I wanted to share this because it’s a big step for me to go back and make some subtle tweaks and changes to Brass Legionnaire, improving the overall experience and adding small additional sentences, scenes, and such here and there. It’s not a major change, more a refinement. If you have the digital version of Brass Legionnaire, it should update automatically (within the next month).
I’ll also be excited to share the cover art for the Last Gladiator in the next few weeks.
Brass Legionnaire gets a make over, and Laurel Emperor is off to the Formatters!
I’ve been working hard on rereading my original novel – Brass Legionnaire – and catching the many errors that seemed to slip under the radar of both myself, my beta readers, and my editor (or, as an alternative read on this, the small errors that escaped only because the big ones took the fire for the little ones. As my introductory novel to the world of the Steam Empire Chronicles, it is important to me that readers want to continue. So I’m going back and revising it.
Another major reason is that the translation process is (finally!!!!) about to be started on Brass Legionnaire, to translate the book into Portuguese, and I’d rather the translators work from an experienced writer’s skills, rather than a novice’s. So to that end, I have a question for my (handful) of blog readers. Once I update Brass Legionnaire’s manuscript, and I updated it to Amazon, B&N, etc., will that change my reviews of the book?
Another question is, will it update the book contents in everyone’s kindle account? Ideally that would be awesome! Anyways, everyone’s thoughts on the matter would be great.
In other news, Laurel Emperor is off to the formatter – the ebook version should be coming out sometime in September, which is perfect for everyone who needs a good read right as school starts again (so you can forget school is starting again!)
Updates to Brass Legionnaire’s Book Summary Page + 8 DAYS LEFT IN THE KICKSTARTER!
I’ve updated the information on Brass Legionnaire’s book page above. I’m planning on having a friend do some general clean up work on the book, which will be significantly revised in the next month. Backers of the kickstarter who pledge $25 or more or add some money for additional print copies of Brass Legionnaire will get the updated version. Already have a copy? No worries! I’m looking at cleaning up various problems and smoothing the story out, so your old version will not be ‘obsolete!’ and if I choose to add an additional chapter, I’ll make it available for free here on the website, as that’s fair for everyone. (Although I want you to buy my books, I don’t want you to buy a new copy of Brass Legionnaire just for another chapter, that’s silly!)
In essence, I’ve added character plots for Julius, Constantine and Corbus. See the overall design of their story plots in BL, and learn a bit more about the characters!
Also, there’s only EIGHT DAYS LEFT IN THE KICKSTARTER! Help us reach $1250 and everyone will get BOTH of my novellas for free! Woo! We’re only about $230 away, so every dollar helps!
Here’s a brief interview with Senatora Octavia Pelia, one of the new characters in Copper Centurion. Don’t forget to check out Brass Legionnaire on Kindle and on Nook! http://bit.ly/MU6Gv1
This is D.O. and I’m coming to you live from the halls of the Imperial Roman Statehouse here in the center of Rome. With me is one of the youngest members of the Roman Senate, and by far it’s most unique one. She also happens to be the first major female character introduce in Copper Centurion. Thanks for taking this moment to meet with us, Senatora Octavia Pelia.
P: Can we hurry this up? I’ve got a committee meeting in ten minutes, and I’ve got to talk with the other senators about this expedition to Nortland and….
D: Excuse me, there’s an expedition going somewhere?
P: *Levels an angry glare at me and sighs* I suppose I can tell you about it since there’s no way you’d let anyone else know. Yes, there’s an expedition in the works to go north and punish those pesky Nortlander savages for their destruction of Brittenburg. That’s the official line, anyways.
D: What’s the unofficial line?
P: High command is stuck in a political battle between the career and political officers. We’ve just barely managed to get a career officer in charge of the expedition, but the vote was so close I don’t know if it will manage it in the full senate. This expedition would be a fine way for some political imbecile to truly *part censored due to language unbecoming a young woman of Roman breeding and standards*.
D: I… I never knew you felt that passionately about this…
P: My father was a career officer. I blame his death – on the field of battle, no less – on those political idiots he couldn’t remove from his supporting armies.
D: Ah, I see. So I can take it you plan on voting against whatever political appointment is proposed to lead the expedition?
P: Yes. Rumor is that they’ll try to vote through General Minnicus – As though anyone would want that man in charge after the debacle back in Brittenburg. Did you know that he nearly got our Crown Prince KILLED? By rights, that man should be in chains. And to place him in charge of the same legion that contains the primus imperio Constantine Appius again would be sheer foolishness.
D: Sounds like you’ve got a thing for this Prince.
P: *Blushes and glares at me* What is this, a drama worthy of Virgil? I’ve never even met his highness, much less talked with him. How could I have a ‘thing’ for him?
