Publishing Demeron’s tale has put my publishing schedule behind a bit. I knew it would. I’m only halfway through The Emperor’s Pet and have been dealing with a reader revolt over my treatment of Pol and Shira’s relationship in The Sleeping God. My mea culpa is below in another post, but after The Emperor’s Pet is out, I will go back and rewrite The Sleeping God as a second edition with less aggression on the part of Shira.
I’m probably about two weeks behind, so it looks like my next book is targeted for release after the first week in May. I’ll definitely shoot to have The Emperor’s Pet out before Mother’s Day.
The third volume of The Disinherited Prince is in Draft Mode. Since this is NaNoWriMo, I am dedicated to finishing the draft by the end of the month. I’m about a third of the way through and my wife is going out of town next week, so I’ll have some great opportunities to tickle the keyboard and make a man out of Pol Cissert.
As always, the process of writing always produces surprises and this draft is no different. Pol gets a new companion that plays an unexpected role in the book. There are reversals of fortune and plenty of surprises along the way.
A big thanks to those of you who have joined Pol in his journeys. The Disinherited Prince series is a record seller for me. Tell your friends and neighbors about the fun you’ve had reading about him. I know that’s a shameless plug, but then this is a website for shameless plugs, I guess. 🙂
I’ve just sent the MS to my editor after going through the story a few times. Magician in Battle is just about ready to go. The cover has just been completed and here is a preview.
The next installment of Power of Poses, Book Three, is scheduled for a March-April release. Titled Magician in Captivity, it continues the two storylines of Valanna and Trak as they pursue different paths in different countries. As you might surmise, Trak is imprisoned, at least once and Valanna has to fight troubles of her own as new revelations entwine our two star-crossed couple into the turbulent events of their world.
The first draft is about fifty percent completed. For those of you who have waited a long time for the second book, have faith. The third book is definitely coming.
The final book in the Warstone Quartet, Darkstone | An Evil Reborn is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. It releases on April 2nd. The blurb:
Book Four: Darkstone | An Evil Reborn
As the 22nd son of the Emperor of Dakkor, Vishan Daryaku grows from boy to man, learning that he must use his unique powers and prodigious knowledge to survive. He succeeds until his body is taken over by an evil power locked inside of the Darkstone. Now Emperor of Dakkor, Vishan is trapped inside, as the ancient force that rules his body devastates his homeland while attempting to recover all of the Warstones.
As the amulets are all exposed, the holders of the Moonstone, Sunstone, and Bloodstone combine to fight the Emperor’s relentless drive to reunite the Warstones and gain power over the entire world. The armies of Dakkor and the forces of those allied with the three other stones collide on a dead continent in the stunning conclusion of The Warstone Quartet.
I had a great time creating The Warstone Quartet, but now that it’s complete, it’s time to move on to my next project, the first book in the Mechanisms of Magic trilogy. I haven’t quite decided on the title of the first volume, but it takes place in a world where there are magical ‘eddies’ where only certain people can use magic to power useful devices. After a long period of time (approx 500 years) there is a Shift where the eddies change and magician’s magic no longer works in that eddy. More info on that is to come.
So I had problems getting Quest of the Wizardess turned into an epub. It turns out that the recommended method for creating an acceptable document for Smashwords doesn’t work with simple epub conversion tools. The primary problem is creating a table of contents using bookmarks and hyperlinks.
I ended up buying a epub creation and editing tool called Jutoh. It was recommended at a writers conference I attended last fall (IndieReconLive). I had to pick apart all of the bookmarks and blast through all of the hyperlinking. Along the way, I eliminated drop caps, which also got in the way. After I did all of that work, I was rewarded with a clean epub file which I was able to upload to iBooks.
Since I do my own publishing through CasiePress, I’ve had to learn to create job streams to accommodate various input engines. So now, I create in Scrivener. I export that to MS Word and use their spelling and grammar checker. Then I export that into InDesign for the creation of my print file for Createspace.
