Saturday, April 21, 2012

Special offer - Newton's Ark for free

Amazon are running a special offer on my book for tomorrow. For one day only the Kindle version will be available for the special price of free.

The deal runs from midnight to midnight Pacific time (currently GMT -7) on April 22.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writing the sequel

When I finished my first novel a little less than two weeks ago, I felt like I would need a break of a month or two before starting work on the sequel. One of the things I discovered though was that part way through the characters started to drive the story.

It seems the characters are still driving the story and were keen for it to continue. A few days ago I found the characters were giving me so any ideas for book two that I just had to start writing. The good news is that it is going much quicker this time--I've written four thousand words in the past two days. I think that is because most of the characters are already established. All I need do is ask them what happens next!

The working title is Faraday's Mine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Seeking feedback

Now that my book has been available for a week and a half I'm hoping that a least a few people have read it. What I'd really like now is some feedback. What did you like, what didn't you like, which characters appealed to you, are you looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy? Anything that will help me improve as a writer.

I would especially like people to add a comment on Amazon because that helps not only me, but also potential buyers. I'm not looking for unrealistic five star reviews to pump the book up, but rather genuine and informative reviews that will help someone decide whether it's the kind of book that would appeal to them and whether it's worth handing over three bucks to read Newton's Ark (of course it is!)

Here's the link to create a review.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paperback available

The paperback edition of Newton's Ark is now available.

For now it is only available through the CreateSpace estore.

It should be available on some time next week.

Feel free to order through CreateSpace though since I make a bigger royalty there, which makes absolutely no sense since CreateSpace is owned by!

I've already posted on the process of self-publishing for the Kindle. I'll post soon on the process of self-publishing a paperback through this channel.

Update: the paperback is now available through

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Self-publishing for Kindle

I recently self-published my first novel, Newton's Ark, as an e-book in Kindle format via Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program. I thought it would be worth making some observations for the benefit of other inspiring authors who might be considering this path.

The big change that self-publishing makes is that it removes the traditional publisher as gatekeeper. There's plenty of stories out there of books that were rejected by multiple publishers only to go on to critical or commercial success or both.

What self-publishing does do though is push back on the author an awful lot of responsibility for the process of producing the book; stuff like editing and proof reading and formatting and design. You can do it yourself but it is not for the faint of heart. You need a combination of skills to get it right. Traditional publishing skills like attention to detail, editing and graphic design, mixed with the technical skills necessary to translate a manuscript in Microsoft Word into a properly formatted Kindle book within the constraints of the Kindle format (e.g. the fact that is has no such concept as 'keep with next') and the quirks of the Kindle publishing platform. The good news is that there are plenty of people out there who will take care of this stuff for a modest fee. I didn't try any of them - I was determined to do this myself - but if you don't like banging your head against a wall as much as I do, perhaps it is worth trying.

It is way too early to tell whether self-publishing via Amazon will be a commercial success. That seems to me to be dependent on a mix of the quality of the book, the marketing effort and sheer luck. I can control the first factor, am working on the second one but it's not my strength, and can only cross my fingers in terms of the third factor.

I will also be releasing a paperback version soon, also self-published, this time via a company called CreateSpace (which happens to be an Amazon subsidiary). I'll report on that process once it is complete.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

It's published!

My first novel, Newton's Ark is now available on Kindle, for US purchasers here and for UK purchasers here.

Here's the brief description that appears on Amazon:
December 20, 2047 - the day the human race faces extinction. With a little more than two years to prepare, President Paul Carlson struggles with the awful choices he must make to ensure the survival of the American people. Meanwhile wealthy industrialist James Newton embarks on his own audacious and radical plan to save humanity. As both sides race against time and the growing economic and social collapse, Major Regina Lopez finds herself caught between these competing forces. Which side will she choose as she faces sacrificing everything she believes in to protect the people she loves?
A paperback edition will be available within the next 1-2 weeks, however the Kindle edition is significantly cheaper and I make better royalties on that, so all in all it would be a win-win if you purchase the electronic copy, and you'll save a tree in the process!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The last hurrah

I skied today despite the fact the mountain is looking very sad and the lower mountain is closed, simply because I wanted to get one more set of turns in before it's all over for another season. The mountain is not due to close until Sunday April 15, but I don't think it is going to make it. Less than two-thirds of our normal snowfall combined with temperatures 15-20F above normal for this time of year is just killing the snow and there's more of the same forecast between now and the 15th. So this may well be it until November.

here's the GPS data:

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Proof-reading is hard

I've finished the final draft of my novel after receiving some excellent feedback on the first draft from several people (you know who you are), feedback which I think has significantly improved the story.

Now I'm doing the hard slog of polishing it for publication. Checking for inconsistencies in the story, tightening the language and fixing the typos. It's a process which involves reading the same material over and over again, which is really hard and much less fun that writing the story. I hope other people like this book, because by the time I'm done I don't think I'll ever want to read it again!