P: If you’ll excuse me, a vote is being called for, and I don’t want to miss it.
D: Thanks for talking with us anyways, Senatora! And now check out this fun fan art from Hazel West. Thanks Hazel!
Brass Legionnaire is fully published. Check out amazon, barnes & noble, and smashwords for more details.
Only one day left on the free signed copy giveaway!
Happy Brass Legionnaire Day!
As of this moment, folks, the first novel of the Steam Empire Chronicles, Brass Legionnaire, is published in all formats and available for purchase!
I’ve made a new page at the top of the blog that features all of the easiest ways to purchase my novel. You can also use the links in this post to purchase them as well.
What about signed copies, you say? Well, I’ve got TWO give-aways running. Each one has three signed paperback copies of the novel available for you to win! You can even enter both. (If you win both, I reserve the right to only send you one signed copy!)
So either comment on this post of mine from earlier,
Or check out my Goodreads Giveaway and sign up there as well!
You have just ONE day left to enter and win for both contests!
If you aren’t sure about purchasing yet, download the first chapter for free here, or you can sample the first 20% of the book (For more Roman-Steampunky goodness) for free also at the Smashwords link above!
Thanks again for all of my readers and fans out there. The journey started because of me, but it really finished because of your encouragement and positive attitudes. I love you all, and I’ll continue to blog about my adventures in life and self publishing. And yes, there will be more Brass Legionnaire novels to come. Copper Centurion (Due out sometime next Spring) will be even longer and more chock full of airship flying roman legionnaires.
Thanks again! Be sure to subscribe to the blog, Like me on Facebook or follow me on twitter! I keep it pretty interesting, and don’t spam you with a million for sale ads. Hurray!
What to expect when you are formatting! Plus a call for Beta Readers
I’m trying to get into the habit of posting twice a week – Saturdays and Tuesdays. During the summer I’ll be able to post a lot more! I’ve got an update on Brass Legionnaire for everyone and I’ll talk a bit about my experience with the formatting process.
Just as a side note, I know that many people do their own formatting. For me, it was a simple look at the payoff versus work balance. As a full-time teacher, I don’t have much weekday time to pump out a solid amount of formatting, nor do I have time to check and double check. As everyone knows – you only make a first impression once – so when I was looking at cover art, I was fortunate enough to find a team that did my cover, illustrations, and formatting. Simplifies my list of outside consultants immensely. And I’m paying a flat rate, not an hourly fee.
As many people may know, Brass Legionnaire has been finished edit-wise for sometime. The illustrations/maps have just been completed as well, and now all that is needed is for the book to be properly formatted into ebook/smashwords/amazon style and print style. I’ve seen the first proofs for each one, and because they required minimal changes (More just a ‘what goes where’ type thing), and they are almost finished. So what have I learned from the process already?
1. If you’ve got acknowledgements, terminology, illustrations, etc, state exactly where you want them to go in the beginning. The Print and Ebook version will be a bit different, so think about how you want them to be. Here’s a checklist (not in any specific order)
Cover (You should already have this, silly!)
Table of contents
Acknowledgements (Optional, but surely there is someone you’d like to thank for their efforts?)
How you want your chapter breaks to be – new page? Paragraph break?
Terminology or epilogue? Sneak peak of your next book? What will you put at the end?
A ‘the end’ page
Don’t forget for a print book you’ll need a back cover blurb and perhaps a review or two to place on it!
2. Expect things to go a bit slowly. You want your work to be done well, correct? Which is why you didn’t pay for someone to do it in an hour. If you can do it in an hour, awesome! If you’re not quite so skilled, you can outsource it, but look around for the best deal.
3. Be confident in asking for something to be done. After all, it is your book. I myself accidentally sent my formatter (verb? noun?) off on a wild goose chase after mistakenly sending him two completely different instruction sets.
Whether finding a professional or doing it yourself, formatting your book takes time and effort, and is critical. People don’t want to have to fight your book in order to read it. You’ll lose readers and get negative reviews. Do it right the first time and you won’t have to worry about it again.
UPDATE #2 – I’m looking for a few beta readers for Copper Centurion, book two in the Brass Legionnaire series. If you are interested, shoot me a message here or on my twitter account. All I need is your email and a promise you will be honest with your criticism and not share my hard work with anyone (Need I say that?) I’d send you chapters as I finish them for your input on them, you’ll get mentioned in the acknowledgements of book two, and there might even be some cool swag in the deal for you. I’m looking for three to five people. Let me know if you are interested!
Setting goals for Brass Legionnaire, my summer, and beyond.
