Category: Self Publishing

A Sip of Magic – Now in Draft Mode

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. 🙂

New Book! Magician in Training

Bluntwithe’s Education has now become Book One in the Power of Poses series – Magician In Training.  Here’s the blurb:

Trak Bluntwithe, an illiterate stableboy, is bequeathed an education by an estranged uncle. In the process of learning his letters, Trak finds out that he is a magician. So his adventures begin that will take him to foreign countries, fleeing from his home country, who seeks to execute him for the crime of being able to perform magic. The problem is that no country is safe for the boy while he undergoes training. Can he stay ahead of those who want to control him or keep his enemies from killing him?

Book Two, Magician in Exile is scheduled for a December/January Release.  Magician in Training is available on Amazon, iBook, Kobo, Nook and other retail outlets in paperback or ebook form.

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Bluntwithe’s Education Series

After writing a dud of a book (failure hurts, doesn’t it?), I have embarked on a new series.  Bluntwithe’s Education.   The general idea is Trak Bluntwithe, a fifteen-year-old stableboy at his father’s inn in a rural village gets a boon, an education as a legacy from an uncle he never met. He must travel to Pestledown, the capital city of the country of Pestle, where he lives.  He meets some interesting characters and is tested for magic at the request of one of his father’s good friends at the inn.  Not surprisingly to readers, we find that Trak Bluntwithe has strong magical capabilities.  The only problem is that magic is outlawed in Pestle.

Trak learns that nothing is what it seemed when he was cleaning horses or taking care of the little vegetable farm that supplied the inn. So starts his education, which will take him to far off lands and put him in embarrassing situations and genuine peril.

The first story is scheduled for release in September, 2015.

Hand of Grethia

Waiting for a tardy beta reader for Anoria put some extra time in my hands.  So I dusted off the manuscript of my first novel and put it through some serious rewriting.  It had been through a number of readers years and years ago, but I still needed to spruce it up and now it’s about ready for release.  I’ll be proofing the copy in the next two weeks and expect an end of June, beginning of July release.  Anoria of Valir will be coming out in July.

Hand of Grethia is a space opera in the old tradition.  Here is the current blurb:

A nuclear cataclysm pushed Grethia, a remote planet, into a dark age. A religion emerged to suppress technology by calling it sacred, holy and not for the world. A king broke the control of the priesthood in his kingdom and began to bring crude technology back to life.

A young man, his space ship sabotaged, finds himself marooned on Grethia. Through insight, courage and luck, he struggles with the static forces of the status quo and, together with the king, defeats the enemies of progress.

His conflicts don’t end as he finds a way off the planet and confronts those who want to end his very existence and destroy the planet’s hard-won victory over the religion. The Hand of Grethia takes the reader from a Galactic civilization of space ships and high technology to the dark ages and back in an exciting space opera adventure.

Here are the current versions of the covers for both Anoria of Valir – The Vampiric Menace and Hand of Grethia

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My Current Job Stream for Publication

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.

printpressSince 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.

A Cover and New Title among Other Things

My Bellia novel has a new title:  Quest of the Wizardess.  I also have a new cover.

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Quest of the Wizardess Cover

The girl comes from an ad I saw on the web.  I totally modifed her face, but her pose was exactly what I wanted.  I used the red robes to bring the color out in the otherwise drab cover.  I had to draw in much of the robes, the hand and the sword.  The building in the background is the Temple of the Blind God.  It’s in the book and I used the dome of St. Paul’s cathedral in London along with part of the cathedral at Bourges, France.

I have a few edits to go before this gets published.

This month I have been continuing to work on the Sara Featherwood Adventures.  I input the wrong file for the first book and have had to re-edit it.  I’ll have trade paperbacks out with the new edits in October.

Warstones is out dipping its collective toes in the water at some agents, then I’ll get to work on those books.  I’ve got a chunk of editing done, but there’s more to do on the quartet’s 1200+ pages.

As for new writing, I have a mystery novel in mind for NaNoWriMo.  This year’s NaNoWriMo will give me the motivation to get it done in November.  I think that will come in around 70,000 words.

Warstone Quartet Drafted!

ManscrptAfter some time, I’ve finally completed the first drafts of my Warstone Quartet.  The four novels total 387,000 words and approximately 1,200 pages.  That’s without any pictures.

I wrote Moonstone some time ago, thinking that I would write them sequentially, but after an idle summer last year, I had to amp up my production so I completed Sunstone in December, Bloodstone in February, and Darkstone in March.

Now I let them cool off a bit.  My April will be filled with getting Warrior Mage produced and I’ll be rewriting this summer.

I’m satisifed with the way the plot came together.  Lots of characters and settings.  I have romance in all of them to one extent or another.  An epic sword and sorcery adventure.  The Darkstone, in particular, is a little battle heavy, but that comes along with the ‘sword’ part.

I still intend on releasing at least Moonstone this year.

What I Learned at IndieReCon

IndieReCon is an online writer’s conference for independent published authors.  There are three approaches to getting your novels published:  Traditional, Independent and Hybrid.  Hybrid, as you might imagine, is an author that does both traditional and independent publishing.

Independent publishing has two further classifications, Self and Independent.  In this case, IndieReconindependent encompasses using small publishing companies with an imprint.  I am a self publisher who has a close relationship with a small publisher so I use the CasiePress, but I do most of my own work, so I would probably be considered more of a self publisher.

The major takeaway from IndieReCon was that I need to do a better job at marketing my books.  Since I don’t write full time, I’ve neglected a number of promotional aspects of writing, so you’ll see a twitter presence (you can follow me at @guyantibes) and more facebook content… but not a lot.

My website was recently hacked, so I’ve redesigned it with all new content including links for visitors to buy my books.  I’ll be redoing some of my covers along with blurbs.   Lots of work.

One thing that was consistent throughout is write, write, write.  If you think you’d make better use of your time writing, then write rather than go off and do something else.

Last year was pretty much a disaster for my production.  No publications, but this year will be different.  More short stories in anthologies and at least two novels.  Warrior-Mage is written and I’m finalizing the cover.  Moonstone is in rewrites.  So I learned that I have to do things differently this year, including posting videos on my blog and setting up a YouTube channel.  I’m looking forward to that.

One thing that I will do is create a marketing plan.  What I need to do for each book and what I need to do to promote my writing career (not much of one to date.)  I consider the three days that I stuffed with articles, vlogs and online chats to have been worthwhile.