A Technological Assault on My Science Fiction Sales: The Ghost in the Gears at Amazon

So there I was, minding my own business—literally, I mean, selling books is my business, and I mind when they don’t sell—and poof, books just stopped selling all of a sudden. The Galactic Mage has been blowing off the e-shelves for weeks, and, Tuesday morning I got up and checked and, somewhere in the night or early morning, sales just stopped. Cold. From light speed to the brick wall in zero seconds flat.

Must be a glitch, I thought. Surely I couldn’t have sold NOTHING. I mean, I know the book won’t stay up in the top ten forever, but from top ten to total death over night? That seemed a bit severe. Continue reading A Technological Assault on My Science Fiction Sales: The Ghost in the Gears at Amazon

Music for Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

The topic of “music while you write” came up the other day, so I thought I’d write about it briefly from my experience and then share what songs I’ve been writing to.

In a perfect writing world for me, absolute silence would prevail. I would count the crash of surf or the wind whispering through pine trees as silence. Kids playing basketball outside, the pound-pound-pound of the ball, the gravel scrape of their shoes as they move about, the clang of the hoop and hollow plastic thud of the backboard, all punctuated with the unending expletives they shout for any reason at all as they quest for adulthood through the only mechanisms they have available to them at that age—which is all fine—does not count as silence to write by. Nor does the rattle of a washing machine, the rip-ripping of cat claws in my really cool (albeit rapidly becoming un-cool) faux Renaissance couch and love seat, or any number of other household auditory realities. So, sometimes—often—I need music as a sound-barrier. Not music to listen to, or groove to, but music to form a sonic wall through which no other sounds can penetrate. And it usually has to be just one. Continue reading Music for Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Update on The Galactic Mage Sequel

I’ve been getting inquiries about the sequel recently, so I thought I’d post a status update here so it’s easy to find. Hopefully this will answer some of the things people are asking for, particularly those who email at night (fantasy and sci-fi readers are such night owls… I knew I loved these genres for a reason) eager to find out. So, rather than my typical long-winded set up, I’ll just go through the main questions I’m being asked.

Question: Is there a sequel to The Galactic Mage?
Answer: Yup. It’s called Rift in the Races. It is the second book of what began as a trilogy idea, but that will now launch second trilogy after the first three leave off. In case that’s unclear, I have a story arc that I can complete in three books, but a new story arc begins as that one completes. So, that’s the plan for now. Continue reading Update on The Galactic Mage Sequel

Book Review: Wool, by Hugh Howey

Rating: Hot Princess

Book Review: Wool, by Hugh Howey

I’ll begin this review by saying simply that Hugh Howey’s Wool is a wonderful story, and I had to think very hard about whether or not I should give it the Hot Princess or the full Epic Dragon rating. In the end, I went with Hot Princess, but it really was close, and I damn near changed it to Epic Dragon again this morning after I woke up thinking about the story still, but I’m sticking to my guns; Epic Dragons are just freaking rare.

Wool is clever, engaging, and very smart. Continue reading Book Review: Wool, by Hugh Howey

Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Reviews: A Matter of Industry Respect

Getting book reviews is hard. That’s what I have learned after having my book out for the last two months. And since I’ve spent most of my life in sales and marketing, I know how valuable marketing is. You can write an amazing masterpiece, but if nobody ever reads it, well, then it’s not going to do very well (and no, I’m not saying my stories are amazing masterpieces). So, to help get readers, you need reviews.

And I’m not talking about the Amazon reader reviews. Those are great, and if you want to do a writer you like a favor, write one on there, but that is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about more formal reviews from bloggers and critics for magazines, e-zines, genre sites, and that sort of thing. Continue reading Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Reviews: A Matter of Industry Respect

The Galactic Mage Climbing Amazon Top Ten Lists

What an amazing ride this has turned out to be. What was just a leap of faith has turned into a wild ride that is fun and fascinating. I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out; in fact, I have been afraid to say anything or do anything for two weeks now, so sure that the least mention, the least anything would somehow curse it.

But, the marketing part of me has been telling the artsy-fartsy writer part of me, “Don’t be silly. It is what it is, and it will last exactly how long it will last, good or bad, regardless of what I blog about or whether I change my lucky underpants.”

So, I struck a deal with myself and told me that if The Galactic Mage hit Amazon’s top ten lists for both Kindle Science Fiction and for Kindle Fantasy, I’d say something on the blog. So, here I am. I’m writing this. My wife says that the cats are going to eat me in my sleep if I don’t change my lucky boxers anyway, so, I guess I might as well just throw karmic caution to the wind.

This is The Galactic Mage on the Amazon science fiction best seller charts for Kindle:

I still have trouble wrapping my head around it, but there it is. And people seem to be really enjoying it. It’s getting great reviews on Amazon from readers, and not just from my mom! But real people (not that my mom isn’t real, obviously), real people who have no reason not to say what they mean. The worst review I’ve gotten compared the love story part to Romeo and Juliet. I mean, how can I complain when the person who hates the story most uses Shakespeare as his example of what really bad love-story writing looks like. Continue reading The Galactic Mage Climbing Amazon Top Ten Lists