of course, if you want something even cooler, you’ll pledge $250, which nets you all that plus a Roman Helmet. A legit helmet, not something you find in the dollar store.

But I digress. So rewards are the bread and butter of Kickstarter, but how to get rewards?! You must make your project cool. Kickstarter recommends making a video to promote your project. I plan on doing this, but the weather and light have not been cooperative, argh! But it also helps to have a social network out in advance – twitter, facebook fanpage, or email listserv. Alternatively, you can hit up friends and family to support to.

So there you have it – create your project, tell people why you need their hard earned money, then create your reward tiers, promote and voila! Hopefully a fully funded project. Oh, did I mention the time limit? 45-60 days max! And you must deliver on your rewards. Oh, and Amazon takes 5% of the money doled out in processing fees. So be aware, but then continue on! If there’s anything I learned, it is to start small – ask for $250 to help you get illustrations for your novel. Then see where it takes you!

Have any of you used Kickstarter? How did you like it? Were you successful?

Ciao!

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