I’ve realized that setting goals is a big part of why I wrote Brass Legionnaire. At first, I just wanted to finish a few chapters, then the novel. Then I wanted to publish it. Now that the book is finished and just awaiting the last few illustrations and formatting needs, what’s next? I’ve put together a list of personal goals that I hope to accomplish by the end of the summer of 2012 – IE August 21st or so, the start of the new school year.
Have at least Four chapters of Copper Centurion complete
Post at least 3x a week here on the blog!
By July 1st
150 Twitter followers
75 Facebook Likes
At least 3-4 Blog interviews done
Run at least one giveaway on Goodreads with my novel for reviews
Finish at least ten chapters of Copper Centurion.
By August 1st
175 Twitter Followers
100 Facebook Likes
At least 4-5 Blog interviews/guest posts done.
Perhaps run a second Goodreads/Facebook giveaway?
Get audiobook component started.
Have at least half of Copper Centurion completed.
By September 1st (End of summer)
Have editing and cover art for Copper Centurion lined up.
Continue to guest blog/post.
Post 3x a week.
Complete all Kickstarter rewards.
Obviously, a lot to do, but I think I’ve set both reasonable and doable goals. I can reach the social media goals by adding less than one person a day to twitter and Facebook, which, in my experience, is an accessible target. Did I leave anything out? 🙂
Brass Legionnaire is looking to drop Mid-May 2012!
A sneak peak inside Brass Legionnaire, a look at my promotion plan, plus major updates!
Looks like I’ve finally set a publish date – May/June 2012.
Just to get you in the mood:
A clattering sound drew Julius’s attention back to the tower in time to see the tribune hastening down the metal ladder. He waited for Constantine to join them before asking nonchalantly, “So, Tribune, sir, how did reason fare over violence and anger?”
The tribune grimaced. “We’ll just have to reinforce the lesson with a bit of old-fashioned corporal punishment.” A thousand-throat scream of fury and belligerence interrupted him.
He ran back to grab the discarded speaking trumpet. This time he addressed the defenders. “Ready, boys—remember your training! Keep your thrusts short and cover your brothers. Repeaters, I want as much fire as you can place on those rebels. Aim for the leaders if you can!”
The guttural screams rose in pitch. “Here they come!”
The rush to publish is on! Here’s a quick update of the comings and goings during the last few days.
1.) The edited files are being read through as we speak (3/4 of the way through now, making notes to return it to the editor!)
2.) Illustrations are in progress (Saw the first one – looks awesome!) The readers will definitely be in for a treat!
3.) Super top secret awesomeness for the Kickstart Supporters (and later the newsletter sign-uppers) is completely finished! I’ll post the very first draft of it on here to give you a baby clue as to what it may look like.
4.) Finished the book series website, but holding off on publishing it until the book is almost ready.
5.) Upgraded my wordpress to change Modern Papyrus to danielottalini.com – This is now more my blog and author site, rather than the review and thoughts blog it was originally!
Wow, so much done, and yet still so much to do! It’s early April now, and my goal was to have the book published by June, so now that is a very reasonable goal (in my mind at least). Still have an array of things to do before then though. I’ve taken some time to sit down and set up a plan to promote my book.
1. Talk to friends, family, etc. (Short and sweet – they’ll probably get sick of me)
2. Build an online presence on Goodreads (Add me as a friend!) Twitter, Facebook (Coming soon!), and my blog. This is in progress now! For example, the folks over at Indie Book Collective had some great promotional things going down. I’d want to join in on that!
3. Set up and finalize book-website with cross-linking between it and here.
4. Set up a newsletter service through Mail Chimp or Adweber.
5. Get bookmarks, stamps, and business cards through Zazzle so that I can do low-level promoting (leaving bookmarks in books at library, business cards when paying tabs at restaurants, shamelessly self promoting myself in all areas 🙂
6. Set up giveaways on Goodreads and send books to be reviewed by several self-publishing blogs/steampunk blogs. One I’ll definitely be contacting is IndieBookSpot for their author interviews and reviews.
I’m sure I’ll think of more in the meantime, but that’s it for right now. Anything else I missed that should be included!?
Just wanted to send out a quick update. The editor got back to me and Brass Legionnaire is done! Obviously, I’ll have to review her changes and talk it over with her, but the biggest chunk of time and effort is past! In addition, I also heard from my illustrators that they’ll have some rough drafts for me soon. Couldn’t come soon enough! I’m so excited! Thank goodness my Kickstarter project got funded, otherwise I’d be stuck for funding soon. Well, that’s all! If you haven’t done so already, check out my youtube page and watch/listen to the first chapter of Brass Legionnaire.