Tag Archives: self-publishing

And Now, For the Next Step…

Thank you for buying Breath of Stone!  I hope you’re enjoying it.  If you’re so inclined to leave a review at the point of purchase, Goodreads, or both, I’d much appreciate it.

The next in the series is solidly underway.  There’s some plotting left to do, and a couple nifty ideas popped up to bump up my excitement level, too.  One cool aspect is the inclusion of a character created by a Patreon backer who looks to become a key viewpoint character.  I do feel as if I have a lovely running start at this one.

I’m also poking at a shorter work that is both loosely related and completely different.  We’ll see how it comes along.

For anything other than the basics of writing fiction, writing for clients, and Auntie-ing for my nephews, the month of July is all but gone.  Sure, I can catch the occasional meal with a friend, but I’m not seeing much time beyond that.  Lots of family events–moving, wedding, kid events, and so forth–shall eat the days before I know it.

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Breath of Stone Is Up!

Breath of Stone, the second novel of Desert Rising, is available now!

Bone returns to silt and sand,
Blood to salt and water,
Breath to wind and stone,
Soul to sun and storm.
The desert consumes us all.

522-BreathOfStone-cover - CopyFor an instant, the desert heeded Syrina’s call–sand and fire, wind and stone, igniting and attacking at her command. But the triumph killed ally and enemy alike, leaving her with a handful of survivors, broken expectations, and a dead man’s boots.

There is no time to mourn.

The desert longs to feed on any Velshaan, and Raskah is willing to trade his own soul to command the sands. With hostages to ransom and the desert itself as his thrall, he will demand Syrina’s surrender before surmounting the rest of their kin.

But Commander Pyrius rejects defeat and refuses surrender. Despite years of exile, his skill and honor is remembered by Blade and bloodkin alike, and he will risk everything in his past to forge hope for the future.

But none of then yet understand that what is gained cannot always be lost when one chooses, and what is possessed sometimes refuses to be abandoned.

Breath of Stone is currently available through Amazon.

Really and truly, my darlings, I’m so excited to see this novel finally make it to your hands, and look forward to hearing from you!  If you’re inclined to leave a review, or add it to your Goodreads list, I’d so appreciate it.

And if you’re a Patreon supporter at a higher tier, your copy of Breath of Stone will soon be on its way to you!

I can assure you the next novel is already underway–now partially written and charted out with the Magic Index Cards.

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Options and Decisions (aka An Abundance of Ideas)

Over the last couple days, I’ve mentioned here and there I’m in the process of evaluating career options, and a subset of that evaluation is choosing the fiction projects that’ll come up once Breath of Stone is launched in the coming month(ish).

The overall career stuff is… complicated. A matter of deciding priorities, time expenditures, current needs, future plans, and professional satisfaction. Some things are working wonderfully, but I’m not certain I want to keep working them. Other things are more risky and will require time investment, but I’m drawn to them nonetheless. We shall see. 🙂

Anyway! It was suggested I share my Next Project Dilemma to see what y’all might want to see next. So! *drumroll* Here are the fiction projects on the horizon!

Books Three and Four of Desert Rising: These are the SheyKhala novels, picking up after Breath of Stone. These are long books—at least 125K words each. They take awhile. That said, Book Three is completely plotted and partially written. Book Four is partially plotted.

Tomorrow’s Bones: Continuing the story of Sword and Chant. Chant was written as a stand-alone, but was always the opening to something more. This is a story that nags me often, but has a much smaller audience (at least at this time).

The Slaughterer: Something completely different! A stand-alone about a bounty-hunter pulled into his family’s decision to run a kind of Underground Railroad for magic workers.

Suffragette Story: This one dropped into my brain, almost fully formed, during last year’s Sirens Conference. It’s alternate/secret history of the fight to gain women the right to vote, complete with magic and martial arts.

The new series I still struggle to describe: If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s paranormal rural, but sometimes urban, contemporary fantasy. There are ghosts and small towns and historical sites and some city settings and sentient elements being manipulated as weapons. Each book is shorter than my usual tome, and I’d likely complete three of them before even publishing the first.

So… There are considerations that must be taken into account. Current faithful readers, market sizes, audience potential, variable time to be invested on each project…

But I’d love to hear what you think! The reader’s perspective, the writer’s perspective, your perspective.

Help me out here, my darlings! Talk about preferences as a reader, scheduling experience as a writer, knowledge, gut feelings, EVERYTHING.

Crossposted at These Certain Musings.  Comment here or there.

 

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More About Ben Galley

I have a cool thing here, my darlings: Ben Galley — author of Bloodrush, one of ten novels in the Blog-Off Bundle — sharing a bunch of neat thoughts on writing and publishing.  Enjoy!

Why did you get into writing?Bloodrush Cover Final

The reason I got into writing is, very simply, that I am addicted to it, and I have been since a kid. My parent raised me on some of the best fantasy and sci-fi books around – epics like LotR and Dune, to classics like CS Lewis and Greek mythology. Those books and stories bewitched me, and when I started getting my own ideas, I threw myself into writing. I would spend all my spare time doing it. I wrote my first full-length novel at 11 and have been at it ever since.

