So it’s finally here. This project has been consuming my life for the last several months. But I’m finally done. I have a whole box of copies sitting in my living room, and they look great.
Trump Card is my satirical take on the popular Young Adult Dystopia genre based on current events, particularly the Donald Trump administration. It tells the story of Sophia Sanders, a high school girl from New York with an unusual birthday. When a mysterious pendant transforms her into a “winner,” she becomes a contestant on the reality television series Junior Apprentice in order to oppose the Trump agenda.
While the nation looks on, Sophia and her team compete to win the coveted Junior Apprentice title. A brutal and mysterious brotherhood along with its enigmatic leader stands against her, hell-bent on destroying her chances of bringing the Resistance to life. Sometimes, the only thing a girl can depend on is magick – and a little luck.
Trump Card is available in print, Kindle, and ebook editions. The print version is also available from Amazon and other retailers, but I get the best royalty percentage if you order directly from the CreateSpace link there. If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, or just find Donald Trump amusing in a horrifying sort of way, check it out!
So I finally figured out how to get through the whole CreateSpace process, and the print edition of my novella The Pathless Void is now available. For those of you who were asking about a print version, this is it. From the proof it turned out quite nice, and I think you will enjoy it.
I also did some additional edits as I was putting together the print edition, and the ebook versions on Smashwords and Kindle now reflect those changes as well. I think Kindles update automatically, but I don’t have one so I’m not sure. If you bought the ebook already and need to do something to refresh it with the updated version, now would be the time for that.
The print edition should be available on Amazon in a couple of days here along with the ebook, but if you really want to support my writing you should buy it directly from the CreateSpace link above. That gives me the best royalty percentage, since if I sell through Amazon they get a cut of the profits as well.
Book cover design is one of those areas where I’m still learning. Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on getting better at it. The first cover that I did myself was for Cthulhu Unbound, my first self-published ebook. If you don’t have a copy, I highly recommend picking one up. It’s a satirical Lovecraftian tale that pretty much reads like the real thing until you get to the twist at the end.
At any rate, the old cover used the same image as the current one, but the difference was that when I put it together I tried to employ the flashing color method to make it look cool by using red letters on a green background. As a lossless PNG it looked great, but when rendered as a JPG it turned into a mess and looked kind of terrible. And unfortunately, JPG is the standard that gets used everywhere. I spent awhile trying to fix it so that the JPG would still look good, but eventually I gave up.
More recently, I decided to redo the cover. I put together a new version that uses white text instead of red on the green background. As you can see it looks a lot better with the white, especially as a JPG. I did like the red lettering, but one of the things you learn producing books is that some things just don’t work. You need to experiment, and keep at it until you get something that really works. The covers I’ve done since then have been better, including the one for The Pathless Void that I posted a week ago. That one is minimalistic, but it really looks great and I can’t think of anything that would improve it.
Anyway, I haven’t talked about Cthulhu Unbound in awhile but it’s still out there, and now it has a cool new cover for you to check out. The ebook includes the short story and a sample from the beginning of my novel Arcana for your reading pleasure.
My new science fiction novella The Pathless Void is now available to buy from Amazon and Smashwords. If you’re a fan of old-school science fiction, check it out. I think you will like it.
As an aside, I think this is the first story I’ve ever published anywhere that doesn’t have anything paranormal in it whatsoever, unless you count speculative future technology and a salvaged alien spacecraft. But there are no spells or psychic powers or anything like that, just aliens and tech. Enjoy!
For years my Welcome page has said that I write science fiction, but up until now I’ve never actually published any.
The Pathless Void was an unofficial NaNoWriMo project from years ago. It was my first attempt at writing anything so quickly, and I was happy with how the first forty thousand words turned out. But while I did clear fifty thousand words during the month, I decided that the last ten or twelve thousand were not very good. So the project has languished since that time.
What I’ve decided to do is go ahead and publish the first forty thousand words as a novella in ebook format. The original book was intended to consist of two sections about that length, each a mostly self-contained narrative, and what I’ve published now is the first of those two. Down the road I plan on serializing the story in order to continue it, but the second section will go in a very different direction from what I wrote the first time around.
The upside is that you will be able to get the ebook and read and the story as soon as it’s reviewed and accepted on Smashwords and Amazon – at least the first installment. It reminds me a lot of some of the “Golden Age” sci-fi that I read when I was younger, with speculative space travel technology based on our current scientific understanding but extrapolated into the future. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did when I was writing it.
As soon as I have links where you can order the new ebook of The Pathless Void, I’ll post them here. Watch this space for updates!
My self-publishing adventure continues!
Lately I’ve been learning how to do CreateSpace so that I can put out my own print books as well as ebooks. Almost two years ago now I put together my short story Cthulhu Unbound, a satirical Lovecraftian piece, and bundled it with the prelude to Arcana in an effort to boost my ebook sales. As you can see from those sales ranks, so far it hasn’t really worked, but obviously one short story a writing career does not make. I’m more tenacious than that.
Between working with my Moonfire Publishing editor on Ipswich and Written in Blood, which are still on track to come out this summer, I have another project that I think many of you will find amusing. A few of you have seen it already, and heard me read a bit here and there. That’s what I really need CreateSpace for, since I want to release both a print version and an ebook this time around. So I’ve been learning the ins and out of page layout, designing covers, and all that good stuff. It’s fun, though it helps if you’re (A) obsessive, (B) an IT person, or (C) both, like me.
So why CreateSpace? There are other options out there that don’t support Amazon’s evil empire, but unfortunately at this point none of them really provide the same level of exposure. Amazon is now something like 40% of the entire book market, which when you think about it is pretty nuts. But the bottom line is that they do appear to have the best publish-on-demand setup, and no surprise, it integrates into their online market better than anybody else’s does. You can make an argument for going with somebody else, but let’s face it – margins in book sales are so tight these days that every little bit makes a difference.
As for that new project – consider this a bit of a teaser. Right now I’m in the process of putting the book together, and I’m not going to be announcing what it is until that’s done and I’m a little further along. Suffice it to say, it’s a great, great classy book that I’m sure you all will love to read. And I’m going to leave it at that for now.
As it turns out, I’ll have two new novels coming out this summer from Moonfire Publishing.
I already mentioned Ipswich, the long-awaited sequel to Arcana, in an earlier post, back when it was originally accepted for publication. It was tentatively scheduled for a spring release, but it’s looking like it will be summer now. We’ve been working on the editing and the manuscript is shaping up great. I’m very happy with it. I think you will be too.
If you liked Arcana you’ll love Ipswich. It’s a tighter, more accessible story that doesn’t skimp on the elements that made Arcana a unique novel. There’s magick, of course, along with necromancy, witchcraft, and spirits.
The second novel is a collaboration with Sheila Marshall, a paranormal vampire tale titled Written in Blood.
Written in Blood is set on the North Shore of Lake Superior, around Two Harbors and the evocatively named Castle Danger. In case you’re wondering, the latter is a real town. You can find it on a map and everything.
It tells the story of an ancient vampire with the power to write the fate of the Northland in his blood. He uses this power to write his ideal companion into existence, and summons her to Castle Danger. But she carries with her a secret that may lead to both their undoing.
Fans of vampire and paranormal fiction will love Written in Blood. It has mystery, romance, action, and of course plenty of bloodletting. Watch for it along with Ipswich this summer, and check out the Moonfire Publishing website for updates and announcements.