For ebook distribution, I’ll now export back to MS Word (Jutoh likes .docx files) and reformat for ebooks. That becomes my gold standard for input into Jutoh. For Smashwords and Amazon, I’ll create a separate file that has the bookmark/hyperlink table of contents and input .doc files. For Kobo, Barnes & Noble and iBook, I’ll create an epub in Jutoh and submit that.
Lots of work, but I do that to have better control over my distribution.
Following on Bellia’s heels, the first Warstone book will release in December. The proof will arrive after Thanksgiving and then it will go up. Here is the cover. A change from these pages is that I put a tag line on all of the Warstone books. Book 1 is Moonstone | Magic That Binds, Book 2 is Sunstone | Dishonor’s Bane, Book 3 is Blood Stone | Power of Youth and Book 4 is Darkstone | An Evil Reborn.
Each cover will be a derivation of the Moonstone cover, the gem behind some illustration. This one has the Moonstone in the pommel of the sword. It sure is easier to create a cover without people.
The Quest of the Wizardess is in proofing and should be ready for release by the end of this month. The cover looks much the same, with a few tweaks and the Gleaneran God’s War series was removed. If I get around to turning this into a trilogy, then I’ll put on a new cover.
The proof is coming from Createspace and I’ll get through that Thanksgiving Weekend and debut the book on Amazon.
I found an author’s site that had progress indicators. Perhaps I should install one on this site. Here is an update on my current project: The WarStone Quartet.
Moonstone: Drafted and two revisions. This is the first volume and needs to be read first. I’ve added some continuity with the other books. I wrote this one first before the others were done, so some of the sequencing of the events had to be updated. Most of the plot remained intact from my first draft.
Sunstone: Drafted and one revision. I increased the number of words in this book to over 100,000 by increasing some character interaction and filling in some plot holes. I changed a few relationships to make the mercenary phase of the plot work better and a section of the book needed to be redone for continuity.
Bloodstone: Drafted and one revision. This volume has the most vivid romantic element and I reworked the romantic arc a bit. There still needs to be some more tweaks on the part of one of the characters. The stakes need to be raised a bit. This has a lot of battles and I might need to choreograph them with more action.
Darkstone: Drafted and one revision. This still needs some more content. This is the last volume and I’m somewhat pleased how it came out. This volume contains the end of the romantic arc started in the Bloodstone. I had to work on a number of elements in the rewrite to extend a sparsely written first draft. More internal thoughts on the part of the MC and I reworked the exciting climax a bit. I might need some more slam bang action. The ending was reworked a little, but came out pretty much as intended.
I intend on one more revision to each volume to add some additional character and some color (description). Then I run them through a grammar/spell checker for a final perusal. They should be ready for book production and proof edits and then RELEASE!
I’m currently cogitating over what approach to take on the covers. All four of them need to be coordinated
I’ve got three major initiatives that will consume March and beyond.
- Finish the last draft volume of Warstones. I’m at 20K words. that’s 20%
- Publish Warrior Mage. I redid the cover so I’m about ready to design the inside.
- Redo Covers and Blurbs.
Covers & Blurbs
If someone looks at the other two Sara Featherstone novels, something is happening that matches the tone of the books that readers are looking for – spying in Disinherited and a sword and a gun in Betrayed. I’m happy with those, but I need a better cover for the entry book, Bereaved. She’s got to be doing something in the book. Perhaps holding a smoking firearm. Those aren’t really developed until Disinherited, but I will see what I can pull out of the book. More drama.
I like the Panix cover, but again, it doesn’t present the tone I need to show. Panix rowing a boat twelve inches off of the ground is subtle, but I’m afraid it’s lost on potential readers. So he’s got to be doing something. Maybe the explosion at the tractor factory or throwing a light globe in the cave.
Blurbs need more work… every one. There’s not enough sell in them. I’ve got to get more. When Warrior Mage comes out, I should get a few more hits and everything has got to be just right, so more sell in the blurbs at Amazon and everywhere else.