Professionally speaking, I didn’t begin to publish my books until 2009. I’d just graduated from a music academy (another passion of mine), and was working in bars and clubs while trying to make my way with bands and solo project. Unfortunately, they simply weren’t going anywhere, and I decided that it was time for a change – that I was going to write for a living. That decision has led me to where I am today.

How come you chose to self-publish vs traditional publishing? Pros vs. cons?

When I fist started researching how to publish, I realised that I could take the skills I’d learnt as an independent musician and use them as an independent author. DIY self-publishing mirrored a lot of the steps to producing music and building a fanbase. I round out that by taking the reins myself, and going DIY, I could keep more of my royalties, keep creative control, retain my rights, get monthly royalty payments and real-time reporting, and work directly with the stores, all things I couldn’t necessarily do traditionally. Also, I wanted to publish then and there, not wait months to be taken on by an agent. Or, if I were to be successfully taken on by a publisher, the lengthy publishing schedule. Overall, the opportunities of DIY suited my entrepreneurial mindset, and that’s why threw myself into it. I may have been missing out on the advance and punchier marketing power of a traditional publisher, but DIY was what I wanted to do – to carve out a business with myself at the helm, and all the while get to do what I enjoy.

Continue reading More About Ben Galley

These Books, Those Books

The revisions for Breath of Stone are nearly complete!  Folks over at Patreon are getting a sneak-peak, and I’ll have a release date set for everyone within the coming week.

522-BreathOfStone-cover - CopyThe outlines for the third and fourth novels in the series are growing muscle and flesh, in no small part because of the contributions made by Patreon folks.  One patron opted for the reward of becoming a character in the novel, and the ensuing discussion of what role the character would play has providing a strong subplot and cultural creation.  Another patron’s input on medical matters has created an entire character arc I might not have considered otherwise.  And yet another has provided information on some travel opportunities that’ll enhance the upcoming two novels.

Sure, the actual putting-words-on-paper part of writing is solitary.  But you know what?  My actual writing process has always been based on community, and for that I am so grateful.

Speaking of community, I’ve met some fantastic, smart, and supportive writers through the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, and am doubly happy to have the chance to work with some of them through StoryBundle.  The top ten novels are available in a single bundle for one more week.

All Covers LargeYou will like these novels, my darlings.  But you don’t have to take my word for it.  (Though why you wouldn’t is absolutely beyond my ken…)  The books in the bundle have been extensively viewed, reviewed, and vetted by ten great book bloggers.  Take their word for it.  And mine.  Combine our words, for heaven’s sake.

And choose what you’d like to pay for the bundle.  And, if you’d like, send some of that chosen payment toward Girls Write Now.

And speaking of the SPFBO, I’ve opted to submit Sword and Chant for the upcoming round, and it looks like I’ve been assigned to the good folks over at Fantasy Faction.  Someone asked me if that increased or decreased my “chances” of moving ahead.  The answer is… who knows!  I suppose I could spend a ton of time analyzing their tastes and preferences, but it in the end, such scrying won’t mean a thing.  Taste is taste, and how a story strikes a reader can change depending on the day, on what was read before, on what was read after.

SwordAndChant-cover1-white-2500pxAnd  I’ve said before, it’s a different sort of novel–written in omni, with a very large cast, that plays with tropes about blood, assassins, gods, and rebellions.  It’s my heart-novel, in many ways.  I’d guess about a third of folks who start Sword and Chant decide it is so  not the story they want, and many of the things those readers dislike are the things other readers do like.  The cool thing about self-publishing is I can choose to keep writing for folks who like it. 🙂

But to make myself (and, hopefully, you!) happy I’ve also opted to put it on sale.

 

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Crista McHugh on Writing, Publishing, and the SPFBO

Award-winning and best-selling author Crista McHugh’s novel A Soul For Trouble is one of ten fabulous fantasy novels in StoryBundle’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off bundle.  Fellow SPFBO author William Saraband (Shattered Sands) had a few questions for her about the novel, her writing process, and the SPFBO experience:

William: Your book, A Soul for Trouble, is an interesting mix of two big genres: Fantasy and Romance. In your view, how do these two forces complement each other?

Crista: Romance and Fantasy are not mutually exclusive from each other. If you look at many fantasy books, there are quite a few romantic couples. Westley and Buttercup. Aragorn and Arwen. Eowyn and Faramir. Rhapsody and Ashe. Janelle and Daemon. Richard and Kahlan. I just happen to like a little more of a happy ending in my stories than say… G. R. R. Martin. After all, if the hero saves the world, s/he should get the guy/girl, right?

A Soul For Trouble Cover Final

W: Sanity, or the lack of it, is an important part of the plot. What fascinates you about this particular element of human existence? How well does Trouble face her challenge, in comparison to how you would do in her place?

Crista: I’m a doctor in real life and have seen a variety of mental illness in my practice. Although some people are happier being disconnected with reality, there is this primal fear of losing control of one’s mind. In A Soul For Trouble, I explored this fear from the beginning where Trouble sees the prior Soulbearer and knows what lies ahead for her. But on the flip side, there have been many academic studies done proving that woman are better at handling activities that involve pain, endurance, and multi-tasking than men, so Arden (Trouble) should have an upper hand over the prior male Soulbearers simply by being a girl. She stills fears her fate. She still fears the influence Loku has over her. But she has this inner toughness to combat these challenges and a no BS tolerance that helps her deal with Loku. And I don’t think I would’ve handled her situation as well as she did.

W: This is only one of many books which you have successfully self-published over the years. What elements do you find most appealing in the whole process, and are there any downsides?

C: I love the control. I can schedule my books around my work and family schedules. I control the covers and the contents. I can discount books when I want. But the downside is that I’m responsible for everything – I can’t just let someone else deal with it.

W: After self-publishing one of your books, do you ever find yourself plagued by second thoughts?

C: Always. Even after the book is in the wild, I sometimes revisit it a few weeks or months later and wonder if I should’ve tweaked something or changed a scene or a cover or even a character’s name. But the great thing about self-pubbing is that I can make those changes

W: The SPFBO contest, put together by Mark Lawrence, was a completely new experience to most who were involved. How did you benefit from it?

C: I loved that I had a chance to meet new readers and bloggers through this contest. There are so many books out there these days that contests like this help readers identify some of the best books out there.

W: In terms of your writing experience, are you a methodic person, or do you ust let your creativity flow as you go along?

C: I am both a plotter and a planner. I treat my writing like a career. I plan releases, sales, giveaways, etc, so I can do what’s best for my career. And since my writing time is limited, I find that sitting down and knowing what I have to accomplish in that scene helps get the words flowing and on the page.

W: Finally, a second edition of the SPFBO is in the works. What would you say to those writers out there who are thinking about giving it a go?

C: Definitely give a go! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. But make sure you submit your best possible work – great cover, polished stories, catchy blurbs and opening pages.

To discover more about A Soul For Trouble, and the additional nine winning novels of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, check out StoryBundle.  The bundle is only available for another 13 days!

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StoryBundle of Indie Winners

“Ten fine bloggers and blog-sites spent a year considering almost three hundred self-published fantasy books to bring you their ten favorites. It’s hard to imagine you won’t find some gems among them.” — Mark Lawrence

This is a unique bundle to curate as its books were chosen not by me, but by reviewers who took part in the first Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off organized by Mark Lawrence. Each reviewer received over twenty-five books and a mission: Choose one. This bundle contains the books those reviewers put at the very top of their list.

The SPFBO Bundle includes some of the coolest indie fantasy around. Crista McHugh’s A Soul for Troublegives you a witch named Trouble, possessed by the god of chaos. William Saraband’s Shattered Sands follows a slave girl suddenly empowered by forces older than the desert itself. You’ll delve into the more-than-murder mystery of Matthew Colville’s Priest, and follow another priest trying to save the world after the gods disappear in Barbara Webb’s City of Burning Shadows. And The Weight of A Crown from Tavish Kaeden serves up the deep epic of a recently-united realm on the verge of fracturing.

There is the sharp warrior who knows the value of leaving heroism behind in Under A Colder Sun by Greg James, and the ruined hero who chances into a way to surmount the past in David Benem’s What Remains of Heroes. Plague Jack delves deep into a brutal world of conspiracies, consequences, and backlash against a conqueror in Sins of a Sovereignty. Ben Galley smacks a young man into a frontier Wyoming filled with blood magick and secrets in Blood Rush. And Michael McClung’s The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble’s Braids—the novel scoring highest in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off—races along with a sassy, smart thief who must find an artifact everyone thinks she already has before she’s killed for it.

StoryBundle lets you choose your own price, so you decide how much you’d like to support the writers. For $5—or more, if you’d like—you’ll receive the basic bundle of five novels in DRM-free ebook format. For the bonus price of at least $15, you’ll receive all ten novels. If you choose, a portion of your payment will go toward supporting different charities such as Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now. Over the years, StoryBundle and its participating writers have donated thousands to support awesome charities doing great work.

The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Bundle is available for only three weeks, so now is the time to pick up this unique collection of reviewer-beloved fantasy novels, and discover new independent writers who want to take you on thrilling adventures through worlds you’ve never seen with characters you want to know (even if a few of them are rather terrifying).

So here’s how you get your hands on this marvelous collection:

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format worldwide:

  • Shattered Sands by W. G. Saraband
  • The Weight of a Crown by Tavish Kaeden
  • Priest by Matthew Colville
  • What Remains of Heroes by David Benem
  • A Soul for Trouble by Crista McHugh

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus five more:

  • Sins of a Sovereignty by Plague Jack
  • The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung
  • Under a Colder Sun by Greg James
  • Bloodrush by Ben Galley
  • City of Burning Shadows by Barbara J. Webb

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity.
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

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